Irish American actress Rooney Mara has said that she “couldn’t see forward” in her life before landing the lead role in “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”.

The 26-year-old performed five screen tests and undertook over two months of preparation before she was offered the lucrative role of Lisbeth Salander.

She told the Press Association, "It was like I couldn't imagine what I would be doing if I wasn't doing that. I couldn't see forward in my life without doing it."
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Irish American actress Rooney Mara steals ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’

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The New Yorker added, "I spent over a year at 100 miles-per-hour, just working on pure adrenaline for a lot of it. And it's hard to come down off of that. For someone like me, who really thrives off of having something to focus on, it's hard to lose that."

Rooney has wowed audiences with her portrayal of troubled computer hacker Lisbeth Salander in the Hollywood remake of Stieg Larsson's best-selling novels, which is currently on general release.

She admits that her role in David Fincher’s “The Social Network” spurred her on to find more challenging roles.

"After that, I got really picky. I didn't work for a year. I didn't work until I got this part because I was just trying to find something that I was really passionate about."

Watch the extended trailer of ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ below: