While on duty promotingÂ her new military drama,Â Megan Leavey, Kate Mara rocked a sexyÂ Zuhair Murad mini to the filmâ€™s premiere and a pink Alice + Olivia suit earlier in the day duringÂ press rounds.
Yes, when it comes to red carpets, Mara generally picks winners and doesnâ€™t skimp on the glam. But not so in real life.
â€œI donâ€™t dress like this on a regular basis. Iâ€™m in sweatpants. I wish I made that effort,â€ Mara clarifies to Yahoo Style.
When sheâ€™s at home with her fiancÃ©, Jamie Bell, â€” Mara already has her wedding dress picked out â€”Â the actress keeps things super-casual. Enviably so.
â€œIâ€™m typically in sweatpants. The amount of sweatpants I own is remarkable. I own more sweatpants than I do regular jeans. I probably have about 15 pairs,â€ she says. â€œTheyâ€™re all pretty much black or gray. Theyâ€™re not designer sweats.â€
Mara is all about maintaining comfort in her day-to-day life and agrees that thereâ€™s something truly magical about the drawstring. For her, thereâ€™s aÂ bottom for every occasion.
â€œIâ€™ll change my sweatpants to put on different sweatpants. You have the kind you work out in, the kind you lounge around in, and the kind you sleep in, so I change them throughout the day,â€ she says. â€œWhen I work out, I do Pilates or ballet, so Iâ€™m in leggings. Most of my friends are just lazing around in their sweats. But when you go out to dinner, you make an effort.â€
Thereâ€™s a no-frills authenticity to Mara, a quality she brings to playingÂ Marine Cpl. Megan Leavey in her new film. LeaveyÂ is assigned to a K-9 unit, where she winds up training, and connecting with, a problem dog.
Given that she was already in solid shape, Mara didnâ€™t have to undergo any kind of massive physical transformation to play the Marine, meaning there was no bulking up. â€œThe harder training was everything else you had to learn as a Marine: how to handle your weapon, how to march,â€ she says.
The canine in the film also had a major learning curve. â€œAll the training I had with the dog â€”Â the dog we had hired had never done anything like this before. It was his first movie. I had no idea what I was doing, either. It bonded us quicker,â€ says Mara, an animal lover who says her own dogs will be part of her wedding.
Not every part of filming was seamless. Mara initially cut her hair to play Megan, a decision she came to regret. â€œThey then decided they wanted me with long hair. So I had extensions, the kind that stay in for months. Itâ€™s the most painful, uncomfortable, horrible thing. If I never had to do it again, Iâ€™d be very happy,â€ she says.
â€œTo be fair, Iâ€™ve played a few characters who donâ€™t do much hair and makeup, which is so nice. You donâ€™t have to spend that extra time in the makeup trailer. Itâ€™s always refreshing,â€ says Mara. â€œAnd to keep it as real and honest as possible is important, and they definitely did that with this movie.â€
Keeping it real hasnâ€™t been an issue for Mara, whose ambitious reporter Zoe Barnes was thrown under a Metro by Frank UnderwoodÂ in Season 2Â of House of CardsÂ â€”Â a moment that resurfaced on the fifth season of the show, now streaming. Mara, who began acting in school plays as a kid, is the granddaughter of New York Giants founder Tim Mara and Pittsburgh Steelers founder Art Rooney.
Next up for Mara is the release of Chappaquiddick, which looks into the 1969 car crash that killedÂ RobertÂ Kennedyâ€™s smart, outgoing campaign aide Mary Jo Kopechne â€”Â who died in a vehicle driven by Ted Kennedy. He drove his car off a bridge, and didnâ€™t report the accident for 10Â hours. Mara plays Kopechne, and hasnâ€™t yet seen the film.
â€œI like how they handled it in the script. They treated her with a lot of respect and showed her as the brilliant mind that she was â€”Â thatâ€™s how it was relayed to me,â€ she says.
WorkÂ aside, Maraâ€™s next major production is her wedding. Sheâ€™s not precious about her personal life but is leery of revealingÂ too much because once itâ€™s out there, you canâ€™t take it back. Of course, that hasnâ€™t stopped a certain tabloid from linking her, of all people, to her first cousin, John Mara, something that Kate finds highly amusing but doesnâ€™t bother correcting officially.
â€œYou just have to try. There are certain things that youâ€™re OK with sharing â€”Â little things. Other things are off limits. If you want to keep things private, you canâ€™t broadcast them to the world constantly,â€ she says.
One thing that sheâ€™s happy to note, however, is that her faux Instagram feud with actress Ellen Page is just that. The two have been good friends for years, but on social media, Page laments that Mara ignores her â€” and Page recently thanked Mara for finally following her.
So, to address the massive elephant in the room, is Page invited to Maraâ€™s wedding?
â€œEllen Page has already RSVPâ€™d. Sheâ€™s one of my best friends. But how awkward would that be if she wasnâ€™t invited and you put that in the story?â€