Entertainment & Arts

Scarlett Johansson 'too distracting' for Tattoo role

Scarlett Johansson
Image caption Johansson's films roles include Lost In Translation and Vicky Cristina Barcelona

Film director David Fincher says he turned down Scarlett Johansson for the lead role in his adaptation of Girl With A Dragon Tattoo because he audiences would find her distracting.

He told Vogue magazine that Johansson had given "a great audition" as the sociopathic heroine Lisbeth Salander.

"But the thing with Scarlett is, you can't wait for her to take her clothes off."

The role, which required harrowing sex scenes, eventually went to Rooney Mara.

The relatively unknown Mara, 26, had a brief role in Fincher's Oscar-winning Facebook film The Social Network before being cast in Dragon Tattoo.

Image caption Rooney Mara will play Salander in US version of the film trilogy

Playing Salander - a violence-prone computer hacker - required the actress to undergo a striking physical transformation, shaving her hair, bleaching her eyebrows and piercing her face several times over.

"The eyebrows were the biggest shock because that really changed my face, and I didn't recognise myself," she said.

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, based on Stieg Larsson's best-selling thriller, is due for release in the UK on 26 December.

Larsson died in 2004, a year before the first of his Millennium trilogy crime novels was published.

A Swedish adaptation of the series was released in the UK last year.

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