Carey Mulligan is definitely not your average celebrity girl crush. That doesn’t mean you can’t be fiercely in love with her, in fact, its probably harder not to be, but Carey just isn’t your typical fly by night crush. She’s a hardcore commitment.
Just when we think we think we cannot be more smitten with her, we see another one of her movies and fall in love all over again. She’ll win our hearts one day as Jenny in “An Education,” and then give such a poignant performance as Sissy in “Shame” that we just want to propose to her.
Why is it that we love her so much? That’s what we were trying to find out, and not surprisingly, we came up with a lot of pretty darn good reasons. Here are just a few of them:
She Can Act
We could let her BAFTA, Tony and Oscar noms speak for themselves, but while we’re on the subject of Carey, we think it would be remiss not to take a look at her illustrious acting career. Yes, Carey can act, in fact, she can act her panties off, and she’s been doing it since 2004. Of course, that’s dating back to her the-a-tra days.
Much like any other proper English girl with Hollywood aspirations would Carey’s cut her acting teeth on the London stage. Her first professional performance was when Carey, at the age of 19, starred in a production of “Forty Winks” at the Royal Court Theatre. The next year, she made her first debut alongside Keira Knightley in Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.” Her TV debut came later that year when she nabbed a role in the Charles Dickens BBC adaptation of Bleak House as orphan Ada Clarke.
However, it was when Carey shut the book on English lit for good and went on to film indie hit “An Education,” that she made her first major silver screen breakthrough. Her 2009 portrayal of Jenny as a schoolgirl charmed by an older conman, earned her SAG, Golden Globe, and Critics Choice nominations, as well as a BAFTA award for Best Actress in a Leading Role.
The rest, as you might say is cinematic history. Carey went on to get in the passenger seat with Ryan Gosling in “Drive,” take on the oh so uncomfortable subject of sex addiction in Shame (2011) and agree to babysit Llewellyn Davis and his cat in “inside Llewellyn Davis.” And that’s just to name a few. She also starred along Leo DiCaprio in the enviable role of Daisy Buchanan in the “Great Gatsby” in 2010. Not to mention that the clothes she wore in that movie would have given Coco Chanel a run for the money.
But acting, Carey can do that in her sleep, it’s how she manages to do everything else so well that really makes her our favorite. Why else do we love her? Let us keep counting.
She’s A Rebel…
“Marry a lawyer.” It may sound more like something you would expect to hear from Kris Kardashian than you would from actor screenwriter Julian Fellows. But that’s exactly what Fellows told Carey when she asked him for guidance about her acting career.
Mulligan’s dilemma arose when her parents disapproved of her passion for acting. While they may not have advised her to find romance with a notoriously snake-like individual, they did prefer that she attend a university. However, Mulligan stuck to her guns. Ever since the age of six, when Mulligan saw her brother perform in the “King and I,” she knew acting was her calling and she wasn’t going to let an ill-advised marriage or a few years of learning the golden rule get in the way.
Carey wrote to Fellowes explaining that she was serious about acting and that it was her purpose in life. Several weeks later, she received correspondence from Fellowes’ wife inviting her to a dinner she and her husband were hosting to provide young, aspiring actors and actresses guidance on their acting careers. This facilitated a meeting between Mulligan and a casting assistant which eventually led to her role as Kitty Bennett in “Pride and Prejudice.” As for marrying a lawyer, we’ll leave that to Kris Kardashian.
…With A Cause
What’s a rebel without a cause? Don’t ask Carey Mulligan. She has several.
Most notable is her role as ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Society raising awareness and funds for Alzheimer’s and dementia research. For Carey, the fight against Alzheimer’s is personal. Her gran suffers from the disease and no longer recognizes her. In her title, she’s less of a figurehead and more of an active participant.
Carey doesn’t just talk the talk, she walks the walk. Since taking on the role in 2012, Carey has helped host and participated in the 2012 Alzheimer’s Memory Walk. She was also among one of the sponsored millions to run in the 2013 Nike Run to the Beat in London. You can do your part by watching Mulligan share her heartbreaking story about her family’s struggle with the debilitating disease here.
And Alzheimer’s isn’t the only issue Carey is raising awareness about. In 2010, Carey took part in the Safe Project as one of the actresses photographed in the place she feels the safest in, with the goal of raising awareness about sex trafficking. She donated the Vionnet gown she wore to the 2010 BAFTAs to the Curiosity Shop, which sells its donations to raise money for charity.
Mulligan became the ambassador for War Child in 2014. In 2016, she delivered a poignant speech before a panel in New York addressing the issue of refugees and displaced children in war-torn countries. “They shouldn’t have to be brave,” said Carey of the Syrian refugee children she visited in Jordan. “They shouldn’t have to show courage or resilience….What we need is for world leaders to start standing up for children’s rights. Standing up for the right to education, to be safe and free from fear, to have a family life and be properly listened to.”
She Can Do A Do
At one point in her life, every woman plays with the idea of getting a pixie cut, usually right after she breaks up with her significant other, but we digress. The pixie cut is so fresh, so liberating, so androgynously playful, so Twiggy, so Julie Andrews, so Liza Minelli, so Carey Mulligan. Yes, add Carey right up there with all the other pixie wearing icons. Carey Mulligan not only wore the pixie, but she also owned it. She knew how to work it and boy, did it work for her. She played it up, she played it down, she played it straight, and she even played it with finger waves. But like any savvy fashionista, Carey knows when to move on.
When Carey evolved as an actress, her hair evolved with her. She bid her pixie hairstyle a fond farewell and fearlessly moved into deeper waters. She’s done the messy updo with abandon, the mid-length bob with sophistication and the French twist with je nais se quois, to name just a few. Will she return to her pixie look someday? We’ll just have to see how she feels about it.
She Has an Immaculate Sense of Style
So, with that signature pixie hair and boyish look that Carey is known for, one might think that she would look like a child playing dress up in heels and a gown walking down the red carpet, and the truth is at times she does. But Carey Mulligan makes it work for her. From closely cropped hair with diamond chandelier earrings to baby doll dresses with clunky black shoes, Carey makes the incongruous congruous and wrap the out of the box up into a neatly packaged ensemble.
What’s her secret? It’s her quirky modern retro approach to fashion that manages to lend a modicum of youth to her appearance. By mixing retro with a classic silhouette, she creates her own unique look, putting her at the top of the Harper’s Bazaar Best Dressed List for 2010. While we’re on the subject of Carey, why not talk about some of her most memorable scenes on the red carpet?
1) Off-Shoulder Dress
We all know that Carey has a gift for fashion, but when she wrapped herself up in a big pink bow for the Met Gala in 2019, it became quite apparent. What do you get when you take a sequined red strapless gown, tie a pink satin bandeau across the front, and add a black bustle to the side? The tricolor off the shoulder Prada that Carey wore to the Met Gala in 2019. Check it out here.
2) Chandelier Earrings
Who but Carey Mulligan could pull off a boy cut hairdo with cascading 19th earrings? Carey Mulligan stunned irreverently and unapologetically in her diamond faceted dazzlers and close’ cropped coif at the 2010 Academy Awards. Paired with a black low high hemmed strapless and clunky, if somewhat dangerous looking heels, the only thing that shined brighter than Carey’s earrings was her smile. See here for proof.
3) Sequinned Dress
The dress that Carey wore to the New York Film festival had Valentino written all over it. Literally. The name Valentino was embedded in geo-symmetrical print of the sequined midi that Carey modeled for the premiere of “Wildlife.” Does that make it wrong that she was wearing Louboutin heels even though they looked so right? Let us know how you weigh in after you check it out for yourself.
She Married A Rock Star
Some girls dream of growing up and becoming actresses, other girls dream of growing up and marrying rock stars. Some girls end up doing both. Carey Mulligan is one of them. She married Marcus Mumford of Mumford and Sons in 2011 and never looked back since.
So, what happened when the beauty met this beast? It all went down after a private Mumford show in Nashville Tennessee that Carey was attending with actor buddy Jake Gyllenhaal. According to insiders, it was over pizza, guitars and an amazing rendition of “Amazing Grace,” sung by the now Ms. Mumford herself, that the two noticed that they had good harmony with another.
And don’t worry, the name Mumford and Sons is not literal. Despite the reputations of many musicians, It is not a collection of Marcus’ illegitimate sons. As far as we know, the only children Marcus has fathered are the ones he’s had with Carey. Those are Evelyn Grace, born September 2015 and Wilfred, born August 2017.
She Can Sing
Don’t let those sour notes in “New York, New York” fool you. Carey Mulligan can sing. Even if she doesn’t belt it out quite like Frank, she’s playing her role in “Shame’ perfectly in tune with her character of the Sissy.
If you want to hear more of Carey’s vocal talents, you can hear her on the Belle and Sebastian track “Write About Love,” harmonizing like she was Mama Michelle herself. The song, featured on the soundtrack of “An Education” is Mulligan’s marks Mulligan’s professional singing debut. Just let the Moog synthesizer take you away and interpret the groovy lyrics as you will. Get an earful here.
And in case you’re wondering, yes, that was Carey making hubby Marcus proud lending her own voice as one-third of the folk trio on the “500 Miles” track. Falsetto vocal ranges and gut-wrenching lyrics aside, she did manage to hold her own with the great JT (Justin Timberlake). Carey, we would go 500 miles for you any day. Watch the clip here to refresh your memory.