Oscar Nominee Rooney Mara: The New Audrey Hepburn?

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Every year, some gamine, non-blonde actress with big eyes (Natalie Portman, Anne Hathaway, Emma Watson et al.) is inevitably likened to Audrey Hepburn. Enter: Rooney Mara, 2012. Though not an entirely obvious comparison, Hepburn and Mara might have more in common than unwavering stares and enviable cheekbones. Tomboyish and brunette, Audrey was a refreshing alternative to fifties pinup stars Lana Turner and Marilyn Monroe, and Rooney certainly stands out for her non-conformist goth-princess vibe.

Both actresses became superstars seemingly overnight. Hepburn’s 1953 breakout role in Roman Holiday – as a princess gone AWOL – earned the previously obscure beauty an Oscar for Best Actress; Mara has the chance to make that happen this year. Hepburn didn’t have to pierce her nipple to play Princess Ann, but let’s not forget that in her later role in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, she actually portrayed a high-class hooker, so Hepburn was obviously not afraid to take some risks. Just as Truman Capote envisioned Marilyn Monroe for the role of Holly Golightly, Scarlett Johansson auditioned for the role of Lisbeth Salander; both Hepburn and Mara won out over bombshell blondes for their respective roles.

One thing at least seems certain in the history of Other Actresses Compared to Audrey-Hepburn: None but Mara share her baffling ability to turn crazy bangs into style statements.

See our slideshow for a complete comparison of the actresses' looks.

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