Carey Mulligan is one of the most exciting British actors working in the industry today. Rising to prominence in 2009 for her Oscar nominated role in An Education, she has gone on to work with some of the greats and has impressed audiences with her performances.
Carey Mulligan exudes a rawness and emotional vulnerability, a sense of tragedy which is fitting for her characters such as Daisy Buchanan (The Great Gatsby) and Kathy (Never Let Me Go). There is a sense of realness and openness to her performances that is captivating and refreshing.
You can’t talk about Carey Mulligan without mentioning her breakout performance in An Education. The role put her in the spotlight during the awards season, including a BAFTA Film Award win and an Academy Award nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role. Mulligan portrays a 16 year old school girl who enters into a doomed relationship with an older man (Peter Sarsgaard). She would have been around 24 at the time and yet she easily fitted into the role of a young naive schoolgirl longing for a life full of sophistication and maturity. Mulligan portrays the character with conviction, a girl who longs for something which is arguably unattainable. Over the course of the film she learns about the real world and it’s not all that she hoped it would be.
One of my favourite performances from Mulligan is as Daisy Buchanan in 2013’s The Great Gatsby. The film itself is amazing and Mulligan effortlessly plays a character of glamour and tragedy. Having read the book I was more than happy with the casting, especially with Mulligan. Carey Mulligan managed to breathe life into a layered and complex role. Everything about the film weaves beautifully together, especially the chemistry between Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan. She completely transforms for this role, her American accent is perfect and her eyes tell the whole story, of a woman who lost true love and can never gain it back.
Lastly, one of her most raw performances comes from 2010’s Never Let Me Go. Co-starring with Keira Knightley and Andrew Garfield, the three play clones who are raised to be organ donors in a 1960’s sci-fi setting. The film itself is hauntingly beautiful, so many themes about life and love are highlighted with the help of the incredible performances. Carey Mulligan takes the lead role as Kathy, who is caught between a love triangle of Tommy (Andrew Garfield) and Ruth (Keira Knightly). Mulligan leads the film with such strength and wisdom, raising questions such as is living truly living? Can they truly enjoy life knowing their lives are planned out. What is out there beyond the purpose of their lives? Yet through the uncertainty, Kathy seems prepared for what is in front of her and it’s bravery that makes her an admirable character.
Carey Mulligan is bold and brave in her chosen roles, a true actors actor who loves her craft and doesn’t chase a life in the limelight. She is truly a genuine actress.