“Once you’ve done a play you build muscles, you feel better when you keep it fresh every time, it has to have the feeling it’s never been done before” – Carey Mulligan
Carey Mulligan is about to hit the big screen in a new adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s Far From the Madding Crowd. Directed by Thomas Vinterberg, Mulligan will star as Bathsheba, a favourite character among literary fans for her determination and independence.
Mulligan is similar in many ways. Having taken parts in The Great Gatsby and Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps among others, although her name is known, Mulligan has actually done surprisingly few films. As she notes; “I don’t find a large amount to work with, the majority of things that come along are accessories like girlfriends and wives, so dull and not real, not much to sink your teeth into.”
She admits to finding much more fulfilment on the stage and audiences have been wowed by her turn on Broadway where she is currently starring with Bill Nighy in Skylight.
“It’s my ultimate wish fulfillment,” she says of being on the Great White Way. “It’s the best time. You get better as an actor doing theater. Once you’ve done a play you build muscles, you feel better when you keep it fresh every time, it has to have the feeling it’s never been done before. And it’s a pain. Skylight is very emotional, these are full-on characters, some nights I feel I can’t pass muster, but when I get on stage I’m so happy I get to act for two hours with bright lights and I can’t see the audience and I get lost in my imagination. It’s liberating. On a film you can get nervous at the proximity of the camera, which immortalizes one moment, and you can’t do anything about it. You lose control. The theater is a fresh experience.”
That said, Mulligan does have another film set for release this year, Suffragette, which she will star in opposite Meryl Streep. The film follows a young British woman who finds her voice in the suffragette movement as she fights for women’s votes.
Mulligan is an actress who knows that LA doesn’t always offer a wealth of inspiring roles for women, and like Streep and other actresses out there, is seeking to change this by developing her own work in the future.
“The way to get better stories on screen is to self-generate and find projects to make,” she says, “for yourself or other women, something I can get interested in and involved in, instead of spending a lot of time waiting for projects to come along produced by the industry.”