Carey Mulligan says she's 'fed up' of only playing wives or girlfriends

'Films have tended to provide a lot for men in terms of great leading roles and not so much for women'

Clarisse Loughrey
Thursday 18 January 2018 10:53 GMT

TV’s rocketing prestige has been increasingly attracting major names from Hollywood, but for actresses, there’s a sounder logic to the decision.

Carey Mulligan spoke to the BBC ahead of her new series Collateral, explaining that it’s only on the small screen that actresses can largely hope to play a “fully rounded, flawed, interesting person”.

Explaining that she’s “fed up” of consistently playing wives or girlfriends on film, there either to be emotional support to the hero or a victim they can seek revenge over, Mulligan stated: “I think for the most of female actresses I know it’s just about going where the better writing is.”

“Films have tended to provide a lot for men in terms of great leading roles and not so much for women,” she added, explaining that shows like HBO’s Big Little Lies are creating multiple major roles for women, while films often struggle to even squeeze in one.

“I think it’s been led by the writing and the opportunities particularly for women,” Mulligan continued. “That’s certainly the case for me, I just want to play the most interesting, complicated real person and interesting complicated real people in film are really, really rare. I think essentially following great writing, trying to play real people and not play the girlfriend, the wife.”

“I’ve done that a lot and it’s not fun and this is the opportunity to play a fully rounded, flawed interesting person.”

In Collateral, Mulligan plays Detective Inspector Kip Glaspie, who refuses to believe the fatal shooting of a pizza delivery driver is a mere random act of senseless violence. The series also stars Billie Piper and John Simm.

Mulligan’s words reflect thoughts Keira Knightley only recently shared, stating that her attraction to period film is partly due to the fact most modern-set films only use women to be the “loving girlfriend or wife”.

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