Actor Carey Mulligan talks to NET-A-PORTER’s digital title, PORTER

ENGLISH ACTOR CAREY MULLIGAN TALKS TO PORTER ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF FEMALE FRIENDSHIPS, THE NOTION OF CONSENT AND HOW SHE’S ALWAYS WANTED TO STAR IN A ROM-COM

Actor Carey Mulligan talks to NET-A-PORTER’s digital title, PORTER, about the importance of female friendships, the notion of consent and how she’s always wanted to star in a romantic-comedy: “I’ve been campaigning for Richard Curtis to write me something for about 10 years!”

Mulligan’s next project is the hotly anticipated Promising Young Woman, a movie penned and directed by Killing Eve showrunner Emerald Fennell. “It’s funny, because the reaction I first had when I read the script was, ‘This is soooo romantic’.”

Underpinning it, however, is a black comedy about revenge, sexual assault and toxic masculinity: “Emerald’s [point] was: if [you] take someone home and they are really drunk, and then that person reveals they are not drunk, and you feel guilty, then you know what you are doing isn’t right.”

Mulligan says the film’s scenarios deepened her own understanding of the issues: What we reflected on, making this film, was the amount of real-life stories like this we know. A lot of this film is stuff that pretty much every woman I know has experienced in some way.”

Given the movie’s focus, Mulligan explains the changes that she has witnessed in her industry on the back of #MeToo: “The first concrete measure I saw was doing a play at the Royal Court called Girls & Boys. They gave us a document that was a code of conduct… I had never had that in my career.”

Mulligan notes the difference now to when she first started out in the industry: “If that had been going on when I started at 18, it would have felt different. Now, I really think it would be wild for something to happen on set. No one would turn a blind eye.”

One of the key themes of Promising Young Woman is the endurance of female friendship, which is something Mulligan recognizes in her personal life, too: “My female friendships have become increasingly important – particularly the ones with friends I made when I was 14 at school. It’s something about doing stages of life together and supporting each other.”

Mulligan now resides in Devon with her musician husband Marcus Mumford [lead singer of Mumford & Sons] and their two children, Evelyn, four, and Wilfred, two. Musing about portraying a mother on screen, she explains: “One part of Promising Young Woman that really struck me was that, for the last couple of years, I have been playing moms. I was a mother in Mudbound, I had a 14-year-old in Wildlife.  And then I read this script where I am working in a coffee shop and have no dependents.”

Did it make her nostalgic for single life? “Noooo. In fact, every time we stepped into a new bar set, Emerald [Fennell] and I would both be like, ‘God, we haven’t been in a bar in a really long time’. And I’m very glad of that.”

For PORTER’s shoot, Mulligan was photographed by Rory Payne and styled by Cathy Kasterine wearing timelessly chic black pieces from Bottega Veneta, Miu Miu, The Row, Gabriela Hearst  and more. All items can be purchased straight from the shoot via the NET-A-PORTER app, available on Android as well as iPhone and iPad, and through net-a-porter.com.

Interview highlights:

Carey Mulligan on how she’s always wanted to be in a rom-com: “I’ve been campaigning for Richard Curtis to write me something for about 10 years!”

Carey Mulligan on her first impression of Promising Young Women when reading the script: “It’s funny, because the reaction I first had when I read the script was, ‘This is soooo romantic’.”

Carey Mulligan on consent: “Emerald [Fennell]’s [point] was: if [you] take someone home and they are really drunk, and then that person reveals they are not drunk, and you feel guilty, then you know what you are doing isn’t right.”

Carey Mulligan on the real-life stories that pretty much every woman has experienced: What we reflected on, making this film, was the amount of real-life stories like this we know. A lot of this film is stuff that pretty much every woman I know has experienced in some way.”

Carey Mulligan on the changes she witnessed after #MeToo: “The first concrete measure I saw was doing a play at the Royal Court called Girls & Boys. They gave us a document that was a code of conduct… I had never had that in my career.”

Carey Mulligan on how no-one would turn a blind eye anymore: “If that had been going on when I started at 18, it would have felt different. Now, I really think it would be wild for something to happen on set. No one would turn a blind eye.”

Carey Mulligan on the importance of female friendships: “My female friendships have become increasingly important – particularly the ones with friends I made when I was 14 at school. It’s something about doing stages of life together and supporting each other.”

Carey Mulligan on portraying a mother on screen: “One part of Promising Young Woman that really struck me was that, for the last couple of years, I have been playing moms. I was a mother in Mudbound, I had a 14-year-old in Wildlife.  And then I read this script where I am working in a coffee shop and have no dependents.”

Carey Mulligan on whether she misses her life before children: “Noooo. In fact, every time we stepped into a new bar set, Emerald and I would both be like, ‘God, we haven’t been in a bar in a really long time’. And I’m very glad of that.”

To see the full interview, read Porter at http://www.net-a-porter.com/porter/article-8d509bca06c9b856  or download the NET-A-PORTER app for iPhone, iPad and Android.

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