EDITORíS NOTE: The following interview
originally appeared in the April 8, 2010 edition of the Santa Monica Mirror
and the edited version is being reprinted as a courtesy of that publication.
A Moment With Carey
Mulligan By Beverly Cohn
The sublime Carey Mulligan.
Photo Credit: Beverly Cohn
arey Mulligan is a beautiful, articulate, charming young woman. Her
breakout role in An Education earned her an Actress in a
Leading Role Oscar nomination. The theme of lost virginity,
is also in her latest film, "The Greatest," in which she co-stars
with Pierce Brosnan and Susan Sarandon. The story is about a young woman
who becomes pregnant by her boyfriend who dies and the subsequent impact
she has on his grieving family. The following interview has been edited
for print purposes.
Q: You lost your virginity in your
last two roles. Is this going to be a recurring theme?
Mulligan: In An Education its never actually
seen and is motivated by completely different reasons. I dont
think shes ever in love with David (character in An Education)
but she made a decision to lose her virginity and goes through with
it. With my Rose character, she believes that Ryan is the greatest love
of her life. Hes her first love and she believes they will spend
the rest of their lives together.
Q: Do you think its challenging for the audience
to see the love scenes?
Mulligan: I am reluctant to take off my clothes, but
the way it was shot, it was not gratuitous. It was very pure and sweet.
The remembering of that one special night was in her head and everything
was beautiful and colorful and perfect and she will keep that memory
forever. The audience had to see it, especially because she is carrying
Johnny Simmons (Ryan) & Carey Mulligan (Rose).
Photo Credit: Paladin
Q: How great do you think the death of Ryan impacted
Mulligan: It wasnt as though she lost a member
of her family. She didnt have a lot of memories with Ryan, but
I can well imagine how terrifying it must be to go to a grieving family
and tell them youre carrying their dead sons baby.
Q: Do you draw on your personal experiences in developing
Mulligan: I dont use emotional recall or my own
life. Without sounding ridiculous or pretentious, I create a person.
I make up a history of the characters life, including memories,
images and things that are special to that person and then use that
profile in building my character. Besides being more honest, it makes
me bolder because I would do things as the character that I would never
do as Carey.
Q: Did this method of developing a character grow out
of an acting experience that you had?
Mulligan: I use to draw from my own life. When I did
Pride & Prejudice, I had to do a scene where I cried and
I spent three hours imaging my moms funeral. I imagined coffins
and all sorts of terrible things to try to conjure up the tears and
did that for a couple of years. It was really horrible and untruthful
because I was basing my characters on experiences connected to me, not
to the character and it became more about how I would act, not how this
person would act.
Pierce Brosnan with Carey Mulligan who plays Rose,
girlfriend of his late son.
Photo Credit: Paladin
Q: You shot the film in 23 days. Did you like that fast
Mulligan: Yes. I wouldnt necessarily do it in
every film. It was a low-budget film with a small cast so we didnt
have trailers and were thrust together most of the time both on and
off the set. You have to be prepared to work as you only get four or
five takes and then have to move on so it makes the other actors listen
and to try to help each other. I had to do this scene with Pierce where
I tell him Im pregnant but when I woke up that morning, I had
forgotten how to act. We tried a few takes but I couldnt get it.
Pierce could see how I was struggling because after every take, I would
swear to myself, getting a little actorey. Half way through
the third take, I got to the point where I should have been at the beginning,
so he flipped back and said the first line and we started the scene
Q: Was there one moment in your childhood when you decided
you wanted to be an actor?
Mulligan: I dont know because I started acting
when I lived in Germany. I was six and was one of the kids in a school
production of The King & I. I loved it and just kept doing
it. Until I was fourteen, I wanted to do musical theatre, but realized
that I wasnt good enough so I decided to go into straight acting
and got my first professional job when I was eighteen, which was Pride
Q: What did you love about your character?
Mulligan: The thing that I liked about Rose was that
she has a generosity of spirit. She walks into this family trying to
find a base, but defers to their grief as she soon understands she is
there to facilitate their recovery. The reason she wants to tell Pierces
character about the love she and his son had, was that her greatest
fear is that someone will trivialize what happened, like it was young
love and didnt mean anything.
Q: Is there any truth to the Emma Thompson rumor that
you will be doing Eliza Doolittle and is there any danger in being compared
to Julie Andrews or Audrey Hepburn who originated the stage and screen
Mulligan: I honestly dont know. (The answer
is a bit confusing since "My Fair Lady" is listed as being
in pre-production with Mulligan in the role of Eliza Doolittle.)
I think with every remake people feel a connection to the actors who
originated the roles. I dont think you should put yourself up
against other actresses, but just do the best you can to nail it.
Q: We look forward to seeing you in Oliver Stones
Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.
Mulligan: Thank you. It was quite an extraordinary experience
working with him.
Let Bev know what you think about her traveling adventure.
* * * * *
Thanks so much for those lovely tourism photos, especially of
Ireland. I certainly enjoyed all the places you suggested, and am working towards
my next vacation. Dont forget Cuba. Thats an exciting place.
Rosalie, Los Angeles
Enjoyed your article on Mira Sorvino. Such an interesting background
family, education, career and now human rights activist. I'm not a gossip
mag fan so getting more meaty news about movie celebrities from you gives me
hope that there are some inteligent life forms in Hollywood.
Peter Paul, Pasadena, CA
Thank you, Bev. This reminded me to go see the movie, "An
Education," which I had already almost forgotten about, having seen the
preview a few weeks ago. I enjoy this actress quite a bit--she has a uniqueness
about her and she pulls me in. I enjoyed this.
Sandeee, Seattle, WA
Thank you Beverly,I really enjoyed reading about your intimate
conversation with Forest, of whom I am a great admirer. I look forward to seeing
the film "Our Family Wedding."
Yoka, Westlake Village, CA
Thank you for the sending me the beautiful article you wrote
about Ireland. We will use your recomendations for hotels in the Southern part.
We plan to also go to Dublin and some other Northern cities so I will get some
recommendations for these from others. After reading your article, I am getting
more excited about going. I think we will be in Ireland for 8 days altogether.
Leah Mendelsohn, Santa Monica, CA
Very much enjoyed Ms. Cohn's article about Munich, especially
the visuals. Though it has been 25 years since my last visit, the piece brought
back countless pleasant memories of the city and the people!! Many thanks.
Lawrence, Los Angeles
* * *
Marianplatz and that general area is truly one of the best Christmas
celebrations in the world. Between that and Oktoberfest (which I can only imagine)
Munich is one of the greatest cities in the world for major annual events.
Christopher Dale, New York, NY
Hi Bev, you have done some wonderful pieces on some great celebs...Great
work. The travel articles are just wonderful too.
Scott Mueller, Huntington Beach, CA
Your great Zurich article makes me want to go there for the
holidays! I love the photos, too, especially the ones of you in the sleigh,
the view over the houses and the zoo!
Anna Marie, Santa Monica, CA
* * *
Lovely article! As a European, and having been to Zurich (albeit
in summer) I can vouch for this lovely city. Great pictures, too!
Helene Robins, Santa Monica, CA
Nice review, nice seeing you, nice website interface "...Talk
to Bev" - Enjoy your Thanksgiving!
Richard D. Kaye, Marina del Rey, CA
Your interview with John Cusack is very interesting. I always
wondered why these actors/actresses always get top billing when really, if you
think about it, the real work come from the animators, writers and tech whizzes
who spend far more hours on the movie than those actors. I know, I know, it's
the all about marketing. The names of these actors are what bring in the big
bucks. Still, I think these actors are way overpaid for the "little"
that they do.
I remember that once upon a time, the early animation classics
never mentioned the voices behind the characters. I think it was only later
when Walt Disney tapped into the voices of known celebrities like Walter Matthau
in the Jungle Book or Zsa Zsa Gabor in The Rescuers that the voices became a
Keep up the good work. I enjoy your interviews as you peer into
the lives of the Hollywood celebrities.
Peter Paul of South Pasadena, CA
Eugene Chaplin Introduces Chaplin's World Museum
in Vevey, Switzerland
Lake Geneva/ Matterhorn Region and Switzerland Tourism
recently blew into Los Angeles with the most esteemed guest, Eugene Chaplin.
A man of remarkable lineage, he is the fifth child of Oona O'Neill and Sir
Charles Spencer "Charlie" Chaplin, the grandson of playwright
Eugene O'Neill, the brother of Geraldine Chaplin and father of actress/model
Treasures of Ireland: The Burren (Dispatch
The Palladian Traveler ventures back to the days
of fearless Celtic warriors to search for some "stones to take you
home" as he files his latest dispatch from the monochromatic moonscape
known as The Burren.
Buckingham Palace It's THE Most Popular Tour
in Great Britain (Part 2 of a 2-Part Series)
Is it more momentous for a Brit to do the Buckingham
Palace tour than say an American or indeed any other nationality? Yes, I
know that's an odd question, but if you grow up as I did in
London back in the 1950s, getting inside Buckingham Palace was the stuff
of dreams. Hence my surprise at touring BP in 2005.
Paradise on Earth: The Romance of
Tahiti and Her Islands
The first thing you notice is the fragrance. The intoxicating
perfume of the tiare flower announces to your senses that you are in a magical
place, overflowing with tropical vegetation and soothing trade winds. It
is the same fragrance that the English seamen on the HMS Bounty also first
encountered; but they came, not for flowers, but for breadfruit, intended
as a new food staple for their slaves in the West Indies.
Provence: As Much a Mood, a Spirit as a Destination
"On a Clear Day You Can See Forever" goes
the song. Robert Goulet sang it and Barbra Streisand and Johnny Mathis,
too, and it surely comes to mind when you stand on a bluff in the Luberon
of Provence and stare across at the little hill village of Gordes. The view
is the best part; the village's interior itself is not dramatic and stands
as a warning of what contemporary popularity can do to the simple homes
of 12th century working people.
Exploring Venice: Lost and Found. And Special Finds.
Walking home to our apartment in Venice, we share a
wave through the window with the owner of Baba, our local osteria. Leaving
for a day of sightseeing, a cup of my favorite pistachio gelato awaits me
despite the early hour. At the Bar Dugole, we relax after a day of sightseeing
and order the regular: vodka for my husband and Amaretto for me.
Traveling with Beautiful Boots and a Bison Backpack
People often asked about my favorite travel apparel and
gear. This happened to me at the airport recently. One question came as
I was putting back on my clothes after going through the TSA checkpoint
striptease. Before leaving the area, I heard a soft voice say, "hey,
I really like your boots. Where did you get them?" Looking up, I
found a uniformed employee staring at my feet.
Film Review: "My Hero Brother" A Tribute
to the Human Spirit
I just spent five days attending the Santa Barbara Film
Festival and for the most part, the features, animated shorts, and documentaries
were quite professional and compelling. That said, "My Hero Brother,"
a documentary that was particularly outstanding, told the remarkable and
inspiring story about a group of Down syndrome young men and women who
go on a two-week trek through the Himalayas with their non-Down syndrome
La Paz, Baja California Sur
Photographer Deb Roskamp focuses her camera on La Paz,
Baja California Sur. The resort property is CostaBaja, and the boat tours,
which include snorkeling at the UNESCO protected site, Isla Espiritu Santo,
were conducted by Fun Baja. The photographs are intended to speak for
Leviticus 20:13 Sent by Tom of Pasadena,
It all makes sense now. Gay marriage and marijuana
was legalized in the last election. Leviticus 20:13 states
"If a man lays with another man, he should be stoned..." We've
been interpreting it wrong all these years!