Kate Mara Had a 'Horrible Experience' on Fantastic Four: 'I Regret Not Having Stood Up for Myself'

Kata Mara opens up about "horrendous experiences" with male directors

Kate Mara wearing Hiraeth arrives at the Animal Equality's Inspiring Global Action Los Angeles Gala 2018
Photo: Splash News

Kate Mara is getting real about her negative experience making 2015's Fantastic Four.

The actress starred in the widely-panned movie as the superhero, The Invisible Woman, and she's now ready to talk about her time on set with director Josh Trank. (The film boasts just a 9 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and made only $167 million worldwide.)

"I had a horrible experience on Fantastic Four," she said in an interview with the Television Academy late last month. "I've never talked about it before. I married one of my costars, so I don't regret doing that movie at all. But do I wish I had responded differently to certain things? Yes, definitely."

Mara and costar Jamie Bell, who played The Thing in the film, started dating in 2015 after meeting on set and married in 2017. The two welcomed a daughter in 2019 and Mara is stepmom to Bell's 7-year-old son with ex-wife Evan Rachel Wood.

"The fact of the matter is that my two horrendous experiences with directors were male directors," she added. "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.

"And on both of my bad experiences, the movies were 95 percent men and I was the only woman in the movie."

Fantastic Four also starred Michael B. Jordan as The Flame and Miles Teller as Mr. Fantastic.

Jamie Bell, Kate Mara, Miles Teller, Michael B. Jordan Fantastic Four
20th Century Fox/Marvel/Kobal/Shutterstock

In a follow-up interview with Collider this week, Mara explained why she regretted not standing up for herself during the making of the box office failure.

“I think that the thing that I always go back to on that one is that I think I should have followed my instincts more," she 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. You’re being paid to do a certain thing and if something is in the way of that, 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.’”

“I think that speaking up is something that I think that we all probably learn it over and over again, to follow your instincts and if you’re feeling a certain thing that is uneasy or whatever, there’s a reason for it," she continued. "And I don’t regret doing it at all, but do regret not having stood up for myself. I regret that for sure."

As for Trank, who had only directed one other movie prior to working on Fantastic Four (2012’s Chronicle, which also starred Jordan), he has admitted he may not have been experienced enough to direct a movie of its size.

“I was 29 years old, making my second film, in a situation more complicated than anything a 2nd time filmmaker should’ve walked into,” he said in 2019, adding that even though the film wasn’t successful, he doesn’t "regret any of it."

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