Eva Gabrielsson says Larsson’s politics and feminism is being overlooked – even by Rooney Mara

Eva Gabrielsson, the longtime partner of Stieg Larsson, has made her displeasure over the use of Larsson’s legacy known almost constantly since his death, when Larsson’s brother and father were given control over his estate despite her life partnership with the writer. She has spoken out to the media and in her memoir against Larsson’s family, against the Swedish laws denying her rights, and now against the new David Fincher film adaptation of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (to which she declined an early screening invitation).

Eva Gabrielsson for the AP, Photo by FREDRIK PERSSON / SCANPIX / SCANPIX SWEDEN

In a latest attempt to uphold her steady vision of Larsson’s morals and intentions – and those of his characters – Gabrielsson told the AP last week that Larsson wouldn’t have approved of merchandise being linked to his story, as it has been through H&M’s Dragon Tattoo Collection, inspired by Lisbeth Salander and designed by Trish Summerville, the costume designer for Fincher’s movie.

In that same story, Eva insisted that Larsson would have instead used the buzz around his work to call attention to the central issues of discrimination and violence against women. “We would never have sold any rights for merchandising,” Gabrielsson said. “It has nothing to do with books.”

She expressed concern that the political dimension of Larsson’s books, including the feminist undertones, is being overlooked by the recent movie and its hype. She claims Larsson wanted to show that gender imbalances exist even in Sweden, one of the world’s most egalitarian societies.

Rooney Mara, who plays Lisbeth Salander in the Hollywood movie, suggested at a news conference last month that Salander isn’t a feminist, and doesn’t see herself as part of any group or subculture. “Does she know what film she has been in?” Gabrielsson said, disbelievingly. “Has she read the books? Has she not had any coaching?” Eva insisted that Salander’s “entire being represents a resistance, an active resistance to the mechanisms that mean women don’t advance in this world and in worst case scenarios are abused like she was.”

What do you think? Does the movie accurately reflect Larsson’s novel? Is Gabrielsson right to keep bringing up the political and social concerns of his work? Or is this a fight that it’s time to give up?

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This entry was posted in Eva Gabrielsson, Lisbeth Salander, Media, Stieg Larsson, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo movie and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to Eva Gabrielsson says Larsson’s politics and feminism is being overlooked – even by Rooney Mara

  1. Henry says:

    Eva is right. Despite Lisbeth never explictly saying she was a feminist, if you as a reader have any insight at all, you would know that Larsson meant for his story and his main character to be feminist. Some people just refuse that fact because they think they can define what a feminist or feminism is supposed to be.

    • Rooney Mara is bound to say she was an actor playing Lisbeth Salander, a character with a backstory and her own motivations, and not Lisabeth Salander, feminist avatar. It is not the job of the actor to provide the cultural context for the character (feminism), that is for the writer to write and the audience to deduce on their own. Also, I would not be surprised at all to discover that she was coached by her studio handlers and the production press agents to deflect any connection of her performance to feminism in inteviews where it can be picked up and used out of context. “Feminism” is a hot button topic; cultural conservatives and their watchdog media action groups will pan this movie anyway, but getting a quote affirming as such from the actor who played the character would just create a whole new narrative that could damage the film commercially.

    • Valanzola says:

      too many people are ignoring the fact that this subject is open to interpretation. just because someone doesn’t agree with your opinion, or Fincher’s interpretation or Larsson’s original vision doesn’t mean that person has zero insight.

      what’s so hard about defining feminism? if it’s so hard, why is it so easy for you to apply it to Salander?

      • zaynexxvi says:

        Because she understood Larsson. I agree with you. The main point here is that everyone see this form their own points of view, It’s completely normal that Gabrielsson thinks that the movie has nothing to do, I think that is beacuse they (Stieg an Eva) wanted the books to be teaching the main issue ( violence against women) and Fincher liked the story and make the movie from his own point of view. Also, Rooney has no fault of thinking that Salander is not a feminist because she isn’t an activist or she didn’t tell she was, but I don’t find where she has said that.

  2. Pingback: Steig Larsson | Bell Book Candle

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  4. ers says:

    Rooney Mara may not be conscious of the cultural meaning of what she has done, but she did an outstanding job of portraying Lisbeth Salander. And Lisbeth Salander is most definitely a feminist.

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