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Mulligan 'not great' at red carpets

Published 21/04/2015

Cary Mulligan won an Oscar nomination for her role as a schoolgirl in the film An Education
Cary Mulligan won an Oscar nomination for her role as a schoolgirl in the film An Education

Hollywood star Carey Mulligan has said she struggled to enjoy her fame and became anxious about being pigeon-holed as "a British actress in a bonnet".

Mulligan won an Oscar nomination for her role as a schoolgirl in the film An Education, at the age of 24.

The Great Gatsby star, who is married to Mumford & Sons frontman Marcus Mumford, told Radio Times magazine of her early success: "In retrospect I wish I'd had more fun with it, but I didn't.

"I got a bit terrified. I was - and am - not great at having my photo taken and doing red carpets.

"When I was a bit younger, it used to paralyse me with fear. I used to get to the end of a red carpet in tears - awful.

"I don't really know why, I was just sort of a bit overwhelmed. I should have been at the parties having a good time, but instead I was at the parties being, like, 'When can I leave?'"

The Pride And Prejudice and Bleak House actress, who moved to Los Angeles for 12 months a few years ago, said she hated the prospect of being continuously cast as an English rose in British period dramas.

"I had great experiences but also felt nervous about being pigeon-holed as being a British actress in a bonnet," she said.

Mulligan recently filmed Suffragette with Meryl Streep, a film about the early years of the British women's suffrage movement.

She said: "Women were force-fed, went on hunger strike, blew up houses, blew up churches, chained themselves to government buildings and martyred themselves, and 100 years later, no one's ever made a film about it.

"And then you think, 'Well, if that story hasn't been told, think of all the millions of other stories that have never been told'.

"And maybe, in the next couple of years, I should not just wait for great parts to come along in films where there's a male lead and an interesting supporting role. I should be trying to find ways of generating more films that are more driven by women."

Mulligan said of sexism in the industry: "You see it around you and you know that it goes on and you hear horror stories about people who are cast in their bikinis, and you think it's astonishing that that happens now."

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