Why It's Better To Cast an Unknown as Lisbeth Salander

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Aug. 17 2010 8:46 AM

Why It's Better To Cast an Unknown as Lisbeth Salander

News broke yesterday that newbie actress Rooney Mara was cast as Lisbeth Salander , the bisexual punk heroine of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo . A Swedish version of the film, based on Steig Larsson's blockbuster book, has already been made- to pretty favorable reviews -and every popular actress under 35 was allegedly up for the Salander role in the American film: From British ingénue Carey Mulligan to sultry Scarlett Johansson . But it was smart of director David Fincher to cast someone fairly unknown to audiences as the distinctive Lisbeth. If ScarJo were playing Salander, her star wattage may have overcome the role, while Mara can potentially seem more deeply in character.

Though the audiences' preconceived notions of Mara won't  prove distracting, the Swedish accent she's going to have to speak in might. Entertainment Weekly 's Hollywood insider blog is reporting that Fincher wants all his players to speak Swedish-inflected English . "Should the accents not be delivered flawlessly, the film’s stars could also be a potential target for ridicule," EW 's Nicole Sperling observes. Indeed-a botched fake Swedish accent could be even more embarrassing than Brad Pitt's random British accent in the movie Troy .

Jessica Grose is a frequent Slate contributor and the author of the novel Sad Desk Salad. Follow her on Twitter.

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