Carey Mulligan’s W Magazine photo shoot: gorgeous or overworked?

I know most of you don’t really give a crap about Carey Mulligan, but I really like this girl. She’s not a famewhore, she’s very talented, she makes interesting career choices, and she’s a decent interview. In Celebrity-ville, all of that goes a long way, especially when I’m sitting here, drowning in Kat-face Kardashians. Carey covers the new issue of W Magazine, mostly to promote her supporting role in Shame, where she plays the sister of Michael Fassbender’s character. People have been talking nonstop about Fassbender’s performance as the sex addict Brandon, but most critics have also noted that Carey turns in yet another wonderful, fearless performance too. You can read the full W Mag piece here, and here are some highlights:

Lynn Hirschberg: In Shame, which is out now, you play Sissy, a deeply troubled girl with an almost incestuous attachment to her brother (Michael Fassbender), a sex addict. Both characters are in search of something—anything—that will make them feel whole. Sissy, who works as a singer, is naked even when she’s clothed. She reveals too much, sleeps with the wrong men, and when she turns up unexpectedly in her brother’s spare, pristine New York City apartment, the effect is like a bomb going off: The siblings ignite each other’s self-destructive ways. Shame is unsettling and haunting. Is that why you were attracted to the project?
Carey: When I read the script, I found it terrifying. My English agents sent it to me and said, “There’s this amazing part.” For me, as an actor, it was sort of scary. I’d seen Hunger [about Bobby Sands, the IRA leader who starved himself to death in prison to protest the conflict in Northern Ireland], which was done by Steve McQueen, the director of Shame, and I thought it was just incredible. And I’d always wanted to work with Michael Fassbender, who had been cast as the brother. So, I asked to have a meeting with Steve to pitch myself for the job.

What was the meeting like?
I just talked for an hour. Steve was trying to leave, but I kept on: “No, don’t go—I don’t have the job yet!” I thought if I could keep him sitting at the table, I could persuade him to let me have the role. He kept trying to pay the bill, and I said, “No, no, no. Sit down.” He got in a cab, but I wouldn’t leave him—I got in, too. Finally he said, “I’m going to my appointment now.” And I said okay. That afternoon, I got a call saying I had the role.

You have an intense full-frontal nude scene in the film. Did you find that difficult to do?
I’ve never been comfortable with the idea of nudity. I’ve done only seminude, very innocent things in the past, and I’ve always been of the quite British mind-set that I won’t do gratuitous nudity. When it came to this, it just seemed so obvious that she is the sort of person who would have no trouble being naked in front of any family member, especially not her brother. She’s an extrovert and wants to be seen. More than anything, she wants someone to acknowledge and help her. I thought I had a week before the nude scene to go to the gym, but we shot it on my first day of filming.

Oh, my God.
Weirdly, it was fine. You take your clothes off, and you’re like, “Ah—all of you are wearing clothes, and I’m naked, ha, ha, ha.” It’s kind of fun—not that I would continue to do it. The nudity helped me dive into who she was. Once she’d been naked in front of her brother, I could go from there.

You sing in Shame. That seems scarier to me than being naked.
I’ve never sung in a movie before. The point wasn’t really that Sissy was a great singer—it was more that she attracted people. I sing “New York, New York” in the film, and Steve wanted it live. We did 15 takes—because every time I made a mistake or my voice fell out of tune or I lost my breath, we’d have to cut, and Steve wanted to do the whole thing in one go. At one point he wanted Sissy to sing something else and asked me to make up a song. He said, “You’re an artist, aren’t you? We can’t afford the rights to a famous song, so make one up.” I was walking around the room thinking, How do you write a song?! Eventually I made up this really bluesy song and sang two lines.

See, you’re an artist!
A bulls–t artist [laughs].

[From W Magazine]

I think Carey must be very impressive in person, because it seems like she gets whatever part she really wants and auditions for. She impressed Baz Luhrmann when she met him for The Great Gatsby, and lots of girls read for the part of Daisy, including BLAKE LIVELY. And Carey prevailed. I think that speaks volumes. That, and she has Emma Thompson’s stamp of approval.

Photos courtesy of W Magazine.

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56 Responses to “Carey Mulligan’s W Magazine photo shoot: gorgeous or overworked?”

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  1. Astrid says:

    Wow, great photos and interview. I hadn’t paid much attention to her before but now she’s on my radar.

  2. Lala says:

    She can be really plain sometimes and then totally stunning like in this shoot.

  3. SHEDA says:


  4. Gwen says:

    She really looks stunning here and it’s a real nice interview. Got to love her!

  5. Tapioca says:

    Third picture down – subtle promo for the new Alvin & The Chipmunks: Chip-wrecked movie?

  6. normades says:

    What???? Not give a crap about Carey??? Seriously?? I name drop her every chance I get!

    Seriously, she is my favorite up and comer because she doesn’t :

    1. Come from a hwood family
    2. Sleep around
    3. Showmance
    4. have big boobies

    Not like say a certain Loobs Begsly *cough cough*.

    Nope, Carey wins roles because she is TALENTED. She will make an awesome Eliza Doolittle!!!

    • WillyNilly says:

      I found her awesome until I saw on the cover that she’s totally sexing up her image by wearing a bra. I always thought she’d be more intelligent than that and work her PR based on acting merits. I’m really quite disappointed. (Although, I’m sure it’s just supposed to be in relation to the promoted role. I’m still saddened.)

  7. Sakyiwaa says:

    this is really awesome! i love the squirrel pic! she seems so excitable… like she can switch on in a second.
    i read somewhere that she used to have raucous parties as a teen. I guess she put all that behind her. But she is indeed TALENTED…

  8. Kaye says:

    Forget Dianna Agron’s Twiggy photoshoot. Carey Mulligan nails it.

  9. TheOriginalKitten says:

    Love her. She’s so talented at such a young age-you know she’s only going to get better. And I can’t wait to see Shame.

  10. cmc says:

    She looks fantastic…and I will always love her for being in my favorite episode of Doctor Who, “Blink”. She’s awesome.

  11. jinni says:

    Am I the only one that thinks she comes off as very old? Not mature for her age or wise beyond her years, but as if she’s actually an elderly person. Even her face looks like an old person’s, like the photographer has photo-shopped all of her wrinkles away to make her appear like a young women. Kind of like Angela Landsbury, who even in her youth had an older look about her. It doesn’t help that Carey dresses so dowdy most of the time. I don’t know, that’s just the vibe I get from her maybe if I saw some of her work I’d think differently.

  12. ella says:

    Suprised to hear people don’t “give a crap” about her! I think she is THE most interesting, fascinating and talented young actress at the moment. Love love love her.

    I don’t even mind the bra shot, I think she manages to do even that with style.

  13. spinner says:

    That cover shot is gorgeous…all the photos are. She is accomplished. Glad she got away from Shia.

  14. Suzy from Ontario says:

    I never thought she was that pretty but that cover shot is stunning. I’ve never seen her look so beautiful, although I wish she was in a gown instead of a bra. What is up with all the bra pics lately?

  15. oh dear says:

    cant wait for the great gatsby!
    as for miss mulligan, i still have to warm up to her.. dont know what it is, sometimes i like her, sometimes i dont :S

  16. JaisyMaisy says:

    She has perma Geri Blank face.

  17. Maya says:

    These photos are gorgeous. I can’t wait to see her in The Great Gatsby; I think she’ll make an amazing Daisy. I can’t even imagine how terrible Blake Lively would have been in the role, so it’s good it went to the actress who can actually, you know, act.

  18. Original Chloe says:

    Smart, sweet & classy.

  19. Nia says:

    I have seen her in a couple of movies. She plays her characters with depth. She is quite believable. The one with Kiera Knightley is haunting.(forget the title) Please watch her, I think she might surpass Kate Winslet. I believe she is engaged to the singer in Mumford and Sons. I do love watching her.

  20. Bermuda Blues says:

    I really loved Carey in An Education. I hate to say this, but I’m quite skeptical of her as Daisy in The Great Gatsby. I just don’t know if she can really portray that sort of character. In some ways Blake Lively would’ve worked better as Daisy. Daisy is superficial, she’s vapid, she’s self involved. Carey’s performances tend to run deep, and Daisy is not a deep woman, she’s a spoiled little girl. Plus Daisy is supposed to be unnaturally beautiful. Carey is interesting looking, but not overwhelmingly attractive.

    • Cherry Rose says:

      Blake Lively isn’t someone I’d call “unnaturally beautiful”. To be honest, I think she’s quite plain, not to mention she’s a horrible actress.

      • Bermuda Blues says:

        Oh c’mon Blake Lively is objectively beautiful. You may find that sort of commonly acknowledged beauty to be plain, but she’s beautiful.

        As for the acting, Daisy is not a hard character. She’s not deep and layered. I haven’t seen Blake in many roles (only The Town and she played a minor part, and played it well) so I will hold back on evaluating her capabilities as an actress.

        I can’t imagine Carey Mulligan as a flakey flirtatous socialite who leads men to build their world around her. In my opinion, she’s just not the right fit for the character.

      • normades says:

        It’s called “acting” and Carey can do it. Vapid or whatevs, Carey will nail it.

        And Lively can get all the plastic surgery she wants and she’ll still be a butterface.

      • T.C. says:

        @Bermuda Blues: Blake Lively has a very plain face. There is nothing cute or beautiful about her face. Her best assent is her body, THAT’S what they guys are into not her face. Carey is not beautiful but she is pretty and looks MUCH better in the face than Blake Lively.

  21. Amestris says:

    I really like her, she sounds smart and funny besides being talented.

  22. momo says:

    she is naturally pretty and very classy. plus she can actually act. I adore her and would love to see more of here around here.

  23. L says:

    I love Carey but this whole shoot has been photoshopped. I’ve seen her in real life (stood next to her for some time at a party that a friend of a friend invited me too) and she is surprisingly plain.

  24. dahlia1947 says:

    I like the slicked back hair shots the best! She’s very Twiggy!

  25. I Choose Me says:

    I like her a lot. I’ve loved her performances in everything I’ve seen her in with the exception of Wall Street:Money Never Sleeps.

    Great cover, pics and interview. Can’t wait to see Shame!

  26. Jo 'Mama' Besser says:

    Well, Roman Polanski had the Emma stamp until she was shamed out of it by other people, so the woman’s not infalliable.

    So the difference between a famewhore and an artist is how much ceruse gets plastered on the latter before the poses for a worldwide publication in her bra? Yeah, she’s breaking down all the orthodoxy, here.

  27. T.C. says:

    She looks amazing. Not sexed up but sexy and still classy. Like the cover and the slicked back hair. *I* DO pay attention to Carey Mulligan. Why? Because she is actually talented. A nice girl with talent who isn’t a famewhore. What is not to like?

  28. Ana says:

    Beautiful, talented, inteligent and classy. Something you do not see often these days. I love her.

  29. Ashley says:

    I really enjoy her! I think she’s darling.

  30. ruby says:

    I don’t find her that pretty physically but damn is she a talented actress. At the end of the day, that’s all she needs. That’s her job and she’s very good at it. I’m rooting for her, as opposed to all those vapid annoying bitches.

    I didn’t like her in An Education (but then that’s because I disliked that film), but ever since I’ve loved everything she’s done.

  31. molly says:

    SShe’s been in like one I wrong

  32. Madrid says:

    I like her but that cover is photoshoped to hell

  33. podzol says:

    Carey as well as Rooney Mara have that certain je-ne-sais-quoi where they can totally hit it out of the ballpark with certain photoshoots. They can look super mousy and anonymous in pedestrian clothes… and then luminous with this commanding look in their eye; it’s an effect that goes beyond the great hair, makeup and wardrobe department too.

  34. Micki says:

    I’m waiting to hear that Biel auditioned for the SAME parts too..

  35. DeeVine says:

    I love Carey Mulligan, great actress, was very cute but now beautiful after subtle nose job.

  36. Julbug says:

    She’s also got that adorable boyfriend musician Mumford. He is so talented.

  37. almond says:

    She is a plain-jane but she is a talented actress. While I’d never call her beautiful, I will definitely say she has acting chops. She was good even in that Northanger Abbey adaptation and she only had a small secondary role.