Kate Mara Recalls Having a “Horrendous” Experience on Set of Fantastic Four

Kate Mara revealed she had a “horrible” time playing the first female superhero in Marvel's Fantastic Four, and hinted that it had to do with gender dynamics.

By Lindsay Weinberg Nov 13, 2020 2:02 AMTags
Watch: Jamie Bell Reveals Ideal Date Night With Kate Mara

To an outsider, it might seem like Kate Mara struck gold when she was cast in Fantastic Four.

Her role as the first female superhero for Marvel came soon after her breakout in House of Cards. Fantastic Four allowed her to work alongside A-listers Miles Teller and Michael B. Jordan on set. Plus, she even ended up meeting her now-husband Jamie Bell, who played The Thing to her Invisible Woman.

But Kate recently revealed that she actually had a "horrible experience" while making the 2015 film. 

She told the Emmy Magazine, "I've never talked about it before. I married one of my co-stars, so I don't regret doing that movie at all. But do I wish I had responded differently to certain things? Yes, definitely."

The 37-year-old wouldn't reveal any specifics about her time as Sue Storm, except to say she had a bad encounter on one other film, and both might have been related to gender roles. 

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"The fact of the matter is that my two horrendous experiences with directors were male directors," she explained. "Have I not gotten along with a female director? Absolutely. And was it not the greatest work experience? Sure. But there was never a time that I felt, 'This is happening because I'm a woman.' Where with the male directors, it 100 percent was only happening with me; it was a power dynamic thing."

Ben Rothstein/20th Century Fox/Marvel/Kobal/Shutterstock

Kate added, "And on both of my bad experiences, the movies were 95 percent men and I was the only woman in the movie." (For the record, Josh Trank directed Fantastic Four.)

Then in an interview with Collider on Thursday, Nov. 12, she opened up about any regrets she has about the negativity on set.

"I should have followed my instincts more," Kate said. "Like when my gut was telling me, ‘You probably shouldn't let that slide, what that person just said,' or if you're feeling a certain way about what an energy is like and how that is affecting your performance."

Michael Buckner/Variety/Shutterstock

She now knows, "You have the right to speak up and say, ‘I'm actually not able to do what I am here to do because of X, Y and Z.'"

The A Teacher actress explained why she tolerated some things that made her feel "uneasy." Since she was in a "big superhero movie," she believed "even if it's challenging" that "it's probably good for you to do it."

She clarified, "I don't regret doing it at all, but do regret not having stood up for myself."

It turns out that her relationship with her 1-year-old daughter has affected how she views the scenario and how she will use her own voice going forward.

The mom said, "If my daughter ended up acting and was in a situation like that where she felt like she couldn't speak up–meanwhile, I'm a pretty tough person and I really do advocate for myself... if I was in that situation today, it just wouldn't have happened or it just would have been a different environment." 

Courtesy 20th Century Fox

For now, she's chalking it up to a "good learning experience." Part of that lesson involves her reaching out to trusted co-stars to ask their opinions about a director or producer before signing onto a project.

The Pose alum added, "I always say, if anyone ever wants to ask me about my experiences on things, then please do." She believes "if you're in a position where you can make a choice" about a part, then always do your research first.

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