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Q&A: Kate Mara

Posted: Friday October 6, 2006 3:20PM; Updated: Friday October 6, 2006 6:05PM
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Kate Mara
Kate Mara
Courtesy of Warner Bros.
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Last week SI writer Richard Deitsch interviewed actress Kate Mara (We Are Marshall) for the magazine's Q&A. The 23-year-old is the great-granddaughter of New York Giants founder Tim Mara and Steelers founder Art Rooney. Here are additional excepts from the interview.

SI: So are the Giants going to show up for the first half one of these days?

Mara: I can't believe you went there on the first question. We had a rough game against Seattle, but then we had a bye [last week]. So we're resting, and then it's going to be awesome. Watch out.

SI: What was a typical Sunday like for you growing up?

Mara: We'd go to church and pray that we'd win and that whoever was injured would get well soon. Then we would drive to Giants Stadium. We usually get there three hours early. We hang out in the [owner's] box beforehand. It's sort of our own tailgate thing, but not quite as rowdy as the people outside. We're all pretty calm before the game.

SI: Has a player ever asked you out?

Mara: Yes.

SI: Did you say no?

Mara: I said yes. But you didn't ask me if he was in the NFL.

SI: Was he in the NFL?

Mara: At the time he was not, but at this time he is. And it was only one date. And, no, I'm not telling you his name (laughs).

SI: As someone who grew up in a football family, do you feel a connection with the story behind We Are Marshall, the 1970 plane crash that killed 45 players and staff members from the school's football team?

Mara: I'm not even going to pretend to understand what it feels like to go through something like that. But I do understand the importance of football in a town or in a family. I can relate to that and to the way football brings people together. I wanted other people who don't necessarily have it in their lives to feel it. When I read the script, I just felt like I understood it.

SI: You are starting a team today. Pick one Manning.

Mara: Eli. Come on! I am so loyal.

SI: You have a grandfather and two great-grandfathers in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Have you been to Canton?

Mara: No, and I regret it to this day. When my Grandpa Wellington was inducted I was doing a play. It was a community play, but I know for a fact that if you could ask him today, he would have told me to stay. I think he would have told me to do the show. But I regret to this day that I wasn't there. I have seen it. My family brought me the tapes but it's just not the same. Every year when they have the induction ceremony I watch it on the TV and it's bittersweet. It's incredible to me that so many of my family members are in the Hall of Fame. That's my one regret, and I believe in no regrets.

SI: Be honest: When it comes to the Eagles, would you use the word hate?

Mara: Yep.

SI: How many people are in your box?

Mara: It's gotten bigger and bigger throughout the years because my family keeps growing and growing. There's 41 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. There are a lot of babies in the family, but most of us are old enough to want to watch the game. We started out with one owner's box and now we have four. But we always try to keep the original box where my Grandma sits. Frank Gifford sits there all the time with us too. You can't really get too crazy in there unless my grandmother is going crazy. One of the boxes is the kids' box. All the grandchildren go in there. And then the third box is usually for friends. There's a fourth box across the stadium as well. My dad and my uncle John and my Grandpa when he was alive would all sit by themselves. They would never sit with the women. They would never sit with us. They sat literally across the stadium in their own box. I've actually never even been in that box (laughs). My dad has seven sisters and they are all intense.

SI: If the Giants are playing the Steelers, who do you root for?

Mara: You have to realize who you are asking this of. If I actually said I was rooting for the Giants, there would be hell to pay. So I root for both offenses. Or I root for whoever has a better chance to make the Super Bowl.

SI: Have you ever tried to influence a trade?

Mara: (laughs) No, but maybe I'll try next year.

SI: When you are not working, how many games do you go to?

Mara: I plan on going to almost every one this season. Last year I was working a lot and I missed a lot of the games and that's really hard. I hate being in Los Angeles when it's football season. I want to be in New York. It just doesn't feel right if I'm away. I feel like I should be with my family, and it's so hard watching football games in the morning in L.A. So I'll try to go to all the games and the away games, too.

SI: You've sung the national anthem prior to Giants games many times. For a while you were a good-luck charm. What happened?

Mara: I started when I was 16. They would try to get me to sing Opening Day every year. Then if we were in the playoffs, I'd try to sing at every home playoff game. Yeah, I was the good-luck charm for a while.

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