Anne Wotring – Dare to Think

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The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo

January 17, 2012

I just learned that the actress, Rooney Mara, used the Enneagram to play her character, Lisbeth Slander, in the currently-in-theaters, American version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

Rooney explains in an interview click here that the film’s director, David Fincher, suggested it. She played the role using the key characteristics of Type 5, which is commonly called the Observer. Basically, this type of person prefers being alone in their heads with books and computer to being with people. I have read – and love – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo trilogy and absolutely agree that Salander has the Type 5 Enneagram framework. Another look at Type 5 is the Mark Zuckerberg character in the award-winning The Social Network.

Judith Searle, an actor, acting teacher, and Enneagram researcher, analyzed Best Actor and Actress Oscar winners over the years and found that the winning roles were played within the bounds of one particular Enneagram type. In other words, the characters were true to human nature and consequently audiences respond to them.

I had the pleasure of working with acting students at American University this past fall semester — thanks to Dr. Gail Humphries and Jude Marston — helping them find their character’s Enneagram type in the play, Talking With by Jane Martin. The play is a series of short monologues, so the actors have only 5 minutes on stage to convey what makes their character tick. A huge challenge.

The Enneagram’s powerful wisdom on how human’s operate enabled these actors to grab their character’s essence. This made for absolutely believable and superb performances. This talented troupe is now off to Moscow to perform the play there. Best wishes to them!

Meantime, I can’t wait to see Rooney Mara as The Girl!