Carey Mulligan: “I’d rather milk”

Carey Mulligan: “I’d rather milk”

This article was published in issue 17 of Vanity Fair of 2015

She has small hands, short nails without polish, a deep voice that has little to do with the rest, all so delicate and minute, with candid skin, squirrel eyes. Carey Mulligan is certainly not a star in the blatant sense of the term, but an actress who hits the mark almost every time, being in the right films and at the right time.

Launched by An educationbeat out half of Hollywood aspiring to play Daisy in the Great Gatsby with Leo DiCaprio, worked with the most respected directors, from Steve McQueen (Shame) to the Coen brothers (About Davis).

After some time off and the inevitable break to devote himself to the theater (with Skylights by David Hare, staged in London and now in New York), returns to star in a film that will be talked about a lot. AND Away from the madding crowd, based on the novel by Thomas Hardy, a cornerstone of the English nineteenth century, already taken to the cinema several times, including one with Julie Christie which is considered a classic. The film, written by David Nicholls and directed by Danish Thomas Vinterberg (nominated for an Oscar for The suspect), will be released in Italy in September, but is already on the bill abroad, with excellent reviews especially for Carey, now considered an interpreter who doesn’t miss a beat. I wouldn’t be surprised if Mulligan’s name appears in a few shortlists next awards season. What’s more, in addition to Away from the madding crowdhas just finished shooting another great film
costumed: Suffragettes with Meryl Streep, and we know very well that where Meryl is, there is Oscar in the air.

Three years of marriage (with Marcus Mumford, lead singer of Mumford & Sons), an important birthday just around the corner (he turns thirty on May 28), Carey speaks little to the newspapers and, I confess, I imagined her a bit unpleasant and before the class. Instead, absolutely not: she has a grace of her all of her that makes you want to meet her and talk to her again, which is increasingly rare among her robotic actresses of her generation.

They told me he has a tattoo: I can’t believe it. He doesn’t seem like the type.
“Here it is (it’s microscopic, inside the wrist, ed.). I did when I was acting Chekhov’s Seagull in the theatre, in the role of Nina who, as you know, is a bit the part of life for us actresses».

And would it be a seagull?
“Don’t you think so?”

Excuse me for saying this, but it looks like the Batman symbol to me.
“Actually, it’s somewhat true. It is a cheap tattoo, done in a department store, not in a real tattoo place, which I would never have dared to enter ».

People will think she’s a Batman fan.
“Ah, but I’m glad they think so. Let’s face it: I’m a Batman fan.”

Favorite Batman in the movies?
«The dark Knightmasterpiece!”.

Let’s move on to something else: they told me he lives in the countryside. And I believed it, especially after I saw her riding on the moor in Away from the madding crowd.
«It’s true, my husband and I have a house in the country with many animals, and we stay there as much as possible. As a child I went to Steiner school, where they teach you the importance of manual work, plus I grew up with an older brother who dragged me to jump fences and climb trees. When I’m in the countryside, I feel like the best version of myself. Without makeup, breathing fresh air. But I didn’t know how to ride a horse, I learned especially for the film».

I was convinced that she was a skilled Amazon, she deceived me. So she didn’t even know how to milk cows?
“Yes, I really can do that. And even graze the sheep.’

He’s about to turn thirty: how do you feel?
«I started being an actress when I was eighteen and this job was my university. I grew up from set to set. When I happen to listen to some excerpt from the soundtrack of one of the films I’ve starred in, I realize that I mix cinematic memories with what happened to me, in my personal life. And, of course, I feel changed. I was very shy and insecure, every time I walked into a room full of strangers I felt uncomfortable. In my choices I was always full of doubts, now I know that I can no longer afford too many excuses and fuss. There are no more alibis, I’m an adult.”

For a thirty-year-old she is a bit anomalous. For example, you are not present on Facebook or Twitter. How come?
«I don’t like them because they represent too well the society we live in, a society in which too many relationships are based on the judgment of others. We judge and are continually judged, we end up depending on the thoughts of others or even simply on the fear of the same. That’s also why I love the countryside and isolation.”

But it is difficult today for a public figure to totally ignore social media.
“It’s impossible even to think of a world where these things didn’t exist, I know. In fact, somehow, I gave in. As I work with two charities, War Child and the Alzheimer’s Society, at one point I needed to get information out there and I just didn’t know which way to turn. I refused to open my Twitter account, so I asked actor friends to do it for me. Dianna Agron helped me above all, who is very active and very good».

I know that she has become interested in Alzheimer’s and is dealing with it together with her mother because her maternal grandmother suffers from it. Do you want to tell me about it?
“The grandmother, Margaret known as Nans, is now 89 years old. She got sick about fourteen years ago, and Alzheimer’s was not diagnosed accurately at first. I realized something was wrong one day when she couldn’t remember the names of the subjects I was studying. I found this very strange because, being a former teacher, my grandmother had always been attentive and very involved in my studies and my brother’s. Then, my mother began to tell me some episodes, such as that my grandmother had gone out for a walk and then she hadn’t found her way home. Finally, one evening at dinner, sitting at the table, Nans started staring at the cutlery and a few minutes later she said to me: “I no longer remembered what they are for”. After eating she sat down at the piano and played perfectly for twenty minutes. All this to say that senile dementia is a very complex disease, each patient is a case in itself, because the disease can randomly affect different parts of the brain. My mother holds conferences on the subject, we try to raise money for research and also to help those who, unlike my grandmother, cannot afford to stay in specialized centres. There is a big taboo on Alzheimer’s. People think that, as they get older, everyone goes a little dopey, that it’s normal. But is not so. It is a disease and must be treated as such. Something can be done to improve the lives of many families.

I could talk to her about this for hours, but I think time is up. I wanted to ask you one more thing about your work. At the cinema we have seen her sing in several films: she is good. Have you ever thought about making a record?
“No way! I can sing but I’m not a singer, you understand? I do it if it’s required by the character though, if I have to sing as Carey, I’m going to get into it. I once attended an evening for the Coen brothers in New York and I had to sing: I’ve never been so anxious in my life. There were professional singers, I felt inadequate.

Wouldn’t she even participate as a special guest on one of her husband’s records?
“No, I can’t spoil his music for him. Everyone in his field, it’s right like this ».

PHOTO ALEXI LUBOMIRSKI

Source: Vanity Fair