NEW YORK – You may not believe it, but Carey Mulligan isn't a fan of singing in public. Somehow though the soon to be 30-year-old actress and wife of “Mumford & Sons” lead singer Marcus Mumford keeps find herself stretching her vocal chords in one movie after another. It started with Steve McQueen's “Shame” and continued with the Coen Bros.' “Inside Llewyn Davis.” Mulligan avoided it in Baz Luhrmann's “The Great Gatsby,” but now find herself singing acappella in Thomas Vinterberg's “Far From The Madding Crowd.” Speaking to Mulligan earlier this month, HitFix asked how she was handling being pigeonholed as a – gasp – songstress!
“Persecuted is more the question? I know it's so strange,” Mulligan says. “It keeps happening to be int he script and I'm constantly fighting with it. I did fight it a little bit with this one, but I was quickly put in my place by the producers and the director.”
In “Madding” Mulligan plays Bathsheba Everdene, the iconic heroine of Thomas Hardy's classic Victorian era novel. Bathsheba inherits a down on its luck family farm at a relatively young age and takes the reigns in order to turn it around. During a dinner with a potential suitor (Michael Sheen) and a staff looking for inspiration, Bathsheba sings allowing moviegoers to hear Mulligan's beautiful voice once more.
While Sheen, as William Boldwood, and Tom Sturridge, as Sgt. Francis Troy, are Bathsheba's initial love interests, it's clear from early on that the relatively poor sheep farmer Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts) is her true match. The entertaining aspect of “Madding” is watching Bathsheba's emotional maturation as she comes to this obvious realization. Still, we had to ask Mulligan why she thinks Bathsheba takes so long in succumbing to Gabriel's charms.
“I think the first time she meets him is she says 'no' because she doesn't know him,” Mulligan says of Oak's initial marriage proposal in the movie. “He proposes when she's 18 after basically just seeing her a field a few times and asks her to marry and she says no, because why would you? Which is great because most women of that time would often accept proposals of marriage just for stability. Then her story changes and she suddenly is a land owner. She inherits some money and she's land owner and her social status is different. Their story gives her so many twists and turns.”
For more on Mulligan's thoughts on “Madding” and her experiences working a sheep farm (she gets down and dirty) check out the video embedded at the top of this post.
Also, check out Michael Sheen discussing his character and working with Mulligan in the video embedded at the bottom of this article.
“Far From The Madding Crowd” opens in New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco tomorrow. It expands close to other major markets on May 8.