In 2015, she was in the middle of a whitewashing scandal after being cast as Princess Tiger Lily in Pan, a character that is Native American both in J.M. Barrie's novel and Walt Disney's adaptation.
'The Wrong Side Of The Controversy'
In the face of the public's reaction, she's been trying to distance herself from the role:
"I really hate, hate, hate that I am on that side of the whitewashing conversation. I really do. I don’t ever want to be on that side of it again. I can understand why people were upset and frustrated.”
'Pan' Was A Box Office Flop
Aside from the casting controversy, Pan was a flop at the box office and failed to recoup its $150 million budget. Directed by Joe Wright (Anna Karenina, Atonement), it earned mostly unfavorable reviews, with ratings as low as 26% on Rotten Tomatoes.
This year, the Academy sparked a heated debate about diversity in its nominations by selecting only white nominees in the major categories. Consequently, movies like Straight Outta Compton and Beasts Of No Nation were expected to be nominated but didn't make the cut.
Mara Nominated For 'Carol'
While celebrities such as Jada Pinkett Smith have called for a boycott of the Oscars, Mara says she will be present at this year's ceremony, as she has been nominated for her role as Therese Belivet in Carol. She won't say anything more about whitewashing, though:
“Here is the thing, I have a lot to say and I have very strong opinions about it, but it is such a sensitive issue I don’t want to reduce it to a sound bite.”
It's a safe attitude when you consider, for example, the tricky statement made by nominee Charlotte Rampling, who suggested that "perhaps the black actors didn't merit being on the finishing line" at the Oscars.
Do you think that having Mara play Tiger Lily was a mistake?