Kate Mara Talks About "Shooter"

Kate Mara Stars in
Kate Mara in "Shooter.". © Paramount Pictures

Kate Mara (We Are Marshall) co-stars with Mark Wahlberg and Michael Pena in the dramatic thriller, Shooter, directed by Antoine Fuqua. Mara doesn't play the typical damsel in distress in the action-packed film. Instead, Mara gets a chance to kick a little butt alongside the film's male stars. An action movie fan, Mara was glad the film didn't take the easy way out by making her character into the one-dimensional love interest we so often see in action-heavy dramas.

Let’s Get Physical: Shooter required the actors to go through a lot physically, including filming on a glacier. Asked if anyone got injured Mara replied, “I think Mark fell once when we were having a race. The boys act all tough, like they're not cold or anything, and then by the end of the day they're all freezing which is really funny. They kept making fun of me because I complained that I was going to fall over because I was so cold. They were like, ‘Well get her fuzzy boots.’ But they weren't standing there in a skimpy little tank top and leather jacket.

That was a hard week, but it was actually really fun. I mean, you don't get the opportunity to shoot a movie on a glacier very often - with a cast like that. It was cool because we were all there. I mean for me, all my scenes were with Mark except for those scenes at the end, so it was fun to get to be with all the other actors, even though I feel that I'm going to be shot the entire time.

It was nice to have other interaction, you know?”

Working with Mark Wahlberg: Mara admits she’s long been a fan of Wahlberg’s work. “I've always been a fan of his work from the beginning of his career. You can't always say that. Usually when people start out they make some funny movies and some strange choices — for me, anyway — but yeah, he's always done really great roles.

He's done really good movies and really different films, so I always admired that about him. You just get the sense that he must be a really hard worker.

I'd never met him before or anything like that, and he is one of the hardest workers I think I've ever met. You just get the sense that he does his homework. He always knows his lines. It's sort of bizarre. He never messes up. But, for an actor, it makes everything so much easier. He knows what he's doing. But it's not as though he's locked in on, ‘This is the way I'm going to do it.’ If you want improv or whatever, he's so there. For an actor, he's really great to work with. Also personally he's just a really nice, generous guy. In between takes it wasn't like incredibly serious and intense or anything like that, which all the scenes are. You think it might be like that on set, but it wasn't. It was fun and it was easy.”

Behind the Scenes with Elias Koteas: Koteas excels at playing creepy characters but Mara says he’s absolutely nothing like that in person. “He's a really nice guy. He felt so bad. He had to torture me and pull my hair. I mean, he would get clumps of my hair caught on his jacket on the glacier and he was so sweet. During that scene when he's got me kind of tied to the shotgun, I had that tiny little outfit on and during the faraway shots, my shirt kept like rising up and I would be shivering.

He could feel that I was shivering and he was acting and making these scary faces, and, like secretly, trying to help me. It was the sweetest thing. Like screaming at me, ‘I'm going to kill you,’ [while] pulling my shirt down. That's another great thing about being the only girl on set. Everybody's so nice and trying to make sure you're okay.”

Playing a Small Town Southern Girl: Mara jokingly asked if not doing any research on that part of the role made her lazy. “That was just the accent I chose,” revealed Mara. “I've played a Southern girl before and on Brokeback Mountain we had a coach on set, so I learned a few things from that. But no, it was just my creation of what I thought she should sound like.

Antoine [Fuqua] was so great because he really wanted me to be involved in really creating her, not just her voice.

He had me make lists of things that I could have in her house, things that the audience probably would never see. Like what sort of things would she have in her fridge? What music would she be listening to and what kind of car might she drive? She didn't use the car that I chose and he didn't want to hear my opinions on it, which is really fun. That's different. He's really specific. He really likes to talk about things. He had rehearsals and really talked about the characters and everything like that, and it helped a lot.”

Not All Women Hate Action Movies: “I get really, really, really into [them]. When I go to the movies, I'll cheer and stuff like that. When I watched it, obviously I know everything that's going to happen. I don't think I'd seen clips or anything like that, so it was really new for me watching it, and I got really into it. I kind of cheered when he killed a few people.”

Page 2: Kate Mara on Her Upcoming Movie, Transsiberian

Kate Mara’s Keeping Busy: Mara admits it’s been a very busy year career-wise. “It's been a busy year, but I never really feel like, ‘Oh, this is going to be the year.’ I don't feel that right now. I just feel really happy about that I've had the opportunity to work so much. I like to work. I really like to work, but I also am really picky normally about a script and don't really like everything. And so yeah, I feel lucky that I've found so many roles that I respond to - in this past year especially.

I feel really good right now about where my career is at this moment.

I just finished a film last week called Transsiberian, totally different than anything I've ever done. It's an independent film with Woody Harrelson and Sir Ben Kingsley. It's a big ensemble — Emily Mortimer, it's such a really interesting cast. We shot it in Lithuania and the crew was Spanish and the director Brad Anderson is American. Woody and I are both Americans, but Emily Mortimer and Sir Ben Kingsley are both British. And then there's Eduardo Noriega who's the other guy in it who's Spanish. And then all these Lithuanian extras. It was the most bizarre set to be on, but a really interesting dark sort of thriller.”

So is it Ben or Sir Ben when you’re working alongside Ben Kingsley? “I never had the guts to ask him. I just called him Sir Ben. I just felt out of respect feel I should call him that. I didn't want to take a chance.”

Mara continued, “In the film I play this sort of…she's sort of goth, I guess. She looks goth. She's kind of mysterious. She doesn't say much which actually was really hard being in. We were there for a while and when you read a script like that, she surprises you, there's a few big surprises in the film about my character which I thought it was really cool.

She's dark and doesn't talk much and you keep wondering the whole time what's her deal? But then when I was actually there, it was so much harder than I thought because just being in a scene and not having to say anything is so much harder than having to say a million things. It's like, ‘Okay, the next scene, I say one word again,’ and it became very difficult. But it was fun. I'd never played a role like her before. She was sort of this lost soul. But I don't know what I'm doing next. While I was there, I thought, ‘I'm going to take a break.’ I did three movies in a row. And now, of course, I'm home and I'm like, ‘Oh, I could work next week.’”

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Murray, Rebecca. "Kate Mara Talks About "Shooter"." ThoughtCo, Sep. 22, 2012, thoughtco.com/kate-mara-talks-shooter-2429309. Murray, Rebecca. (2012, September 22). Kate Mara Talks About "Shooter". Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/kate-mara-talks-shooter-2429309 Murray, Rebecca. "Kate Mara Talks About "Shooter"." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/kate-mara-talks-shooter-2429309 (accessed November 24, 2017).