Mara attends the Metropolitan Museum of Art Met
Gala in New York on May 4, 2015
ANGELES: Despite appearing in "House of
Cards," "127 Hours," "Brokeback
Mountain" and dozens of other screen roles over the
last 15 years, Kate Mara has always been an actress you
donít quite recognize.
with star billing as the Invisible Woman in the
superhero film "Fantastic Four" (Aug. 7), sheís
poised to become more visible than ever.
that, Mara, 32, received this yearís Women in Film Max
Mara Face of the Future Award at the Crystal + Lucy
Awards in Los Angeles. Women in Film has been honoring
women in the industry since 1977, with Italian fashion
brand Max Mara as a partner for 13 years.∂
the part is Maraís job. On the red carpet, she and
stylist Johnny Wujek gravitate toward classic pieces,
but in real life, she calls her style tomboyish. Sheís
as comfortable in Zara as Chanel. ∂
the years, she has attended events with Valentino and
Miu Miu, and styled store windows for H&M. In
February, she traveled to Milan, Italy, for the Max Mara
fall 2015 fashion show and a photo shoot for the brandís
caught up with her on the phone from Belfast, Northern
Ireland ó where she is shooting the sci-fi thriller
"Morgan" ó to talk about matters of style.
you have a first fashion memory or something you were
really into wearing as a child?
was very shy in middle school through high school. I
dressed to disappear. Thatís also a reason why acting
was so exciting. I was more comfortable putting on a
costume and pretending I was someone else than showing
who I actually was. So I flew under the radar and wasnít
into wearing anything too loud. I had very long hair,
and I didnít even want that to be showy, so I would
wear it in a ponytail every day. That was a uniform to
me, to not wear my hair down. But obviously, that
changed. Once I graduated high school and realized you
have to be more comfortable in your own skin to be an
actor and to be vulnerable and put yourself out there
and show that you can look like different characters. I
realized that fashion is an incredible tool. And now I
know you went to the fall 2015 Max Mara runway show.
What do you like about the label?
such a classic, feminine brand ... but they are also
doing a good job of evolving. The show was super. I know
it was a throwback and Marilyn Monroe-inspired, but it
also felt very current and young. I was so in love with
the colors, which were a lot of pastels, but also this
eggshell gray that I wore to the show. And the mix of
super-feminine pencil skirts with flat oxfords and
backpacks was the masculine-feminine thing, which Iím
super attracted to.
would you describe your personal style?
depends on where I am in the world. I live in L.A., so
typically it is really hot, and I will just put on a
sundress and some sneakers because thatís the most
comfortable thing to wear. That said, I tend to be a
little bit of a tomboy, so I do that thing where I go
back and forth between dressing feminine with a little
bit of a male edge. But right now, in Belfast, Iím
literally wearing all black every day to work. Itís
that sweatpants look that isnít actually sweatpants.
And a hoodie. And Iím fully comfortable owning that.
you and your sister (actress Rooney Mara) ever bought
the same thing?
few times. I forget we donít live in the same house,
and my initial reaction is the older sister thing of,
"Did you take that from my closet?" But we do
like similar things.
do you think about people dissecting your style online?
donít go seeking it out but if youíre on Twitter, itís
hard to avoid. Iíve been doing this long enough I donít
let it affect me that much. But of course, Iím human.
If people are loving something you are wearing, you are
going to feel good about it. And if they hate it, itís
going to make you feel, uh-oh.
been working with stylist Johnny Wujek for 10 years.
What do you two consider when dressing for a red carpet
depends. Usually heíll say, "What are you in the
mood for?" If Iím feeling particularly girlie, he
will say, "Letís go and see what Valentino has or
letís see what Dior has," since those are more
feminine looks. If Iím feeling more edgy, maybe itís
Prada. Or sometimes we think about a theme we want to do
for a press tour to make it more fun. And he always
knows white is my favorite color to wear.
were the Invisible Woman costumes? From the promo shots,
it looks like a lot of leather.
probably seen our containment suits. Theyíre not
leather. I donít know what itís called, but itís
very stretchy and thicker than spandex. The only
annoying thing was that to go to the restroom, you
needed help, because there were three zippers just to
make it look like there were none. But it was actually a
very comfortable suit, and you didnít have to wear any
sort of Spanx underneath.
done work for the Humane Society and Oceana. How did you
become involved in those causes?
all started with the 2013 documentary
"Blackfish" (about killer whales in
captivity). I was shooting a movie, and
("Blackfish") was on CNN and I watched it and
was so moved that I was hunting down the directorís
thought about what I could do to help. So I reached out
to a T-shirt designer friend of mine named Dana Veraldi,
who has a line called DeerDana based in New York. She
draws these awesome caricatures of people, animals and
things like that. I thought maybe sheíd be interested
in designing one of Tilly, the whale from
"Blackfish, and giving the money to some sort of
nonprofit. Thatís where it started. She designed the
"Free Tilly" shirt, and I was connected to
Oceana through Ted Danson, who is a friend and does a
lot of work with that organization. Since then, Iíve
become friends with Gabriela Cowperthwaite, the filmís
director, and she introduced me to the Humane Society.
But it all started with "Blackfish."