Carey Mulligan covers the December issue of UK Harper’s Bazaar in support of her upcoming role in Suffragette. The part was written specifically with her in mind. She’s a muse. Like so many of the greats, people create for her. Because she can – and does – deliver the most gorgeous performances, on film and on stage. Most recently, Carey’s work in Skylight opposite Bill Nighy in London was widely acclaimed. They’re taking it to Broadway in March. For the West End, she went into Skylight right out of two films and she tells Abi Morgan, who interviews her for this HB piece, that she’s looking forward to the upcoming 6 months of rest time because she’s hard on herself – there’s example after example of how she thinks she sucked when Steve McQueen was in the audience one night, and Sam Mendes and Kate Winslet on another occasion when she was doing The Seagull in New York. That’s typical actor insecurity but I appreciate the way she addresses it: old fashioned hard work and work ethic. This is my favourite quote from the interview:

“When I am working I’m not much fun to live with. I’m not method by any means, but I like to be able to say when I’ve finished that I couldn’t have tried any harder. So when I was doing Skylight I’d say hello to people in my dressing-room after, then I’d go home to sleep, wake up, go to the gym or have a coffee with someone, then go home, have a nap, and then be back at the theatre at five o’clock without fail. Because the opportunity is so rare and great that I don’t want to squander it. I don’t want to have any regrets, like: ‘Well, if I hadn’t gone to that party the night before, it would have been better.’ So when I’m working, that’s all I do.”

See now THAT is relatable, non? It’s the same way you might approach exams, a big work assignment, a major job interview – you don’t have fun until you’ve earned it, until the work is DONE. This is what I meant when I wrote about Lindsay Lohan a few weeks ago – click here for a refresher. They’re basically the same age, Lindsay Lohan and Carey Mulligan. Imagine if Lindsay Lohan had had even half of Carey’s attitude?

For starters, she’d probably have more real friends. Carey talks about her friends in the business – not in a name-checky way but as part of the collective experience. She, Eddie Redmayne, and Tom Sturridge came up together. She considers Anne-Marie Duff a hero to her. She’s tight with Helena Bonham Carter, all relationships built through the work and respecting the work. It’s a great read from someone who only speaks through her work. Click here for the full interview.