Carey Mulligan “felt like a chancer” early in her career.
The actress – who has children Evelyn, five, and Wilfred, three, with husband Marcus Mumford – used to spend months preparing for her roles because she felt she needed to justify her casting because of a lack of formal training, but she admitted these days she just doesn’t have enough time to spend so long on research.
“I didn’t go to drama school, I kind of felt like a chancer, so I figured that I had to do loads of homework so that I was allowed to be here,” she told Harper’s Bazaar magazine. “The reality of my life now is that I have two kids under the age of five, and I’m lucky if I can learn my lines and show up.”
Carey thinks there has been a shift in focus since she began her career and thinks there are much better roles for actresses these days, such as in her new movie Promising Young Woman.
“We are finally understanding that audiences want to see stories about women who aren’t necessarily always nice,” she mused. “You still root for them, you still care about them – it’s brilliantly done in Fleabag, and brilliantly done in I May Destroy You. Some of the stuff that both of those characters do is totally morally questionable and unpleasant, but you’re 100 per cent behind them, the whole way through. It’s really fun to see people behaving badly…
“I certainly didn’t feel any of this kind of activity for the first decade I was working.”
But the actress admitted she was hesitant when she was first offered the role of vengeful Cassie in Emerald Fennell’s Promising Young Woman.
“When the script came to my agent I just didn’t know what to do with it,” she recalled. “I thought, ‘Why would Emerald ask me to do this?’ However, that changed when she read the script.
“I said, ‘Em, I just have to tell you, I love it so much, please let’s do this.’ And from then on, it was just super fun.”