|Birth Name: Carey Hannah Mulligan
Birth Place: Westminster, London, England
Date of Birth: May 28, 1985
Height: 5′ 7″ (1,7 m)
Mother: Nano (née Booth)
Father: Stephen Mulligan
|001. Biography (below)
002. Career Files
003. Awards & Nominations
004. Facts & Trivia
006. IMDB Profile
- Through The Years
What Carey has looked like through the years.
Carey Mulligan was born on May 28, 1985 in London, the daughter of Nano (née Booth) and Stephen Mulligan. When she was three years old, her family moved to Germany when her father was hired to manage a hotel there. When she was eight, she and her family moved back to England. Her interest in acting sparked from watching her brother perform in a school production of “The King and I” when she was six.
When she was 16, she attended a production of “Henry V” starring Kenneth Branagh. His performance emboldened her and reinforced her belief that she wanted to pursue a career in acting. She wrote a letter to Branagh asking him for advice. “I explained that my parents didn’t want me to act, but that I felt it was my vocation in life,” she said. Branagh’s sister replied: “Kenneth says that if you feel such a strong need to be an actress, you must be an actress.”
In 2004, at the age of 19, Mulligan began her acting on stage in the play Forty Winks at the Royal Court Theatre in London. She made her film debut the following year in Joe Wright’s 2005 film adaptation of the Jane Austen novel Pride & Prejudice, portraying Kitty Bennet alongside Keira Knightley. Later that year, she auditioned for and won the role of orphan Ada Clare in the BAFTA award-winning BBC adaption of Charles Dickens’ Bleak House, her television debut.
Among her 2007 projects were My Boy Jack, starring Daniel Radcliffe, and another Jane Austen adaptation Northanger Abbey starring Felicity Jones. She rounded out 2007 by appearing in an acclaimed stage revival of The Seagull, in which she played Nina alongside Kristin Scott Thomas and Chiwetel Ejiofor. The Daily Telegraph said her performance was “quite extraordinarily radiating” and The Observer called her “almost unbearably affecting.”
Her big breakthrough came when, at 24, she was cast in her first leading role as Jenny in the 2009 independent film An Education, directed by Danish filmmaker Lone Scherfig and written by Nick Hornby. Over a hundred actresses auditioned for the part, but Carey’s audition impressed Scherfig the most. The film and her performance received rave reviews, and she was nominated for an Academy Award, Screen Actors Guild, Golden Globe, Critics Choice and won a BAFTA Award. Rolling Stone’s Peter Travers described her as having given a “sensational, star-making performance“.
In 2010, she was invited to join The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. That same year she starred in the film adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s acclaimed novel Never Let Me Go with Keira Knightley and Andrew Garfield. She won a British Independent Award for her performance. That same year she starred in the Oliver Stone-directed film Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps.
She returned to the stage in the Atlantic Theater Company’s off-Broadway play adaptation of Ingmar Bergman’s Through a Glass, Darkly, from 13 May – 3 July 2011. Carey played the central character, a mentally unstable woman, and received glowing praise from reviewers. Ben Brantley, theater critic for The New York Times, wrote that her performance was “acting of the highest order“; he also described her as “extraordinary” and “one of the finest actresses of her generation.”
Carey co-starred in two critically acclaimed films in 2011. The first being Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive, with Ryan Gosling. The second film was Steve McQueen’s sex-addiction drama Shame alongside Michael Fassbender. Both films were major film festival hits.
In 2013, she starred as Daisy Buchanan in Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby opposite Leonardo DiCaprio, which was released in May 2013. In 2013, she also starred in Joel and Ethan Coen’s black comedy Inside Llewyn Davis alongside Oscar Isaac, and Justin Timberlake.
In 2014, she starred in the London revival of the play Skylight with Bill Nighy and Matthew Beard, directed by Stephen Daldry, at Wyndham’s Theatre in London’s West End. It won the 2014 Evening Standard Theatre Award for Revival of the Year and was nominated for the 2014 Olivier Award for Best Revival. She followed the production when it transferred to Broadway at the John Golden Theatre in April 2015. The transfer was a massive success. The play won the Tony Award for Best Revival and she earned her first Tony Award Nomination as she was nominated for the Tony Award for Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Play.
In 2015, Carey was praised for her roles in two acclaimed films released that year. She starred in Thomas Vinterberg’s film adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s novel Far from the Madding Crowd with Matthias Schoenaerts, Tom Sturridge, and Michael Sheen. As well as Sarah Gavron’s Suffragette with Helena Bonham Carter, Ben Whishaw, Brendan Gleeson and Meryl Streep.
In 2017, she starred in Netflix’s Mudbound, directed by Dee Rees. The film was met with critical acclaim. On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 97% with the consensus reading, “Mudbound offers a well-acted, finely detailed snapshot of American history whose scenes of rural class struggle resonate far beyond their period setting.” The film earned four Academy Award nominations including Best Adapted Screenplay for Rees.
In 2018, Carey stepped back into television with her steely performance as a detective inspector in Collateral, a BBC Two limited series, receiving plaudits from American and British critics. Carey praised showrunner Sir David Hare for seamlessly accommodating her pregnancy into the script. She also starred in Paul Dano’s directorial debut film Wildlife with Jake Gyllenhaal. The film was written by Dano and Zoe Kazan, and is an adaptation of a Richard Ford novel of the same name. The film debuted at the 71st Cannes Film Festival and received rave reviews from critics. The film has earned a 94% on Rotten Tomatoes with the consensus reading, “Wildlife’s portrait of a family in crisis is beautifully composed by director Paul Dano — and brought brilliantly to life by a career-best performance from Carey Mulligan.”
Carey appeared off-Broadway in the solo show, Girls and Boys at the Minetta Lane Theatre. The show was written by Dennis Kelly and directed by Lyndsey Turner. Her performance was praised with the New York Times calling it “perfection“.
Aside from acting, Carey was among the actresses who took part in the Safe Project—each was photographed in the place she feels safest—for a 2010 series to raise awareness of sex trafficking. She donated the Vionnet gown she wore at the 2010 BAFTAs to the Curiosity Shop, which sells its donations to raise money for charity.
Carey became the ambassador of the Alzheimer’s Society in 2012, with the goal of raising awareness and research funding for Alzheimers and dementia. She is also an ambassador for the charity War Child.