Rooney Mara had her eyebrows bleached, her hair cut short and her lip, brow, nose and nipple pierced to portray her "Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" character, Lisbeth Salander.
"Lisbeth is the goth Pippi," director David Fincher told W magazine, which carried the report, referring to popular pig-tailed children's book character Pippi Longstocking.
The magazine features Mara on its cover and in other photos in several revealing poses, including one in which she appears topless. The actress sports the franchise's iconic dragon tattoo. The film is based on the first of the "Millennium" trilogy of crime novels by Swedish author Stieg Larsson and is set for release on Dec. 21, 2011.
Salander is a a superhacker, private investigator and rape survivor who helps Mikael Blomkvist, an investigative journalist played by James Bond actor Daniel Craig, tackle a freelance assignment by an elderly businessman who wants to find out what happened to his grand-niece.
A Swedish film adaptation of "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo" was released in 2009 and starred Noomi Rapace as Salander (pictured below, right).
Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails and songwriting partner Atticus Ross are set to compose the music for the U.S. version following the success of their soundtrack for the "Social Network," which also starred Rooney and was directed by Fincher.
Mara, born Patricia Rooney Mara, is a New York native and the great-granddaughter of New York Giants football team founder Tim Mara and great-granddaughter of Pittsburgh Steelers founder Art Rooney. The actress has also starred in movies such as the remake of "A Nightmare on Elm Street" in 2010 and had a recurring part on the medical drama "ER" in 2009.
"The Social Network" is up for three Golden Globe Award nods. The ceremony is set to take place on Sunday.