Passionately devoted to her craft—not the trappings that go along with it—actress Kate Mara is on the verge of breaking through into the ranks of major movie star.
Forget the critics. When it comes to seeking job approval, actress Kate Mara has her own high standards to live up to.
“It’s always flattering when someone says something nice about something you worked really hard on,” says the auburn-haired 24-year-old in her straightforward, matter-of-fact style. “But it’s more important that I feel proud and satisfied with the work I did without having to get approval from a critic or anyone else.”
Ignoring the critics may get increasingly hard for Mara, though. After steadily ascending the ranks of working actresses in Hollywood—over the past two years, she’s been in Brokeback Mountain, co-starred in 24 and received rave reviews for the otherwise tepidly received We Are Marshall—Mara has a full slate of films on deck. Early April saw the release of Shooter, a fast-moving action flick in which she costars with Oscar nominee Mark Wahlberg, and she recently wrapped filming on Transsiberian, which costars Sir Ben Kingsley, Woody Harrelson and Emily Mortimer.
The former is an action film, the latter a dramatic thriller—and the fact that they have relatively little in common is exactly the point for Mara. “I like a challenge, something I haven’t done before,” she says. “Roles that scare you are always the best ones to take, because then you have to do the work and it’s so much more fun. It’s better for me when a role makes me nervous.”
Mara has been acting since the age of nine—although her family tree lends itself more to athletics. Born in Bedford, N.Y., about an hour north of New York City, she is the great-granddaughter of Timothy Mara, founder of the New York Giants, and Art Rooney, founder of the Pittsburgh Steelers. An avid football fan, Mara grew up singing the National Anthem at Giants games—a practice she continues today on opening day and other special occasions.
Though she began acting professionally at 14, she does admit to the occasional bouts of self-doubt when making a film. Take Brokeback Mountain, in which she played the daughter of Heath Ledger and Michelle Williams and was directed by Ang Lee. “The best word to describe him would be peaceful, but he’s also extremely focused,” Mara says of Lee.
A new Joan Rivers coffee table book, titled “Joan Rivers Confidential,” gives readers never-before-seen photos and letters of the late comedian throughout her life. “Because of her drive to always be fresh, she kept records of every appearance, every performance, all the jokes that were used on TV, all the clothes that were worn,” said Rivers’ daughter Melissa. Here, Rivers poses at the “Tonight Show” in Tracy Mills in 1985. Read more about the book and see more photos at WWD.com. #wwdeye
After a career at New York hot spots like Narcissa, Dovetail and Nix, @chefjfraser has expanded to the West Village with The Loyal, a modernized take on an American brasserie. “And as I’ve gone through my career I’ve felt some departure from that kind of simple, straightforward [cooking]. This is meant to take on the idea of ‘what if the American brasserie was invented today?’” #wwdeye (📷: @chinseephoto)
@bellahadid and @lilyaldridge at @bulgariofficial’s celebration on Friday night, toasting the brand's new Peter Marino-designed flagship on Fifth Avenue. The two-part event included a cocktail party at the store followed by a dinner at a mystery location — the Met Cloisters. #wwdeye
From overseeing America’s fastest-growing speciality retailers to codifying cool, WWD talked to the women who are leading the way for the future of beauty. Check out our Instagram Stories to see how these women built today and are creating tomorrow. (📸: @hannah_khymych) #wwdbeauty
For @laperlalingerie's spring 2018 show, the brand chose to host their event at @thevenetianmacao. With Chinese megastars @bingbing_fan and @hubing in attendance, La Perla debuted a rock ‘n’ roll-inspired collection. The show marked the start of Sands Macao Fashion Week, which runs from October 19 to 24 — the city’s first such event. Pictured here are models backstage with glimmering eyes. #wwdfashion (📷: Cheuk-Yin To)
Trending for spring 2018: top stitch design. Gone are the days of stitch just for seams — designers are using the once-minimal detail to create strong decorative elements. (📷: Paola Testa; Styled by @andrew_shang) #wwdfashion
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews