| 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
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.