The hype machine for David Fincher’s Girl With the Dragon Tattoo adaptation hasn’t reached high gear yet, but it’s starting to hum now that we’re getting closer to the film’s Dec. 21 release date. We’ve had NSFW teaser posters, character images and a lengthy snippet of the film’s soundtrack, produced by The Social Network Oscar winners Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross. Now, a new shot of Rooney Mara as Goth computer hacker Lisbeth Salander has emerged as part of EW’s upcoming Fall Movie Preview (on stands Aug. 12). We’ve pasted it below:

In the interview, Mara elaborates on the controversial poster, the film’s brutal rape scene, and Fincher’s drawn-out audition process.

“I was like, ‘You have to decide. Either you think I’m the girl or you don’t. There’s not much more I can do to prove it to you,’” Mara said. “I went in there sort of ready to fight. I was pissed. But David sat me down and gave me this long speech about the part. Then he handed me his iPad, and it had the press release on it. He said, ‘I’m prepared to send this out. You have half an hour to let me know if you want the part.’”

Of course, she accepted, and later found herself standing topless in front of Daniel Craig for the teaser poster. “I was supportive of it. I understand why there was a lot of controversy. People have a hard time with strong females and with nudity,” Mara said. “But I think had I been doing something incredibly violent on the poster, people wouldn’t have had a problem with it. That sort of says a lot about the world that we live in. It’s just a teaser poster. I think it did just that. It teased people.”

And titillated people. But the films’ rape scene will not. Mara calls it “incredibly intense,” saying they worked 16 hours a day during the Valentine’s Day shoot. “But it’s such an important scene. We wanted to do everything we could to get that right.”

Fincher being a perfectionist for a crucial scene? That sounds about right.

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