Kate Mara talks to Women’s Health

On-screen chameleon, unapologetic clothes horse, all-round risk taker – Kate Mara refuses to be typecast

Kate Mara is our April cover girl!

House of Cards creator Beau Willimon has reportedly raved about her fearlessness and US designer Gilles has said she’s a dream to dress because “she likes to dare”.

That’s a recent development for the 31-year-old actress, who says she “dressed to disappear” at school, where she graduated a year early.

In fact, Kate admits, she’d routinely pull her long auburn hair back into a ponytail because she worried that wearing it down would be “too showy”.

How far she’s come. After fetchingly chopping her locks last year, she made lob (you know, long bob) a household word.

Ever since her character, Zoe Barnes, was unceremoniously shoved in front of a train in the second season premiere of Cards, Kate’s been seemingly MIA.

Well, from here on out, prepare for a Mara-thon with three movies, including a role as Sue Storm in the new Fantastic Four movie, set for release later this year.

So how does this superhero to be stay healthy and happy?

According to Kate, the pals who make her inner circle have a big impact on her health and wellbeing.

Actress Jenna Dewan Tatum put her onto nutritionist Kimberly Snyder’s The Beauty Detox Solution, leading her to eliminate both gluten and animal products.

“I’d been a vegetarian years before, for animal- rights reasons, but after [reading] Kimberly’s book, it really clicked for me,” she says.

Kate also loves working out with friends, but she doesn’t need a workout buddy to drag her out of bed: before our 9am interview she’s already run nine kilometers and she’s headed to a barre class afterwards.

“It takes a lot to make me sweat,” she says. “I can’t just take a regular yoga class; it has to be hot yoga [at a studio] that’s playing music,” she says.

“I have to work out at least five times a week for my mental state. If I didn’t work out, I wouldn’t be happy.”

Find out how Kate keeps her fitness interesting, how she spends her rest days and what’s on the horizon for 2015 in the April issue of Women’s Health, on sale now!

Inside our April issue!