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
Journey to the Bottom of the Globe: Exploring the
White Continent of Antarctica
As a travel journalist I am constantly asked what are
some of my favorite travel experiences. The list is endless. But there is
one destination that seems to raise the most eyebrows. That destination
is a cruise to Antarctica. Sadly, that cruise line I was on is no more,
but today there is a plethora of cruise lines that offer similar packages.
Here's a look back at my Antarctica cruise.
Treasures of Ireland: Food, Fun and Falconry at
Ashford Castle (Dispatch #18)
The Palladian Traveler soars above the crowd with
a gal named Lima, cruises across a lake dotted with hundreds of islands,
and feasts like a king in a regal dining room.
Would You Believe She Can Carry 800 (Yes, 800!)
As she came around the corner we could not believe
how big she was. Massive, and yet incredibly beautiful almost elegant
in fact. Her lines were so symmetrical she seemed to blend into a classic
example of astonishing good looks. The other fact that amazed all of us
was how quiet she was. We felt sure that with the obvious overwhelming power
she evidenced, she'd be extra loud. It's a cliché, but she was as
quiet as a church mouse or "as quiet as dreaming trees."
Highway 49 Revisited: Exploring California's
In the 1840s, the population of California was only
14,000, but by 1850 more than 100,000 settlers and adventurers had arrived
from all over the world and they came for one reason: gold. James
Marshall had discovered the first gold nugget at Sutters Mill in El
Dorado County, creating the largest gold rush in history.
Lake Charles Family-Size Low-Key Mardi Gras
The Southwest Louisiana Mardi Gras in Lake Charles,
the second largest in Louisiana, does not need parents there to avert their
childrens eyes. This is family entertainment and children are very
much part of it. The main office of the Lake Charles CVB has costumes from
last years Mardi Gras but it also has figures to fascinate little
ones from country boys fishing for their dinner to alligators who have already
fed and are rubbing their stomachs.
Cedar Hill: Frederick Douglass' Home is as Imposing
as the Man who Lived There
Having recently received a misguided shout-out from
the president during Black History Month Frederick Douglass has done
an amazing job... it seems a good time to revisit the cultural icon's
legitimate place in history. And a visit to his home in Washington, DC
surely a place the current president might want to consider visiting himself
would be a good place to start.
Hanging Out in Huntington Beach, California
Huntington Beach is legendary around the world as one
of the best surfing spots. Its waves and beaches are so great, it is also
officially known as "Surf City." But as I learned on a recent
getaway, the town is more than just tasty swells and beautiful white sand;
it also boasts gourmet restaurants, luxury, ocean-front hotels, great
shopping, and tons of California coastal charm.
Richard Gere and Joseph Cedar Discuss "The Moderate
Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer"
Richard Gere is one of America's acting treasures. He
has an uncanny knack for selecting scripts with the most interesting characters.
Included in some of his vast body of films are "American Gigolo,
"An Officer and a Gentleman," "The Cotton Club," "Internal
Affairs," "Pretty Woman," "Primal Fear," "Unfaithful,"
and "Chicago." Joseph Cedar, writer and director of the critically
acclaimed "The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer,"
was born in New York City but when he was five, his family moved to Israel
where he was raised.
Tahiti and Her Islands
Just their names (pronounce each vowel!) conjure up romantic
images: Tahiti Nui, Moorea, Bora Bora, Huahine, Ra'iatea, Taha'a. Her
people are gentle; the air, tiare-perfumed. Warm lagoons, majestic peaks,
tropical fruits from the land and bounty from the sea all tantalize the
senses. Paradise! As near as can be found on planet earth. And, in my
experience, the finest way to explore her is on a ship designed for that
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!