• Thu, Sep 15 2011

Celebrities We Irrationally Hate: Carey Mulligan

I want to begin this by saying I loved her in An Education. Loved her. What a good movie, right? How perfect to case an ingenue in that role who seemed ordinary enough to be relatable, but also pretty enough that you could see how this man would want her, and just really smart. I loved it. I have it on DVD. She’s great in it.

I’ve just never particularly cared for her in anything else.

Look, I let the vague disappointment that was Never Let Me Go, go, despite it being one of my favorite books. It’s hard to capture the whole liberal arts clones in love thing (read the whole thing, here!)  I figured that maybe Carey was told to act somewhat wooden, and that perhaps my complaining about a clone not seeming emotional enough put me in the same camp as the people who read reviews of “My Lobotomy” and comment on how it’s kind of toneless.  

But then there was Wall St. 2. Have I mentioned the extent to which I love the original Wall St? How Gordon Gekko was pretty much my first childhood crush? How funny and smart the quippy dialogue was? Carey Mulligan’s role in the sequel seemed to be “play a blogger” and “be pissed off about everything, especially the existence of money and getting a big diamond ring from the protagonist who loves you.” (Spoiler: in the end, forgive everyone if they make a hundred million dollars).

And frankly, perhaps this is unfair, but I might have been able to buy the character’s entire role in the film if she had been played by a mega-babe. If Megan Fox (or whoever the new Megan Fox is, they only get two years, the Megan Foxes of the world) had been playing a role where she spat at her fiance about how disgusted she was that he got her a really nice engagement ring, and how she hated this world, just hated it, and was going to jump out of the car right now, I might just shrug my shoulder and say “Oh. Right. She’s the kind of girl men will temporarily love for pulling those shenanagins for a brief period in her 20′s. Because she is super hot.”

But Carey Mulligan is not super-hot. She is a very pretty looking girl who is pretty the way you and your friends are pretty. That’s what makes her really lovely and easy to relate to  in An Education. That also makes her really impossible to believe in during movies like Wall St. where you have the nagging suspicion that –  unless she were the babeliest babe who ever babed - when she started shrieking like a harpy at her good looking, 20-something, millionaire hedge-fund boyfriend he might have started evaluating what else was on the market.

You know who else is a bit like that? Daisy Buchanan, who Carey has been cast to play in the upcoming Great Gatsby (it will be in 3D which will be so effective in the scene where Gatsby throws ninja stars). Daisy is delicate, and witty, and a product of her time, and very, very beautiful and she is also a real asshole. Like, really. She’s horrible. Fitzgerald takes every opportunity to note that Daisy and her husband Tom (who I think we all agree is an asshole) are in the same camp, by which he means “the rich people camp for mega-assholes.” We sort of don’t see this ourselves because Daisy is supposed to be so damn beautiful and Gatsby loves her so much that as readers you only shrug and say “okay, old sport, we’ll trust you on this one.” Bad choices! Bad choices!

I can’t help but feel like the same problems I had in that regard with Wall St. 2 will just repeat themselves.

And now that Joan Collin noted that she’s starring in a remake of My Fair Lady? As though she’s somehow… on par wih Audrey Hepburn? No. No. Cannot handle it.

CAN HANDLE NO MORE.

So I guess it’s not fair to say I hate her so much as she’s being dreadfully miscast lately. Fair?

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  • Roxana Rusowsky

    I feel the same, Jennifer.

  • Jessica

    I hate her and I’ve never seen a single thing she’s in. She always looks so bloody grumpy in photos.

    • wtf

      how can you hate her if you haven’t seen any of her work? Just because it is internet, it does not mean you can just comment shit and think shit. Get it together

    • jessica

      wtf: I didn’t give an opinion on her work. She gets on my nerves, can’t stand the woman. It has nothing to do with her work.

    • blah

      Jessica be a hater. grew the hell up

  • Missy

    I like her. I also think she was cast appropriately against Shia since he really isn’t all that attractive. Don;t get me wrong, I like him, but he is in the same league as Carey on the hotness scale.

    • porkchop

      I don’t think anyone can be Daisy. How can you be less than human and more at the same time? How can a person be the empty allure of social ambition?

  • Deborah Conner

    I love her. She’s real, her beauty is real. I’m so tired of fake, fake body, fake face, fake acting. Her intelligence shines through.

    • ilovemovies

      I agree. I watched many interviews and she makes very smart choices. Also, when she was in Charlie Rose, I was very impressed with her articulation and her thought about acting. Also, I think the beauty is not the most important feature of an actor or an actress, and it should not be.

    • Cat Gee

      …but daisy IS fake, and daisy is not intelligent, sooo….?

  • Jamie Peck

    Um, in what world is Carey Mulligan only kind of pretty? I will take her delicate features over the surgically constructed Frankenbabe that is Megan Fox any day of the week.

  • Alanna

    She’s ‘cute pretty’ not ‘hot gorgeous superstar pretty’ so I can agree with her being miscast. And I just can’t see her as Daisy Buchanan. For some reason I think Daisy should be like a blonde Keira Knightly, only bitchier.

  • Susana

    I loved your comment. I thought you were a bloke, I don’t know why. She’s nice. Come on. she’s a nice girl and I think she’ll be great playing Daisy: another nice girl. In ‘Never let me go’ she was perfect for the role. Just the kind of person who will never ever ask: Why are we being used as dispensable pieces of meat (except for some of our organs) by other people?

    I don’t think she is the problem, it is about her type: the nice girl.

    • Jennifer Wright

      “I think she’ll be great playing Daisy: another nice girl.” Did we read the same book?

    • what the heck

      Jennifer, why are you attacking all the comments? FYI, have you read Never Let Me Go? Perhaps, you should read that again

    • Rowann

      She’s not attacking anyone, she’s just stating that Daisy as a character is a cold-hearted bitch and actually the farthest thing possible from a “nice girl”. Which is the truth, have you guys even read the book?

    • Susana

      Hi there!

      I do believe Daisy is the nice girl type in a social, conventional way. She is what she is expected to be: good looking, charming, submissive… she is trapped and she knows, because she is not stupid. And she knows also that Gatsby is in love with her, but does he know who she is? He barely knows her. He is looking for social recognition: he has an incredible house and organizes stupid parties but, is she the next object for him to be socially acceptable?

      I think Daisy is a victim, and a nice girl too.

    • Jennifer Wright

      She commits a hit and run. She kills someone. And then she leaves town after letting her lover take the rap. I think it’s possible I have a very different definition of “nice”, and I feel confident in stating that your definition terrifies me.

  • Spud

    Carey was awesome in “An education”, o.k. in “the greatest”, a wet blanket in “wall street”, just as the role was written. She was good in “never let me go” as were all of the actors. I blame the director for an incomplete narrative on that film. She will be great as Daisy as she is loaded with natural charm and a beautiful voice that sounds like money and she has the acting skill to project shallow.

  • ilovemovies

    I disagree with you strongly. I have never been to this website and frankly, very surprised that this popped up in Google new search. However, after reading this article, I’m very disappointed in how you judged/evaluated an actress and how you ignore to “think” before making a public post. Your judgment is very negative-attributed, you do not know about her career well enough to write a post like this and you seem to ignore that fact that your reckless comment can actually hurt other people’s feelings. This isn’t a critical review; it is just a clear attack

    Firstly and crucially, it seems that your criteria for evaluating an actress is based on the beauty, rather focused on neither the talent nor the choices she makes in her career. She is an actress, not a model. If you wanted to judge a beauty, I’m sure there are lots of models who became an actress? Also, we live in the society where we are constantly judged by our looks. Don’t you think your article rather contributes to the negative aspect to that? Just for your information, she looked incredibly beautiful in the audition picture for The Great Gatsby.
    Also, you should not write an article like this if you haven’t followed up her career. I have never met her, but I know that her first rising is not from An Education: It is from The Seagulls. PLAYBILL wrote rave reviews about her incredible performance from The Seagulls and recently again in Through A Glass Darkly. Additionally, I would disagree with you about her performance in Never Let Me Go. Cathy is a very emotionally-restricted character and I thought she played her faithfully. I’d agree that the film itself did not live up to the value of the book; however, I would recommend you to read it again. I thought all the acting in the film was very well done.

    With Wall Street 2., it is even hard to review her performance because she plays a very minor part. For me, however, my favorite scene was a break-up scene between Jake and Mulligan’s character.

    I think as an actress, she is making very interesting choices. I think she chooses very difficult roles. (At this point, I want to ask you have you seen The Greatest? Have you seen Shame?) I thought she was absolutely great in Shame. It seems that she is choosing more and more difficult roles to play. I’m really looking forwards her rendition of Daisy. Moreover, Baz Luhrmann is one of the most creative directors in our time. Do you really think he would hire her without a very good reason? Do you think the distributor would just let her play her because she simply wants to? She has worked with Kristen Scott Thomas, Nicholas Winding Refn and Oliver Stone. And Sam Mendes showed an interest in her to play an adaptation of On Chesil Beach, written by Ian McEwan.

    Lastly, have you considered what if her friends or family have read this? Have you thought about your reputation as a blogger? Yes, this is a public space and perhaps we can say “whatever” However, there is something called “respect” and “critical evaluation” I am not a film critic nor an actor, but as an aspiring director, writer, and actor, I felt that you should be more careful about what you say and how to title your article- “hate” is a very strong word. I encourage you to think about what you wrote.

    • Jennifer Wright

      I think her family might think that I regard her as a very pretty, thoughtul girl who I don’t buy playing stone cold beautiful bitches? So… they raised her right?

    • ilovesmovies

      She’s an actress. They became an actress to explore different types of human beings. I think as any actress, you would want to expand your skills and crafts. I’m not sure if you can judge her even before the movie came out. I’m sure that Baz Luhrman has done thorough research on the book and the author. If he saw something in her and he reckons that she is more than able to play the role, as an audience and a fan of book, we could be curious and even predict; however, not write a hateful article. I’m not sure why you would be more sarcastic. And you did not comment on any other major issues that I mentioned.

      Also, let’s see an example of Amy Adams? I was certainly surprised that she was able to pull of that role. Adams and Mulligan are both actresses. If they just wanted play themselves, I don’t think they would have gotten the same respect and raves that they’re accomplishing today.

  • Arnie

    I rather love her. Largely because she stars in one of my favourite ever episodes of Doctor Who.

    Watch Blink. Then we can talk.

    • Ali

      HA! I loved Blink. So happy that was mentioned. I didn’t know it was here at first, though.

      On a related note, I am confused as to why she was cast as Daisy, so I agree with Jennifer.

  • Benita

    I have not seen “Wall Street 2″ but if the super hot hedge fund boyfriend is played by the rat like Shia LeBeouf, you and I have vastly diverging opinions of what constitutes “hot”.

    I also disagree with your reading of Daisy Buchanan, give it a reread when you hit forty, you may see her differently. Carey Mulligan will play her beautifully.

    • Jennifer Wright

      I believe Fitzgerald disagrees with your reading of Daisy:

      “They were careless people, Tom and Daisy — they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made. . . .”

      And SPOILER:

      “Was Daisy driving?”

      “Yes,” he said after a moment, “but of course I’ll say I was. You see, when we left New York she was very nervous and she thought it would steady her to drive — and this woman rushed out at us just as we were passing a car coming the other way. It all happened in a minute, but it seemed to me that she wanted to speak to us, thought we were somebody she knew. Well, first Daisy turned away from the woman toward the other car, and then she lost her nerve and turned back. The second my hand reached the wheel I felt the shock — it must have killed her instantly.”

      “It ripped her open ——”

      “Don’t tell me, old sport.” He winced. “Anyhow — Daisy stepped on it. I tried to make her stop, but she couldn’t, so I pulled on the emergency brake. Then she fell over into my lap and I drove on.

      I’m going to say – and I might be going out on a wacky moral limb here – that hitting and running and then never making any effort to confess and frankly being cool with it puts you strongly in the asshole camp.

  • amdeut

    I believe that your review of her is simply wrong. She is a remarkable young actress with skills far superior to many who have been working at their craft for a longer time. While some of her roles (i.e. Wall Street 2) were not in my favorite movies, I found the writing to be subpar, not the acting. I had the wonderful opportunity to see her act in the brilliant piece by Ingmar Bergman in Through A Glass Darkly, and she was nothing less than outstanding.

  • StellaHarrington

    I agree completely!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I know people will come on here and act appalled by your frankness and truthfully it is not the nicest of things to say, but it’s true!!!
    She was miscast in Wall Street. Hot shot hedge funders like trophies. It bothered me the whole time watching and I thought the same thing when I heard about the casting for Daisy. The Daisy character should be sexually vivacious. I think the problem is the really hot ones, the Megan Fox types, can’t act at all. That said Kiera Knightly would have been a good Daisy. Also, maybe Kate Hudson. She could probably play vapid and rich, but charming. It would be a nice departure tole for her.

  • Ewa

    Jennifer, nothing you mentioned in the article justifies even a strong dislike, not to mention hate, which, as far as I know, is a very strong word. Very poorly played.

    When it comes to The Great Gatsby – I’ve read this novel several times, taught it several times, saw some of the adaptations and I think the and I believe Carey Mulligan can do the character justice – probably far better than Mia Farrow, the iconic Daisy, and Mira Sorvino, the non-iconic one.

  • Ewa

    Sorry, too much editing:) but you’re really getting irrationally defensive – no need to copy-paste quotations from The Great Gatsby, really, unless you want to insult quite intelligent people? – about something that shouldn’t have taken happened. Articles like that ruin the Internet.

  • Fabel

    Wow, the comments are crazy on this post. I agree with this article completely, and also think it was written with thoughtfulness & is not an “attack” at all. The title, first of all, qualifies itself with the word “irrationally”, therefore blanketing the content in astute self-awareness. That is, I took it as Jennifer’s personal assessment– it’s not supposed to be a critical review of Carey Mulligan’s work. She’s sort of just analyzing her own reaction to the actress (“Why do I have a seemingly irrational aversion to Carey Mulligan?”) & then lays out all the reasons. Those of you getting super-offended on Mulligan’s behalf seem to be way over-reacting.

  • Katie

    I agree completely. I really liked Carey Mulligan in An Education and Never Let Me Go, as well as Pride & Prejudice and Bleak House. But that doesn’t mean she’ll make a great Daisy.

    I feel like Daisy should be played by someone like a young Rosamund Pike (Helen in An Education), who is beautiful and projects a sense of elegance that Carey Mulligan isn’t regal enough to project. Carey Mulligan always looks a little like a child, which makes her pretty, but not the right kind of pretty. I could see Rooney Mara, Camilla Belle or a young Eva Green playing Daisy, but not Carey.

  • Louise S.

    The comment by Fabel is one of very few sensible comments on this post. It astounds me that considering very few people commenting have even met her, how emotionally invested they are in this person. Enough to comment on how much of a ‘nice girl’ she is or even better yet a five paragraph shpeel that tries to guilt into submission by commenting on how her family would feel upon reading this article. What over emotional bum fodder! This article says nothing about her character! I feel like ive stumbled into a twilight zone in which an adequate response to something you disagree with is to just shout ‘feelings’ at someone continuously until they agree with you. Such is life.

  • tiffany

    I hate her because she’s engaged or something to Marcus Mumford. And she’s playing Daisy. That bitch is so lucky!

  • Rudiger

    Jennifer,

    After I found out Carey Mulligan will be playing Daisy Buchanan in The Great Gatsby, I searched “Carey Mulligan is not pretty” in Google and found your insightful post. I’m glad I’m not the only one who found her distracting in Wall Street 2 and Drive. She undoubtedly will detract from The Great Gatsby as well.

    -Rudiger

  • inkblot

    I just went to lunch with some female co-workers who said the same thing. They hate her because they don’t think she’s pretty enough to be Ryan Gosling’s love interest. But I’m a heterosexual male and I think she IS, or at least I didn’t find there to be any sort of disparity between them that made it distracting to watch, or whatever. And does my opinion not trump yours when it comes to questions like this? (It’s not like I go around telling you which guys are hot.) Especially since it sounds like you’re just jealous?

  • fromItaly

    hi everybody, I’m from Italy and I’m a fan of Carey. she’s great in her roles, she’s nice and kind with her fans. Why do you hate her?? she’s a normal girl that loves what she does, and she does it very well. what did she does to you?? I can’t understand. I loved her in an education, in never let me go, in pride and prejudice and in the other films that she did. she’s a fantastic actress, and that’s enough.

  • dontHateCarey

    WE don’t irrationally hate Carey, YOU may, but WE don’t. Carey is a super hottie. She has this innocent baby face and gorgeous eyes. She is actually unlike so many actresses out there, and one of the few who is uniquely super sweet, cute and beautiful all in one. I would take Carey a zillion times over a nasty, run of the mill, plastic skank like Megan Fox. You’re article is absurd and totally preposterous.

  • Madeline

    Personally I love Carey Mulligan! As an actress, a fellow pixie haired vixen, and a fashion icon she is all around awesome! I think she will play a great Daisy as she is a character who is supposed to simultaneously supposed to be believeable as a submissive wife and a woman docile enough she could have never committed a murder (i say this with sarcasm) and to many people she is a mega babe! maybe not in the conventional long haired skinny bitchy way but in the ingenue indie and uniquely innovative way people like Megan Fox could only dream to be! I love her! you definitely have a right to your opinion but so do we!

  • Roberto

    We all know that female’s greatest enemy is another female.
    To the writer : JEALOUS MUCH ??

  • Lili

    wow. I think she is gorgeous and an awesome actress. I LOVED her in Never Let Me Go and Drive. She’s totally believable as far as being a love interest for Ryan gosling. They are actually on par as far as looks go because as totally handsome as he is, he’s unique and not perfect, just like her: beautiful yet imperfect like so many of us. I agree with some of the comments here: I would prefer her over Megan Fox any day. She has the absolute cutest face. gah, I think I have a girl crush on her.

  • Lili

    wow. I think she is gorgeous and an awesome actress. I LOVED her in Never Let Me Go and Drive. She’s totally believable as far as being a love interest for Ryan gosling. They are actually on par as far as looks go because as totally handsome as he is, he’s unique and not perfect, just like her: beautiful yet imperfect like so many of us. I agree with some of the comments here: I would prefer her over Megan Fox any day. She has the absolute cutest face. gah, I think I have a girl crush on her.

  • kneelbeforetigers

    I mostly feel bad for her. She’s the new Gretchen Mol.

  • http://www.facebook.com/miki.kearns Miki Kearns

    Gatsby is one of my favorite novels of all time. I loved the original movie as well. I have to say I was very let down when I heard Carey was playing Daisy. For reasons I just cannot quite explain I, too, thought she was pretty decent in “An Education”. Anything else-she just…sorry…got on my nerves. And really I cannot explain it. Maybe it is that short, pixie haircut and that bland, youthful almost cute boyish face that simply does not work in a lot of the particular leading female rolls she has been cast. I am not basing it on beauty as someone mocked with such fury here, but you have to cast things carefully. And she has not been cast carefully or made good choices. Having read the book so many times she would be so far from my choice they might as well have cast Michelle Williams. She just does not suit this particular roll at all to me and now I am not looking forward to the movie as I was. So I get what you are saying completely. No need for anyone to be all upset here for goodness sake we are entitled to not be crazy about an actress!

  • LilianG

    Wow are you serious? I’ve never met anyone who even remotely dislikes Carey Mulligan :O I’ll take her over any American “a-list” young actress any day. She was in Doctor Who, what’s not to love!

  • Cat Gee

    when i think of a character like daisy, i picture a helen-of-troy type: a face that launched 1000 ships. the type of woman that men fall hopelessly for without really knowing who she is, because it doesn’t matter, because it’s obsession, not love. the type of woman who, frankly, is a hot mess. stunning but simple and whose life is ultimately fueled by shallow fantasy relationships.

    i thought she was terribly miscast, myself. while she looked lovely in some shots, i DID find her lack of — i don’t know…lack of something immaterial, her wrong kind of beauty — completely distracting and inauthentic as well. i don’t even know who i would have wanted to see in that role instead, but she simply wasn’t right.

  • Victoria

    I don’t really agree with this article. It sounds really shallow. While reading this article, it just sounded like the author was continuously saying “She’s not attractive enough” over and over and over. I think that Carey Mulligan is a very charming young lady. She has this very subtle beauty and she has an enchanting charisma about her. Not to mention that her acting is superb. I just don’t agree with this article at all.