Carey Mulligan Interview

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Carey Mulligan in The Great Gatsby.
Carey Mulligan in The Great Gatsby.

Carey Mulligan in The Great Gatsby.

How did you approach the character of Daisy? She needs to be likeable, but she's also got this duality in her character.

I just didn't really think about her being likeable or not. What was great is Baz [Luhrmann] took that responsibility away from me and I just tried to make her as close to the novel as I could. Originally I was laden down with books about Zelda Fitzgerald and it was clear from the beginning that Baz wanted me to go back and look at Zelda's life, look at her romance with [F.] Scott [Fitzgerald], look at her upbringing. So that was sort of where I started with her... I always felt that she made logical decisions considering the position she was in as a woman of that time.

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The costumes in this movie are fantastic. How does that impact how you play a character?
Hugely. I've done costume dramas before, but nothing glamorous and nothing so beautiful. You become very precious when you're wearing millions of dollars of rings and pearls and these incredible dresses by Mrs. Prada and by Catherine [Martin]. It made a big difference. And for the other cast [members] as well. I mean, seeing Leonardo [DiCaprio] in a pink suit and realising that he was only man on the planet who could wear a pink suit and look so cool was a moment for all of us!

Carey Mulligan in The Great Gatsby.
Carey Mulligan in The Great Gatsby.

You got to read with Leonardo DiCaprio for your audition. Can you talk about what that process was like?
It was the craziest audition I've ever done. Usually you walk into an audition and there's a camera and the person and that's it. I walked into a room in Soho - it was a loft - and there was a 3D camera. There was another camera. There was one man holding a handheld camera and there were about two photographers. So it was already like walking into a sort of crazy photo shoot. And Leo played two characters. He played himself and he also played Tom. So he would sit next to me on the sofa during the scene we were doing, say his line as Gatsby, then jump up, stand behind the camera and play Tom. And then jump back down again, and sit. And it was just crazy. And so much fun. It was great, and I loved it. I walked away thinking if nothing else, [at least] I got to do that. I got to act with him and be directed by Baz Luhrmann.

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Did that atmosphere carry through to production?
Absolutely. It was chaotic and huge and unlike anything I'd ever worked on before. Every day I was amazed by what we were walking into and what Baz and Catherine had created.

The Great Gatsby is available on UltraViolet, DVD and Blu-ray on September 27.

Carey Mulligan in The Great Gatsby.
Carey Mulligan in The Great Gatsby.
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