Sibling Face Off: Rooney Versus Kate Mara

Today is Girl With The Dragon Tattoo star Rooney Mara’s birthday, so we figured now was as good a time as any to pit her against older sister Kate in a head-to-head battle to determine, once and for all, WHO IS THE BEST MARA?!?!?

We’ve picked a few categories in which we can directly compare the work of the two Mara sisters, so without further ado, let the battle begin!

1. Law & Order: SVU appearance

In what has become an unspoken initiation into acting, every young actor must guest star on L&O. Like so many before them, Kate and Rooney made appearances on the show early in their careers. Kate played a gymnast with an eating disorder hiding the secret behind her friend’s murder. And Rooney starred in an episode called “Fat” as a girl who attacked fat people.

Kate barely edges out Rooney here. Rooney’s part is so ridiculous that it’s comical.

2. Lead role in a horror flick

Both actresses have varied film careers. Rooney practically came out of nowhere with The Social Network before jumping into darker films, such as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and Side Effects. Meanwhile Kate house bounced back and forth between TV and film with supporting roles in more popcorn fanfare like We Are Marshall and Entourage. But both share experience in doing horror. Kate starred in Urban Legends: Bloody Mary and Rooney almost quit acting thanks to her part in the remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street.

The win here goes to Rooney. Both are thankless roles but Rooney had more to work with in this high-budget remake that explored Freddy Krueger’s back story.

3. Movie with Channing Tatum

Another inevitability in a young actress’ career is co-starring with tireless Channing Tatum. Rooney landed screen time opposite of Tatum in Steven Soderbergh’s psychological thriller, Side Effects. Kate appeared in 10 Years, an ensemble comedy about a high school reunion.

There’s no question that Rooney pulls ahead here. 10 Years was originally shelved but released due to Tatum’s unending charm and success at the box office. Sorry Kate.

4. Jimmy Fallon appearance

So after all the movies comes the subsequent late night show appearances. Both hung out with Jimmy during PR blitzes. Rooney shared some rare happy emotions when talking about sitting on Santa’s lap. Meanwhile, Kate was bubbly and cute as she promoted House of Cards and admitted she loved binge-watching TV.

Rooney takes the lead here, showcasing a softer side.

5. Fashion at the “House Of Cards” premiere

Each sister’s red carpet looks could be debated for weeks. When limited to the Houses of Cards premiere it’s easier to compare their actual looks. Ever since she shot Dragon Tattoo, Rooney has preferred to stick with darker elements of style often looking as cold as her on screen persona. Kate chose to go with a more elegant look here that works for her shape and personality. Generally, Kate is a bit more fun while Rooney tends to be a bit more sophisticated.

Based on this red carpet alone, Kate takes the win. Her look is far more appealing.

6. Musical moment

When they’re not acting, they out having a little fun. Both have a dabbled a little in music. Rooney made a surprised appearance on guitar at The Black Lips’ 2012 SXSW gig. Kate, on the other hand, has sang at two NFL games, which she (thanks to her family’s connections) is a huge fan.

Both are cool in their right but shredding guitar is just way cooler. Bonus points for swigging Jack Daniels on stage.

7. Boyfriend

Okay, as far as boyfriend material goes, it’s a toss up here. On one hand, there is Rooney’s scruffy boytoy Charlie McDowell, author of the new book, Dear Girls Above Me. On the other is Max Minghella, who is Kate’s clean cut boyfriend and Rooney’s co-star in The Social Network.

Going with a draw. Both men have appeals for looks and smarts but it’s really personal preference even if beards should always win.


So that’s 2 for Kate and 3 for Rooney with 1 draw for boyfriends. It was a close face-off but Rooney gets it here and not just because it was her birthday. My money was on Kate.

[Photos: Getty Images]