Carey Mulligan for InStyle Magazine (June 2020)


Written by Elise on May 06 2020

InStyle – […] Commitment is ingrained in Mulligan, who, at 35, has been married to musician Marcus Mumford (of the folkrock band Mumford & Sons) for eight years and has two children, Evelyn, 4, and Wilfred, 2. When they’re not touring or filming, the family divide their time between their home in London and farm in Devon. It’s by FaceTime that I catch up with Mulligan, who is in Devon, in her second week of self-isolation from COVID-19. (She flashes her phone around to point out some cows languidly walking past her house.) Now, Mulligan and I once had a grand plan to shoot her cover story in Paris, have dinner afterward, the whole tra-la-la. Due to looming travel restrictions, I had to leave early for New York, but Mulligan kept her commitment, gamely shooting this story in cold, rainy weather with a skeleton crew. A week later, even that would be impossible.

Press > 2020 > InStyle Magazine (June) [+01]
Photoshoots & Portraits > 2020 > Session 13 [+09]

Carey, I have to thank you for making it to Paris for this shoot. It was literally the last story we were able to complete before we all went into lockdown.Ah. Well, at that point the train stations were still jammed, no one was wearing masks, and they weren’t advising people not to travel. But once I got to Paris, it felt odd. I brought one of my best friends, and we were like, “What if we get stuck here? What if someone has it in the hotel?” A week later, none of us would have gone. But I have to say, Paris was still fun. We stayed up late and watched Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid in French.

Our subscriber cover image is you, all dressed up in Givenchy, in front of the Eiffel Tower. It’s so glamorous but very poignant now. There were huge crowds of people there that day. Now, life has been shut down in that sense. Our ability to travel is curtailed, but we’re all still curious. I found it so cool how many monuments, zoos, and aquariums started live streaming their exhibits.

How much of that are you doing? Are you on Zoom?I’ve been using Houseparty with my two best friends every Sunday at 8:30 a.m. We’ve all got kids, so we put the TV on for them and sit in bed with a big cup of coffee and catch up, which has been quite nice.

You’ve also been working with the organization War Child, right?Yes. War Child runs child-friendly spaces in refugee camps and conflict zones where children can be protected and educated. Fundraising has come to a grinding halt because the economy has taken such a hit, so I’m planning to take over their Instagram to get more people interested. Marcus also released a cover of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “You’ll Never Walk Alone,” and all proceeds go to War Child UK and The Grenfell Foundation. It’s such a beautiful song.

What’s a typical day like when you’re on the farm?We wake up early and do a Zoom class for school. It’s a toddler check-in, which is 20 kids all shouting over each other for 10 minutes. It’s hilarious. And then we do some schoolwork. My favorite game to play is filling a tray of toys with water and putting it in the freezer overnight, and then the kids get to “rescue” their toys. They love it and it takes hours. [laughs]

[…] The last time I saw you was in L.A., and you were all dolled up for something. How do you go between a home, a set, and the “twirl” of promotion?It can be weird. When I did a press day for Promising Young Woman (arriving in theaters at a later date), they had me do social-media posts. So I had to say, “Hi, I’m Carey Mulligan, and I play Cassie. Swipe up to buy a ticket!” But I looked like I didn’t even know what the Internet was. When I’m not in a press environment, I’m not massively clued in to what’s going on. And I think that helps it not consume my life.

It’s ironic that even though you don’t really engage online, Promising Young Woman reflects the #MeToo movement, which was born on social media.Emerald wrote it before the movement started, but the conversation has become more nuanced in the last couple of years. Everything in the film, you’ve seen in a bro comedy, where the guy tries to get the girl really drunk. And it’s all been like, “Ha ha.” But then you suddenly look at it through this different lens and go, “Actually, no. That makes me uncomfortable.”

Did you know Emerald before? I met her at a friend’s house. She was about to go to the wrap party for Killing Eve wearing these really amazing pleather pants, and I was just like, “Wow, she’s so cool.” We later realized that we’d both been in an old episode of Trial & Retribution together. I was the girl who got murdered, and she was one of my friends, and Michael Fassbender was the police officer. [laughs]

[…] Promising Young Woman is dark, but there is humor in it. How did it feel to be a bit…winky?I definitely felt intimidated at first because I was surrounded by comedians like Bo Burnham and Jennifer Coolidge, but we all got on so well. Emerald would say, “Just try one where you’re really camping it up.” It’s the only film I’ve ever been in that has a blooper reel.

[…] When you were younger, who were your film heroines?Kate Winslet and Cate Blanchett. I mean, I watched Elizabeth, like, 50 times when I was 14 years old because it was the only film we had in our common room at school. Also Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon, Rachel Weisz. Flipping heck. There are so many!

What were you like as a teen?Oh, man, I was a tomboy. I was still wearing my Les Misérables T-shirt to am-dram [amateur drama] on the weekends when I was 14. It was such a blessing to not have a mobile phone back then. I was awkward! And then I started to work. I was 18 when I shot Pride & Prejudice, and I went through a vintage-clothes stage. When I did Promising Young Woman, all I wanted to wear was pink. My style is heavily influenced by what I’m working on.

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