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Posted Tue, January 15, 2013 10:48am EDT

Rooney Mara: Walking The Red Carpet Is ‘A Nightmare’

The star has landed her second ‘Vogue’ cover! Inside the February 2013 issue, she opens up about her latest film, (in which she stars opposite Channing Tatum), and discusses why walking the red carpet requires a lot of planning.

Rooney Mara, 27, first caught our attention when she walked the red carpet promoting her work in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. Even though the star was a newcomer, she had a very distinct look — it was dark and edgy yet she totally owned it! While it appeared so natural, apparently developing her red carpet style wasn’t as effortless as it seemed! The shy star, who dubs walking the red carpet, “a nightmare,” opens up about why she’s so uncomfortable with the process in the February 2013 issue of Vogue magazine.

Why Rooney Doesn’t Like Walking The Red Carpet:

“For Dragon Tattoo, I had eight different premieres, this many different photo calls. It’s a lot to plan for. It’s not like you can just show up. The thing is, it’s kind of an annoying part of the job—because I’m not a model, and I don’t want to be. I didn’t try to be a style icon. I’m just not that interested in that world. But it does matter, and either I can fight that or I just have to accept that it is a part of my job, and I may as well wear things that I like and that represent me.”

While the star really took chances during awards season, showing off one high-fashion frock after another, Rooney cringes at the thought of walking the red carpet. It’s “a nightmare! It’s a panic attack waiting to happen. I don’t even like people to sing ‘Happy Birthday’ to me. When we wrap a film and everyone claps and cheers, I turn red. And then I have to walk out onto the middle of this carpet and there are all these photographers, and they’re all screaming at you. And usually there’s a party at the other end of it, so it’s not even like I have solace at the end of the carpet! It’s like then I have to walk into my other nightmare!”

Sure, stars may feel like there’s a lot of pressure on them when they step out in front of all the flashing cameras, but getting all dressed up in some of the most coveted frocks certainly doesn’t sound terrifying to me! However, Rooney isn’t the first shy star to admit that the whole experience can be overwhelming. In fact, she sounds a lot like Kirsten Stewart to me!

How She Prepared For Her Upcoming Role:

While the star may dread stepping out in the public eye, she’s gearing up to promote her latest project, Side Effects, where she plays the role of the wife of an insider trader, (played by Channing Tatum). In order to take on the role of an extremely depressed woman, the star spoke to psychologists and visited the psych ward at Manhattan’s Bellevue Hospital. “I think everyone has at some point in their lives been depressed, or at least sad,” she says. “I had a lot of anxiety growing up because I was so shy, so I could relate to that part of it. But severe clinical depression is a whole other thing, and I guess I never really knew how bad it can get.”

Katrina Mitzeliotis