Carey Mulligan Interview; Talks MY FAIR LADY, EFFIE, WALL STREET 2, NEVER LET ME GO, Working for Mark Romanek, and a Lot More

     March 25, 2010


Since her Oscar nominated performance in An Education, all eyes have been on British actress Carey Mulligan. With a role in Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps, recently pushed back to a September 24th release date, and the intriguing dramatic thriller Never Let Me Go, based on the novel by Kazuo Ishiguro, everyone wants to know what she’ll be doing next.

According to the actress herself, she stated during the press day for her latest drama The Greatest (which we’ll have more on closer to the April 2nd release date) that she has not signed on to play Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady, nor has she received a call to do Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, at this point, but she is looking to play really interesting characters that challenge and terrify her.  She also talked about working for director Mark Romanek.  Check out what she had to say after the jump:

Note – This was a roundtable interview

Question: Emma Thompson said that you’re set to play Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady. Is that true?

Carey Mulligan image (3).jpgCarey:  Oh, that’s nice. Well, that’s hugely flattering and that would be great. I really don’t know, at this point, what’s happening with that. That’s lovely that Emma said that. That’s really nice. But, I honestly don’t know.

What about Effie, which she also wrote?

Carey:  I actually don’t know what’s happening with that. I read that script about two years ago. That’s another difficult independent British film. That’s hard to get made. I don’t know if that film is going, but yeah, I was attached to that.

There’s also been talk about you doing Girl with the Dragon Tattoo for David Fincher. What are the chances of that?

Carey:  I would love to do that! I’m not even going to lie. I wasn’t lying before. But, I would love to do that. That would be insane. I’m obsessed with those books, as everyone is. But, no, I haven’t had a phone call. That would be awesome. I would love to play that part, but that hasn’t come to me.

Are you just trying to figure out your next move then, while reading blogs that say you’re cast in movies that you haven’t been cast in?

Carey:  I’d love to read a blog that said I was going to be in that movie. Yeah, I just haven’t found the right thing yet, I don’t think, since all of this stuff has been finished. I have a couple of other films coming out, later in the year, so I’d like to do a job before I promote something else. I don’t want to be just constantly talking about myself. It would be more fun to do some work, but the right thing hasn’t come along. I’d like to do a play, but I can’t find the right thing. I don’t want it to be a starring role. I just want to play a really interesting character. I’m just taking a minute to figure out what that is.

What is Never Let Me Go about and who do you play in that?

Carey:  Never Let Me Go is a Kazuo Ishiguro novel, the guy who wrote Remains of the Day, and Alex Garland wrote the adaptation and Mark Romanek directed it, who directed One Hour Photo. It’s about three children who grow up together and their lives, really. It’s difficult to talk about, really, because people have described it as a sci-fi movie, which it’s just not. There’s nothing sci-fi about it. It’s set in a different reality without being sci-fi. It’s taking our current history and replacing it. It’s in a world where post-War in England, in an effort to replenish the Lost Generation or to help with society, they created a cloning program where they cloned people to harvest their organs, and this was accepted and not spoken about.

Carey Mulligan image (4).jpgIt’s just a reality where that came about in the 1950s and it became part of society. It was just this other group of people who were bred purely for medical research and for their organs. This meets the characters in the ’70s, when they’re growing up. And then, when they leave this institution, they go on to live their lives and they fully understand the purpose of their life basically is to donate organs until they complete, which is the term they use in the novel for dying. It’s compressing a life into 27 years. It’s 31 years in the book, but the ages have been brought down a little bit, so that we can play the characters from 18 to 27. And, it’s me, Keira Knightley and Andrew Garfield, and we all play best friends.

I probably shouldn’t say the whole storyline. It’s not really apparent in the book. It’s so brilliantly written because all of these terms are used, but you don’t really understand what world these people live in. It’s been described as sci-fi, which is insane because that implies space suits and aliens, and it’s not that. It’s a story about the human soul and the existence of a soul, and whether we all are universally endowed with the same insides.

Was Mark Romanek an intense director?

Carey:  He was great. He is intense, that’s true. He’s got an amazing vision, and he did for how he saw that film. We all shared it, really. We all had the same ideas in our heads. He was great. We had a brilliant crew and an amazing director of photography, Adam Kimmel, who shot Capote, and the actors we got were great. Me and Keira have known each other for about five years ’cause I did my first job with her. We played sisters in Pride & Prejudice, and then came back and, effectively, played sisters again because they’ve spent their whole lives together, but in a very different way. There are lots of relationships in the film. And, Sally Hawkins and Charlotte Rampling are in it. It was a great collection of people, and we had time to prepare for that. We had two weeks of rehearsal, which doesn’t sound like very much, but it’s a lot more than you usually get. But, I haven’t seen it, so I hope it’s good. Fingers crossed.

With all of this attention that’s focused on you now, is it harder for you to decide which projects you want to do?

Carey Mulligan image (1).jpgCarey:  No, I don’t think so. I’ve always been quite careful about what I wanted to do. I’ve just never wanted to revisit old ground or do something that’s easy. I want to do something that I would look at and go, “I don’t know what to do!” The most exciting thing is when you’re a bit scared, so I’m looking to find something that’s really terrifying. Not in a pretentious way, but just ’cause I don’t want to be the same person, all the time, and have people be bored. You watch people like Samantha Morton, who’s incredible and I couldn’t hope to be at the same level as her, and you don’t associate her from one character to another because she takes on these wildly different parts. I just want to do that and test myself a bit.

Would that be a concern with doing My Fair Lady, since it’s so strongly associated with Audrey Hepburn?

Carey:  I don’t know. Remakes are a difficult thing ’cause some people feel very protective of the original. I’m really not speaking in terms of me playing the character, but in general, that role is so loved with her. But, there are stage revivals, constantly, of “Pygmalion” and “My Fair Lady” and “Cabaret” and “Les Miserables,” and you see people constantly playing these roles and taking on new parts. When you do a play, no one ever seems to mind a revival. “The Seagull” has been done countless amounts of times, and we did that on Broadway and people still embraced it. I don’t know. I suppose if you can do it decently well, you can get away with it, but just don’t go and be crap.

How do you feel about the change in release date for Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps? Do you think that could be a good thing for the film?

Carey:  I don’t know about the film, but I’m psyched for me because it means that I don’t have to go and do a press junket again. You know, whatever. I can’t pretend to understand the inner workings of studios and why they make the decisions they do. But, I think people are excited to see it, so hopefully people will still be excited, later in the year. I don’t know why they did it, but it’s good ’cause that would be lots of dresses and heels that I don’t want to put on.


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