Joaquin Phoenix's "disgusting Dragon": Who Is Rooney Mara, The Actor's Partner

When Bret Easton Ellis asked him why he had accepted the role of Jesus in Mary Magdalene, Garth Davis's film about the New Testament, Joaquin Phoenix replied that "he was looking for something loaded with meaning, he was looking for experience," the writer told The New York Times, two years ago. He was friends with the protagonist, Rooney Mara, he added; Accepting the role of a figure of global significance came from "pure instinct."

Who knows if that experience was mystical. In any case, the hunch seems to have been at least the order of love: during filming in Italy, Mara went from being her friend to being her partner. And now that Joker's success, the Todd Phillips movie, has put him on the front line of fame, the privacy that the two tried to maintain is being lost.

It didn't help that the actor said in August, when he received an award for his career at the Toronto Festival: “Here, somewhere, there is a disgusting dragon, and I would like to tear his wings, tie him with a blanket and sleep with him forever. I love you Thank you".


The word dragon alluded, without difficulty, to the role of Lisbeth Salander that Mara played in Millennium: the men who did not love women, the Hollywood version of a novel in the Stieg Larsson trilogy. The part of tearing off its wings and tying it up, a little harder to interpret, sounds like pure Phoenix.

Throughout a career of proven talent (On the tightrope, his great portrait of Johnny Cash; Her, The Master, To Die For, The Forest, The Gladiator and Hotel Rwanda, among many others) has proved difficult to deal with : The last to check was Robert DeNiro on the Joker set. One of his most important works, the false documentary about himself I'm Still Here, which Casey Affleck directed and the two wrote, created an advertising confusion that in 2010 many believed that Phoenix had abandoned acting to start a career in hip hop; the undoubtedly true were the abuse lawsuits both received. Finally an attempt of sympathy ended up offending his audience: in 2014, after faking his commitment to a yoga teacher, he clarified in an interview that he had done it because his life was very boring and people love marriages. "I can commit again, if you want," he added.

Now it seems to be true: the whole press of the heart showed a few months ago photos of Mara in a grocery market in Los Angeles, dressed in jeans and white sneakers, and carrying a bag with the logo of the animal protection organization Peta (She is vegan, like him) with a hand in which a ring with a stone of more than respectable size was seen.

Diamonds are not new to this typical daughter of the upper class of the United States, but neither is simplicity in dress. Rooney Mara, Neé Patricia, bears the first name for her mother, daughter of Art Rooney, founder of the Pittsburgh Steelers football team, and the second for her father, son of Tim Mara, founder of another, even more famous: the New York Giants He grew up in Bedford, a wealthy town north of New York City, but unlike other heiresses he went to a public school. Although there is hardly a bad public school in a school district with as many resources as the famous Westchester County, she took advantage of all her classes and began to display her talent while in high school. He obtained his first role in 2005, in Urban Legend 3, which starred his sister Kate Mara.

He traveled to several countries in Latin America before beginning his psychology studies at the University of New York, but always maintained his work as an actress. In 2010 his role in Nightmare on Elm Street caught the eye; then The social network and, finally, the Millennium remake: Men who did not love women, in the role of the girl with the dragon tattoo, turned her into a full-time actress.

Like her current boyfriend (she previously spent seven years with filmmaker Charlie McDowell), Mara has filmed a lot: Side effects, In a lawless place, Trash (Thieves of Hope), Pan (Journey to Neverland), Carol, Kubo and the two magic strings (voice), Lion, A Ghost Story, Maria Magdalena and Don't worry, you won't get far on foot. Before agreeing with Phoenix in those last two titles, I had met him in Her, by Spike Jonze, where he played the ex-wife of Theodore's character, the divorced person who established a romantic relationship with an app that Scarlett Johansson voiced.

It was not love at first sight, quite the opposite: Phoenix finished the work in Her convinced that Mara despised him. But it turned out that she was a little shy, simply, and since he hadn't been much more expressive they said goodbye without knowing that they had liked each other. "She is the only girl I looked online for in my life," Phoenix told Vanity Fair. “We were friends, friends of e-mail. I had never done anything like that, look for a girl on the internet. ”

The couple made public at the closing ceremony of the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, which they came together for Phoenix to receive the best actor award for their role in You Were Never Really Here. Since then they have been photographed together leaving the studio where they practice karate, or arriving at the We Care spa (a favorite of Gwen Stefani, Heidi Klum and Gisele Bündchen), or in demonstrations for animal rights. The most recent, in June, showed them marching with dead birds in their hands.

She sold her house in Los Feliz and moved to the colonial-style bungalow where he lived before alone (never married or had children) with her dogs Oskar and Soda, in Hollywood Hills. Like homeowners, bugs are vegan. As he told Ellis, the 44-year-old actor shares a fairly simple life with his wife 10 years younger. They usually watch documentaries, for example, but not beyond 9 at night, when everyone falls asleep (they get up at 6). Meditation, karate, dog walk and script reading take up the rest of their time. And being together, which in itself seems like a great program.

Just as Phoenix, an activist in defense of human rights and against animal cruelty, which supports institutions such as the Red Cross, Amnesty International and Peta, Mara is president of the board of directors of the Uweza Foundation, a community organization of Nairobi, in Kenya. In 2006 she visited one of the poorest areas of the city, Kibera, and put together a memorabilia auction of the Steelers and the Giants to begin a foundation; but unable to devote himself to that and his career at the same time, he gave his fledgling NGO, called as the neighborhood, Kibera, to Uweza, which is professionally dedicated to these programs. She is also co-founder of the Hiraeth Collective vegan clothing, shoes and accessories line, along with Sara Schloat and Chrys Wong.