Carey Mulligan is fantastically busy right now, with Far From the Madding Crowd (trailer below) coming out in about a week, and starring in Skylight on Broadway.
She’s also on the cover of WSJ. Magazine’s May Style & Design Issue, and she opens up about early career struggles (like getting rejected from drama school), regrets she has about roles she has accepted and rejected, and much more.
The magazine also features a great photo shoot with Mulligan looking amazing in a kind of “elegant retro” style.
Check out the full article at WSJ here, but here are a few excerpts.
CAREY MULLIGAN ON:
Her teenage years when she wrote letters to celebrities whose talent she admired:
“I was such a weird, geeky kid. I wrote to Eminem and told him I thought his songs were amazing.”
Her husband, musician Marcus Mumford, keeping her down-to-earth:
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“It’s always nice to come home to someone who will tell you when it’s all bollocks. Because the minute you get to be like, ‘Oh, God, I’m nailing it, look how famous I am,’
you should give it up.’”
Making it a rule to never accept a part in the first meeting with a director:
“I used to be so eager and overenthusiastic that I would take jobs in the room. But that got me into a world of trouble. It got messy.”
Her family initially not supporting her dream to be an actress:
“My parents were really protective and didn’t think this was a particularly solid career. They didn’t exactly forbid me, but they wanted me to go to university. I had other plans...
We have this running joke in my family about how they were right. They say, ‘See, we told you that you were never going to make it.’ They have all proverbially eaten their hats.”
The confidence she’s gained over the years:
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“I used to walk into every rehearsal room and think, I hope I don’t get fired. Now I feel like I’m allowed to have an opinion.”
Taking the role in Suffragette and how that influenced her future decision-making:
“I just knew I couldn’t stand the idea of not being involved.
That’s how I make choices now—if I can’t sleep at night over the idea of someone else doing it.”
Regretting the decision to pass on the role that Rooney Mara played in Spike Jonze’s Her:
“I’d just done four jobs in a row; I was about to collapse.
But I watched it and thought, Dammit, that was brilliant. I won’t let that happen again.”
What she looks for in a role and why her part as Winnie Gekko in Oliver Stone’s Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps wasn’t the right fit:
“The role has to be a female that has been written really well, or is strongly representing some aspect of femininity—otherwise, I’m not really interested in it…It was a lesson to me that if I don’t have enough to get ahold of, it doesn’t work for me.”
MERYL STREEP ON HER SUFFRAGETTE CO-STAR:
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“Carey has a quality of permeability that is as delicate as a petal. She seems to absorb the world of a play or a film into her being, and the quality of her listening is as absorbing as her beautiful voice. I think this deep commitment and unusual aliveness to the moment are things that will sustain a career that reaches further and lasts longer than most.”