Wait — Carey Mulligan is British? I had no idea that Drive’s leading lady (two words: SEE IT!) hailed from across the pond until this morning, when I finally put two and two together and realized that she was the same gal who starred in An Education (94% on rottentomatoes), another movie I really enjoyed, despite it being way depressing.
Born Cary Hannah Mulligan on May 25, 1985, Carey would not take no for an answer when it came to her career. She was just a child when she took her older brother’s lead, performing in school plays after watching him in a production of The King and I. Her parents disapproved of her pursuing acting as a career and insisted she go to college instead. They hoped she’d outgrow the phase, but she was having none of that. After rejections from three drama schools, Carey wrote a letter to the headmistress of the school she was attending at the time and asked for help.
She explained how she didn’t want to attend college and asked the headmistress for a favor — an introduction to Julian Fellowes, an English actor, novelist and film director who she’d seen speak at the school. The headmistress obliged, and Fellowes then introduced Carey to the casting agent who helped her land the role of Kitty Bennett in 2005’s Pride & Prejudice alongside Keira Knightly.
That performance and a few more stints on TV and the stage lead to her breakthrough leading role as the 16-year-old Jenny in 2009’s An Education, for which she was nominated for a Golden Globe, an Academy Award and a Screen Actor’s Guild award.
At just 26, Carey has already worked with some big names in Hollywood — director Oliver Stone and actor Michael Douglass in last year’s Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, and, of course my man Ry-Ry in Drive. She’s currently working with Leonardo DiCaprio on the upcoming film version of The Great Gatsby.
As for her hair, Carey likes to keep it short and loves to play with color.
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,