Carey Mulligan is tired of being asked terrible questions during interviews. The Oscar-nominated actress told Vulture she has long been forced to answer “shitty questions” when doing publicity throughout her career. The talking point came up after the interviewee mentioned a discussion from the Cannes Film Festival in which Mulligan was asked a series of softball questions (the talk went viral in a Vulture post entitled “A Roomful of Men Asked Carey Mulligan Terrible Questions at Her Women in Motion Talk”).
“Like last night, I got asked by a woman whether I still eat red Twizzlers or whatever,” Mulligan said to prove her point. “Last year I came to do press and I had a very small baby and apparently I was banging on about eating red Twizzlers to stay awake. One of her three questions was talking about Twizzlers. I was like, ‘Really? We’re going to talk about Twizzlers? All right.'”
Considering Mulligan is out promoting her acclaimed role in Paul Dano’s “Wildlife,” it’s a bit unfortunate she was asked to talk about junk food and not about her artistic work. However, Mulligan noted that reporter questions can still be “shitty” even when they are focused on her acting career. “I remember when I first had my daughter, people being like, ‘How has motherhood changed your [career]?'” Mulligan said, “and I was like, ‘Do you ask that regularly to fathers?’ I think not.”
Mulligan said it was “particularly noticeable” at Cannes how bad the questions were, but she said getting asked them wasn’t necessarily surprising. “They aren’t generally good, so I wasn’t shocked,” she said. “It wasn’t a revelation to have shitty, boring questions.”
Something that did shock Mulligan was the worst question she’s ever been asked in her career: “Your character in ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ has an abortion. Would you ever have an abortion?”
“I think I literally went, ‘Are you fucking kidding me?’ And then moved on,” Mulligan said when asked how she responded.
Mulligan made headlines earlier this month at the New York Film Festival when an audience member after a “Wildlife” screening used his opportunity to ask a question to criticize her character in the film. The moviegoer said Mulligan’s matriarch was “completely reprehensible” and “unsympathetic.” Mulligan’s response was praised by the crowd.
“We’re all too used to only seeing women behaving really well [in movies],” Mulligan said. “When we see them out of control or struggling it doesn’t ring true because of everything we’ve been brought up to understand that women are always perfect and can do anything. That’s an unrealistic expectation of a woman. Seeing real humanity on-screen can be really jarring from a female perspective.”
“Wildlife” opens in select theaters October 19 from IFC Films.