Rooney Mara vs. Noomi Rapace: Who Will Be the Grittier 'Girl With the Dragon Tattoo?'

VIDEO: Rooney Mara has reportedly pierced her nipples for The Girl With the Dragon
WATCH Rooney Mara Goes Punk for Her Art

Rooney and Noomi: sure, their names kind of rhyme, but the similarities may end there.

Rooney Mara is reportedly taking major steps to inhabit the role of Lisbeth Salander in David Fincher's American adaptation of "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo." According to The New York Post, the 25-year-old actress has pierced her nipples and dyed her hair to play the computer hacker turned violent heroine.

VIDEO: Rooney Mara has reportedly pierced her nipples for The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.Play
Rooney Mara Gets Pierced for 'The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo'

A representative for Mara declined to elaborate on specifics, but told that "Rooney's look as 'Lisbeth Salander' will honor the integrity of the character as described in Stieg Larsson's books."

Except that Noomi Rapace already did that: she won Sweden's version of an Oscar for portraying a ruthless, raw (and, more than once, vividly raped) Lisbeth in the original "Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" movie, which is based on Swedish author Larsson's "Millennium Trilogy" of thrillers.

Video: Clip from the movie The Social Network.Play
Movie clip from "The Social Network"

Below, five facts about both actresses. Which one is better suited to be the "Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"? We'll probably have to wait until the American movie hits theaters in 2011 to find out.

Rooney Mara

Rooney Mara and Jesse Eisenberg in "The Social Network."

1. She can throw verbal jabs. Mara may be best known for playing Erica Albright, Mark Zuckerberg's scorned ex-girlfriend in "The Social Network." Memorable line: "You're going to go through life thinking girls won't like you because you're a nerd, and I want you to know from the bottom of my heart that's not true. They won't like you because you're an a**hole."

2. She's a sporting gal. Mara comes from a line of sports greats. She is the great-granddaughter of Pittsburgh Steelers founder Art Rooney, Sr. (on her mother's side) and New York Giants founder Tim Mara (on her father's side). She's also got acting in her blood -- her older sister is TV and film star Kate Mara.

3. Acting's not her only passion. Mara graduated from New York University in 2010, where she studied psychology and international social policy. She continues to channel her interest in helping others by overseeing Faces of Kibera, a charity that provides housing, food, and medical care to orphans in Kibera, a Kenyan slum.

4. In fact, acting's not what she saw herself doing at all. In August, she told The Journal News that acting "never seemed that honorable to me, and I guess I was always afraid that I might fail."

5. She's done gritty film before. She starred in the 2010 remake of "A Nightmare on Elm Street" and made her acting debut in the 2005 direct-to-video movie "Urban Legends: Bloody Mary."

Noomi Rapace

1. She could soon win an Oscar. Though her version of "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" was released in Sweden in 2009, the film had a short U.S. run in March, which makes Rapace's performance eligible for the upcoming awards season. According to Deadline Hollywood, an Oscar publicist is expected to push the Academy to nominate Rapace for Best Actress.

2. She's wading into Hollywood's waters. Last month, the 30-year-old Rapace landed her first English-speaking role. Rapace will play the female lead in Guy Ritchie's "Sherlock Holmes 2," alongside Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law.

Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth Salander.

3. Initially, she was too pretty to be Lisbeth. "At first, he said no," Rapace told the U.K.'s Telegraph about her first meeting with "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" director Niels Arden Oplev. "It may even have been that he thought I was too good-looking. I looked feminine and soft, maybe a bit too girlie, too cute. And of course, Lisbeth had to be more of a tomboy."

4. She kicked butt to get in killer shape. Determined to transform her feminine physique into Lisbeth's take-no-prisoners body, Rapace adopted a diet devoid of bread, pasta, potatoes, candy and alcohol. She detailed her workout routine in her February 2010 interview with the Telegraph: Thai boxing, kick boxing, and regular sessions with a Serbian trainer.

5. She's got a lot of Lisbeth in her. "When I was 14, I had piercings, I dyed my hair blonde, I looked terrible. I just wanted to get drunk every day," Rapace told the Telegraph. She got more piercings for her role in the film and insisted on doing her own stunts: " I wanted to wake up some kind of aggression in my body. ... I felt the taste of blood in my mouth sometimes."

Looks like Mara's got a lot to live up to.

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