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An accomplished stage actress, Carey Mulligan has a number of television and film roles under her belt. She talks about the benefits of being a name actor when it comes to financing, the way U.S. actors work and the size of Michael Mann’s budgets.
The Hollywood Reporter: What has been your most challenging role to date?
Carey Mulligan: Onscreen it has been the smaller parts like in “Brothers.” That was the first American accent I had to do, and it all ended up being a bit improvised.
THR: Where were you when you were told you had been picked, and are you happy to be going to Berlin?
Mulligan: I was in the theater in New York and I got told twice, once by my English agent and once by my American agent. I remember having to sound excited twice.
THR: How do you think being selected as a Shooting Star will help your career?
Mulligan: I feel at the moment that I come up time and time again against that thing of me not being enough of a name to help raise financing for the film. This seems to be a brilliant thing to be involved in and I like the idea of hanging out with other actors and getting my name out there.
THR: How was working with Michael Mann on “Public Enemies”?
Mulligan: The first day, we went to the set to meet Michael Mann because he wanted to check out my hair and to dye it peroxide blonde. When I arrived there were 300 extras in full costume and 50 action vehicles. Just the scale of it all was so bizarre. The money and the budget was so huge, but it still felt the same. But the food was much, much better.
THR: You also have worked on both sides of the Atlantic in film and television. How do they compare?
Mulligan: I never really planned on working in America. It’s pretty much the same, but I have noticed little things that American actors do. They work in a slightly different way. (U.S.) actors watch playback on the monitors and I don’t know many English actors who rush over to the monitors to do that.
THR: How does television work compare to making movies?
Mulligan: People seem to think you have more time making films, but when you are shooting indie films the schedule seems to be tighter.
THR: What projects are you working on?
Mulligan: I hope to do something else with Shana Feste (director of “The Greatest”), who has a script called “Love Don’t Let Me Down.” I will be doing (Anton Chekhov’s) “Uncle Vanya” next year because I can’t bear not doing theater for a year.
THR: Who is your role model as an actor?
Mulligan: Actors like Cate Blanchett, Paddy Considine and Samantha Morton. People who transform themselves and you don’t think of their personal lives when they are performing.
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