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Rooney Mara

Rooney Mara, the girl with the shamrock tattoo

\"Rooney

Rooney Mara

Rooney Mara was a relatively unknown actress on Monday morning,, but that all changed in the afternoon with the news that she’s landed the oh-so coveted lead role of Lisbeth Salander in the upcoming film adaptation of "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo", the wildly successful first novel from the late Swedish author Stieg Larsson.

Rooney’s Irish resume is pretty substantial.  Her grandfather is Timothy Rooney, the proprietor of Yonkers Raceway in New York and the 2005 grand marshal of the New York St. Patrick’s Day Parade.  Timothy’s daughter, Kathleen, is Rooney’s mom.

Patricia Rooney Mara, her real name, is also the grand-niece of Daniel Rooney, currently the U.S. ambassador to Ireland and founder of the global Ireland Funds which have raised millions and millions for Irish charitable causes. And her sister is Kate Mara, an actress who’s appeared in the TV series "24" and "Nip/Tuck".

The Rooney family, of course, founded the Pittsburgh Steelers football team, and their Irish roots run deep.  They trace their ancestry to Co. Down, and family members regularly visit the homeland.

Rooney’s football lineage continues on the Mara side as well. Her dad is Chris Mara, whose grandfather, Tim, founded the New York Giants.  The legendary late Giants leader Wellington Mara is her grandfather, so it’s assured that as far as football and acting royalty combined, Rooney’s got that niche all sewn up.

Mara, 25, was up against the likes of Scarlett Johansson, Natalie Portman and every other twenty-something A-lister who wanted the part of Lisbeth, but the director David Fincher wanted to go with a newcomer and tapped Rooney, who he’s worked with in the past.  Nightmare on Elm Street was her previous role of note, but if all goes well her dream of Hollywood stardom is only beginning.

Daniel Craig, best known as Pierce Brosnan’s James Bond replacement, will also star, and the highly-anticipated film, the first of three in Larsson’s blockbuster series, already has a release date, December 11 of next year.

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