HID­DEN TAL­ENT

She may not at­tract the at­ten­tion of the masses like her Hol­ly­wood con­tem­po­raries but that suits ac­tress Carey Mul­li­gan just fine

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - MOVIES - SAM CLARKE

Carey Mul­li­gan is on a roll and seems to have Tin­sel­town at her feet. Af­ter her role as head­strong Jenny in Lone Scher­fig’s An Ed­u­ca­tion landed her an Os­car nom­i­na­tion for Best Ac­tress at just 24, Mul­li­gan has had the keys to Hol­ly­wood, win­ning roles along­side Ryan Gosling, Michael Fass­ben­der and a cov­eted lead as Daisy in Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby with Leonardo DiCaprio, a role she nabbed from un­der the noses of Scar­lett Jo­hans­son, Kirsten Dunst and Blake Lively, no less.

Yet some­how, the 30-yearold, who is mar­ried to mu­si­cian Mar­cus Mum­ford of in­die-folk out­fit Mum­ford and Sons, be­lieves she’s largely for­get­table in per­son.

“No one ever recog­nises me,” she cries in de­light, “which is helped by the fact that I have a to­tally for­get­table face. Se­ri­ously, not once has any­one ever come near me in the pub, or in the su­per­mar­ket. And I hon­estly hope it stays that way.”

Mind you the spotlight may turn on her more since spec­u­la­tion is rife that she is now ex­pect­ing her first child with Mum­ford. Ev­ery­one loves a royal baby and she is be­com­ing Hol­ly­wood roy­alty.

Sit­ting in front of me in a dark, shaded suite in Lon­don’s Soho Ho­tel, in a sim­ple black top and faded jeans, her elfin fea­tures framed by a cute, shaggy bob, the ac­tor is any­thing but for­get­table.

Although there’s a sim­plic­ity to her beauty, an al­most blank can­vas that’s been re­mod­elled again and again for films in­clud­ing Drive, Shame with Fass­ben­der, Never Let Me Go and In­side Llewellyn Davis. So she may have a point. But there’s noth­ing for­get­table about her screen pres­ence where she once again stuns in her latest film, Far From The Madding Crowd. In a sump­tu­ous retelling of the Thomas Hardy clas­sic, last in­ter­preted in the 1967 film star­ring Julie Christie, Mul­li­gan is pow­er­ful and stoic, yet vul­ner­a­ble as hero­ine Bathsheba Ever­dene, an in­de­pen­dent pen­ni­less woman in Vic­to­rian-era Dorset who finds her­self the heiress to a wealthy es­tate and is ul­ti­mately torn be­tween three hand­some suit­ors: the smoul­der­ing Oak (Matthias Schoe­narts), re­li­able Bold­wood (Michael Sheen) and flighty cad Troy (Tom Stur­ridge).

It’s a beau­ti­ful per­for­mance from a young star who got her big break af­ter hound­ing Down­ton Abbey cre­ator Ju­lian Fel­lowes at a school pre­sen­ta­tion. He sub­se­quently helped her land her first film role in Pride and Prej­u­dice.

Ev­i­dently mild-man­nered, and warm-hearted, Mul­li­gan says she was born with an in­nate sense of am­bi­tion, one that has got her where she is to­day.

Next to be seen in pe­riod saga, Suf­fragette, with Meryl Streep and He­lena Bon­ham Carter, the star, who rarely speaks about her rock star hus­band, is a lit­tle more forth­com­ing when it comes to chitchat about melt­downs, red car­pet nerves and fall­ing for a bad boy.

Her latest role is, she says, in­cred­i­bly rel­e­vant even though it hap­pens to be a Vic­to­rian-era clas­sic.

“Of­ten I think these sto­ries are very re­lat­able at any time be­cause there’s so many uni­ver­sal themes,” Mul­li­gan says. “The char­ac­ter I play, Bathsheba Ever­dene, is a very mod­ern woman for her time, very for­ward think­ing, strong­willed and in­de­pen­dent. And within that so­cial con­text, that is com­pletely un­heard of the way she be­haves in the story and I think that’s very re­lat­able for women now.”

And what is Carey Mul­li­gan look­ing for­ward to? Be­ing on tour with Mum­ford and Sons, ac­tu­ally. They are tour­ing the US dur­ing the north­ern hemi­sphere sum­mer and she hopes to join hus­band Mar­cus.

“I al­ways have fun with them on tour wher­ever we go so that will def­i­nitely hap­pen at some point soon,” Mul­li­gan says. “We al­ways have fun.”

Pic­ture: ALEX BAI­LEY

Carey Mul­li­gan plays Bathsheba Ever­dene in

Far From The Madding Crowd.

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