Dear Carey Mulligan,
How do you act so well? I hope you don’t see this as an insult in anyway, but I’m shocked by your performances in your career thus far. As you can probably guess, I’ve just recently seen An Education. I’ve also seen you as the star of my favorite Doctor Who episode “Blink.” You’re something else.
When you look at these shows, it’s clear the producers understand how good you are. Unless I’m forgetting something, you’re in every scene of those two productions. That’s really impressive especially when you have more screen time than the title character of a TV show. They know what they are doing because you have proven without a doubt that you worthy to act with Peter Sarsgaard, David Tennant and Emma Thompson as a true peer.
This praise, as hyperbolic as it may seem, is accurate. It’s not because of how young you are and what a feat that is. I mean, I’m younger than you (Not by too much! I’m just throwing that out there…) Let’s just examine your work in An Education. You have to play many different evolutions of the character of Jenny. I still can’t pinpoint how you do it, but it seems effortless as you transition from her being a naive girl to a wiser woman. Your character meets a slightly older man, David, almost on a whim. He is charming and romantic and your character’s feet are swept up. Beloved author Nick Hornby properly crafted David in a way that truly benefited you. If David was a phony during these interactions, then it would be difficult to respect Jenny. With this you are able to play with the naturalistic ways Jenny is curious and enamored with this new London David opens to her.
There you are able to use your remarkable screen presence. The way you show the character at any given moment added so much to this already fine film. In fact it became a debate between my brother and I after the screening to figure out how old you are. The beginning of the film we are convinced you were 15 playing 16. By the end we figured you were 20 playing 17. In Doctor Who we figured you were in your upper 20s. This isn’t a makeup trick, but a perfection of character comprehension. At the right times you are able to be confident, insecure, crushed, overjoyed, or disappointed. These aren’t stock emotions, but tailored personally to your established character.
The acting nominations are already trickling in for your performance this year. Get used to it, missy. There will be many more this year and many more for years to come. The phrase “rising star” not only applies to you, but also could have been invented for you. Now don’t slip up. Don’t let these nominations and schmaltzy letters like this one go to your head. I think you have the potential to be one of the finest actors of our generation. You even have me wanting to see Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps now. (Though see if you can work on a title change. Is Return to Wall Street too conventional for them?) So I’ll be watching and you’ll get another letter if you stop trying. Yet, I doubt that’s going to happen.