Carey Hannah Mulligan (born 28 May 1985) is an English actress known for her serious roles in period dramas. In 2004, she made her acting debut on stage in London in the Kevin Elyot play Forty Winks. Her feature film debut was as Kitty Bennet in the 2005 film adaptation of Pride & Prejudice.

She gained international acclaim for her performance in the 2009 film, An Education and received a Best Actress Academy Award nomination, among other nominations and won the BAFTA award for Best Actress in Leading Role. She has since starred in Never Let Me Go (2010), Drive (2011), Shame (2011), The Great Gatsby (2013), Inside Llewyn Davis (2013), Far from the Madding Crowd (2015) and Suffragette (2015).

Carey Mulligan: Early Life

Mulligan was born in Westminster, London. Her father, Stephen Mulligan, a hotel manager, is of Irish descent and is originally from Liverpool. Her mother, Nano (née Booth), is a university lecturer and hails from Wales. She has an older brother, Owain, who was formerly a captain in the British Army and served in Iraq and Afghanistan.


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Mulligan first caught the acting bug when she was 6 years-old, watching her brother rehearsing for a production of The King And I. She was very active in her school’s drama society, putting on plays, holding workshops and of course performing.

She applied to three London acting conservatories but was accepted by none. It came as a blow, but it emboldened her to reach out to director Julian Fellowes. Fellowes had given a talk at her school on the production of Gosford Park and Mulligan approached him asking for advice. He warned her against pursuing her dream. When she sent him a letter professing her love for acting a few months later, however, he and his wife invited her to a dinner they were hosting for young actors. Mulligan caught the attention of a casting director at the event, and subsequently auditioned for Pride & Prejudice, winning the role of Kitty Bennet.

Carey Mulligan: Breakthrough & Career

After Pride & Prejudice Mulligan won a number of high-profile theater roles and and smaller parts for film and television. She appeared in Doctor Who and made-for-TV films Charles Dickens’ Bleak House, and My Boy Jack. She rounded out 2007 by appearing in an acclaimed revival of The Seagull and was commended by The Observer as “almost unbearably affecting.”

Her big breakthrough came when, at 22, she beat over a hundred other actresses to be 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.

Mulligan received rave reviews for her performance and received a Best Actress Academy Award nomination, among other nominations and won the BAFTA award for Best Actress in Leading Role. Mulligan followed this success with a leading role in the 2010 film Never Let Me Go, acting in a love triangle opposite Keira Knightley and Andrew Garfield.

Her next high profile role was in the 2011 film Drive, playing opposite Ryan Gosling as his love interest. She was nominated for her second BAFTA award—Best Supporting Actress—for the film.

Mulligan then won the highly coveted role of Daisy in Baz Luhrman‘s adaption of The Great Gatsby, acting opposite leading man Leonardo DiCaprio. Mulligan’s performance was critically appreciated but the film itself was considered a disappointment.

Roles in Shame (2011), Drive (2011), Inside Llewyn Davis (2013) and Far from the Madding Crowd (2015), were followed by a high-profile leading role in feminist focused film, Suffragette, a project that was very close to Mulligan’s heart. In an exclusive interview with uInterview Mulligan said of her character:

“She’s just sort of getting by day to day, trying to survive, and kind of apathetic and kind of reluctant to be involved in any of the women’s causes. She meets these women at the start of the story who sort of inspire her and give her an idea of what her life could be like if she got the vote.”

Mulligan was again critically lauded for her role and is tipped for a 2015 Best Actress Oscar nomination.

Her most recent film was released in 2020 and entitled Promising Young Woman. Mulligan plays Cassandra, a young woman who is traumatized by events from her past and seeks revenge on men whom she believes are trying to take advantage of her. The film was highly acclaimed and won Mulligan the Critic’s Choice Movie Award for Best Actress in 2021.

Carey Mulligan: Personal Life

Mulligan is married to Marcus Mumford, the lead singer of Mumford & Sons. They were childhood pen pals who lost touch and reconnected as adults. They married on April 21, 2012, a few weeks after wrapping production on the film Inside Llewyn Davis, in which they were both involved. They have one daughter, Evelyn Mumford, born in September 2015, and one son, Wilfred Mumford, born in August 2017.

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