Rooney Mara as Girl with the Dragon Tattoo on W Cover

Rooney Mara W magazine
Photo courtesy of W magazine
Rooney Mara as The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo on W magazine.

Watch yourself—Lisbeth Salander is in the house.

Actress Rooney Mara gets into character as The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo on the February cover of W's inaugural Movie Issue, offering the first look at the heroine of Stieg Larsson's Swedish thriller.

Photographed by Jean-Baptiste Mondino in Stockholm, the pierced and menacing Mara—who beat out the likes of Ellen Page and Emma Watson to replace Swedish actress Noomi Rapace for the English-language version of the film—pulls back her Burberry Prorsum leather jacket to reveal a "Salander" tattoo (courtesy of Temptu Pro) as blood seeps from her Stephen Webster–ring-laden fingers.

As if that weren't tough enough, the 25-year-old also pulls down her leather Burberry Prorsum pants to let a tattoo artist ink her bare bottom for another edgy shot.

So how did this doe-eyed beauty transform into a lean, mean fighting machine with antisocial tendencies?

According to W, director David Fincher ordered that her long brown hair be dyed black and chopped into a sort of spiky, asymmetrical crop.

"The bangs were cropped very short and uneven, and the rest of the hair was layered into an extended shag," says W writer Lynn Hirschberg.

"The final result was a mash-up of brazen '70s punk and spooky '80s goth with a dash of S&M temptress. That look, which could also describe Salander’s nature, was echoed in her wardrobe—a collection of ripped stockings, low garter belts, skintight leather, and heavy-soled boots."

Given that, it might come as a shock that the original style inspiration for the Salander character was fellow Scandinavian literary heroine Pippi Longstocking, she of the red pigtails.

"Lisbeth is the goth Pippi," says Fincher, who also had Mara bleach her eyebrows and get lip, nose, brow and nipple piercings.

“I didn’t even have pierced ears,” Mara tells W. “They put four holes in each ear, and, weirdly, that hurt the most. It was all very organized."

Throw in some four-alarm-fire smoky eyes and you've got yourself a screen queen.

For the full story, visit W magazine and pick up the February issue, which hits newsstands January 25.

Rooney Mara W Magazine

Photo courtesy of W magazine

Mara drops her Burberry Prorsum pants to get inked.