Rooney Mara plays Ruth who’s left to raise her daughter alone after her boyfriend and love of her life (Casey Affleck) gets sent to prison – partially for a crime she committed in the new film Ain’t Them Bodies Saints. Mara discussed the David Lawery-helmed project and working with Affleck in an exclusive interview with Uinterview.

Much of the press surrounding Ain’t Them Bodies Saints labels it as a story about a love triangle (among other things), but Mara disagrees. “Ruth wishes she could be with someone like Patrick. I think that she wants to want to be with someone like Patrick because her life would be easier,” Mara said. “I think… she has wanted to be with Bob since she was little and I think she’ll — a part of her will always want to be with him.”

Bob and Ruth spend very little time together on the screen, only appearing in a few scenes together prior to Bob’s imprisonment and one after his escape. Mara and Affleck filmed their scenes together after he’d wrapped the rest of his other scenes and Mara was just getting on set. For Mara, those days were the most pivotal and ultimately the most memorable for her.

“They were really important days for me because, you know, I have to spend the rest of the movie pining for him,” Mara told Uinterview exclusively. “And the little bit of screen time we get to share together is really important ’cause you have to kind of believe it enough so that it can carry that rest of the film.”

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo actress disappears just as well into the role of the heartsick single mother Ruth as she did with computer hacker Lisbeth Salander, which Mara accomplished by accessing what she sees as universal struggles. She mused, “I think everyone at some point has to deal with responsibility and growing up and or guilt and choosing between what you want and what’s right.”

Aint Them Bodies Saints is currently in limited release. It also stars Ben Foster and Dean Kane.

– Chelsea Regan

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