The Coen Brothers Got Carey Mulligan To Curse and Get Nasty

Illustration for article titled The Coen Brothers Got Carey Mulligan To Curse and Get Nasty

Full confession here: I straight up love Carey Mulligan. I think she just killed everything in An Education and I want to see her in all the things.

The Wrap has a nice interview with the actress, discussing her turn in the Coen Brothers' latest film Inside Llewyn Davis. But don't expect the sweet, naive girl you fell in love with opposite Peter Sarsgaard in the movie that earned her an Oscar nod. In the new film, Mulligan plays a folkie who lets it all hang out:

One scene, set in Washington Square Park, concludes with this delightfully blunt summation: "I should have had you wear double condoms. Well, we shouldn't have done it in the first place. But if you ever do it again, which as a favor to women everywhere you should not, but if you do, you should be wearing condom on condom. And then wrap it in electrical tape. You should just walk around always inside a great big condom. Because you are shit. You should not be in contact with any living being. Being shit."


Mulligan talks about working with the Coen Brothers, the legendary, Oscar-winning team that gave the world Fargo and perhaps the greatest film of all time, Raising Arizona (IF YOU DISAGREE CHALLENGE ME TO A DUEL). She said it can be challenging because they are not known for giving feedback, and they don't "slap you on the back." Here's a cool piece of celebrity dish, too—she says Ethan is the one who will "stare off into the distance and think for a second, standing right next to your head," while Joel is the one who will come over and give you point blank direction. OMG I want to live in the making of one of their films, y'all.

As to the result of that style of direction, it seems to have done the trick for the actress. She also said the Coen brothers weren't looking to rein her in as she developed the character:

No, they pushed me to be nastier and scream louder and say more swear words. I was completely relaxed. I didn't think about my accent, I didn't think about anything. It was so cathartic, especially coming off "Gatsby." That was the only really big film that I'd ever done, and I wasn't used to working in that way. It was also the only film where I've played a character who's meant to be pretty. So that was sort of a bizarre stress and something that I had to think about in a visual way. It was kind of weird for me.

So to come off that film and just put on a big black dark wig, no makeup and just sort of march around was great. It was like stomping around in the mud after being in a pretty dress, which was exactly what I wanted to do.

Of course, there's a bit of singing in this film and don't forget she's married to Marcus Mumford of the band Mumford & Sons. I would be terrified to have to sing for anything and let my famous rock star husband hear my voice. Mulligan says George Clooney (THE MAN HIMSELF) relieved some of her fears, by describing the time he had to sing his first song for the Coen Brothers as part of his role in O Brother Where Art Thou. Clooney told Mulligan their faces fell to the ground after that first "disastrous experience."

"I was so hyper-aware of being in the studio and recording my thing and looking up and seeing Joel and Ethan, and they were just staring down at the floor," she told The Wrap. "I was so scared."


Here's a trailer for the film, which was released on Dec. 6.

Image via Getty Images

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I was interested until I saw J. Timberlake. I mean, I will probably still see this because John Goodman with a bowl cut is like something out of my most cherished Lynchian dreams but goddamn, JT cannot act his way out of a paper bag and it is actually really distracting for me. Also, Garrett Hedlund is hot, so.