Who is Carey Mulligan? Well, she’s an accomplished actor who’s appeared in popular films like 2005’s Pride & Prejudice, 2013’s The Great Gatsby, and 2015’s Suffragette. She also earned an Academy Award nomination for best performance by an actress in a leading role thanks to her work in 2009’s An Education. “I know that for a cinema audience, I’m just constantly in period costume,” the actor herself acknowledged, per The New York Times.
While that might make it seem like she has spent her career appearing in cozy historical stories, that’s not quite the case. As The Guardian notes, Mulligan “likes dark, difficult characters.” However, despite her success, the star “doesn’t give many interviews. Nor, for that matter, does she make many films.” That isn’t because she’s not a sought-after performer, but rather because “she is ever so picky about her parts.” At the same time, Mulligan is just as picky when it comes to sharing who she actually is. Apparently, she “doesn’t like questions about her faith, her … husband, pet pigs, [or] politics.” Fortunately, others are willing to open up about the star, like film writer Joel Coen, who described her as “sweet” and (surprisingly?) “shy.” He added, “There’s also a very no-nonsense side to her.”
Granted, there’s much more to who Carey Mulligan is in real life than just a nice nature. Frankly, there are plenty of intriguing tidbits of info that you likely don’t know about this famous figure — so, let’s dive in.
Carey Mulligan's early years
Carey Mulligan — or Carey Hannah Mulligan, if you’re curious about her full name — was born in London, England’s Westminster area on May 28, 1985, according to Brittanica. Her father, Steven, was a hotel manager, while her mother, Nano, is a university lecturer. While her dad is from Liverpool and her mother is Welsh, the family moved to Germany when Mulligan was three years old for her father’s work. However, Hello! notes that the future star later “returned to England to attend senior school in Surrey.”
As for Mulligan’s desire to pursue acting, that clearly didn’t come from her parents. “I fell in love with it was when I was six years old, and they were doing a production of The King and I at school. My brother was in the play and I wasn’t,” she told Broadway.com, quipping that they cast her in the chorus after she “stamped [her] feet a little bit.”
Still, Mulligan’s parents weren’t terribly keen on their daughter’s choice of career, and wanted her to attend Reading University to pursue what they likely considered to be a more stable profession, per The Telegraph. But Mulligan didn’t give in and, per Hello!, “fibbed that she had applied — instead taking a part-time job as a barmaid while continuing to follow her dream.” Granted, that dream might have seemed like a nightmare at first: Mulligan wasn’t accepted into any acting programs she applied to, which left her unsure about keeping at it. Luckily, she didn’t give up.
Carey Mulligan owes her start to other stars
Carey Mulligan’s attempt to become an actor got a boost when she got in touch with esteemed stars, Kenneth Branagh and Julian Fellowes, while still in school. “I explained that my parents didn’t want me to act, but that I felt it was my vocation in life,” Mulligan told The Telegraph of a letter she wrote after seeing Branagh perform in Henry V. He didn’t reply directly, but his sister responded, “Kenneth says that if you feel such a strong need to be an actress, you must be an actress.”
After meeting Fellowes at a talk at school, Mulligan explained, “I wrote to my headmistress explaining that I didn’t want to go to university and wanted to get in touch with him. I knew it was a bit of a long shot, but I was desperate.” Fellowes ended up asking her to dinner, and later recalled (via the Daily Mail), “She was aiming at a goal … which at times felt to her, and I presume to her parents, was as realistic as trying for a course in space travel or alchemy.”
While Fellowes couldn’t cast Mulligan on his future hit series, Downton Abbey, he did pull some heavy strings with “every agent and casting director [he and wife Emma] knew,” per Hello!, to land the aspiring actor a successful audition for Pride & Prejudice. “You can’t stop someone doing something they want to do,” Mulligan told the Mirror. “I don’t think my parents could’ve stopped me trying to be an actor.”
Carey Mulligan dated her former costar, Shia LaBeouf
Carey Mulligan has a sweet reputation, and Shia LaBeouf is known for his questionable behavior, but the two used to be a buzz-worthy couple. The “actor dated his Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps co-star for just over a year until they split in October 2010,” according to the Daily Mail. Indeed, this Hollywood romance apparently wasn’t meant to last.
As for the reason behind their split, LaBeouf claims that he broke up with Mulligan because she wanted to get married and have kids, while that’s not what he wanted. “Carey is not just an actress, she is a great human being, a sweet girl and super intelligent. Our thing came down to not having compatible work/lifestyles … We were always traveling, and had sensibility differences that weren’t conducive to living with one another,” he told Sunday Times Magazine (via Glamour). He also admitted that he’s “harder on [him]self and [his] surroundings than she is,” and that they “had a culture shock in terms of meeting her parents and vice versa … Sensibilities, cultures, histories. There were differences, that’s all.” Is that a way of saying that her parents didn’t like him? Hm.
After their breakup, Mulligan went on to get married (more on that later) and LaBeouf went on to have relationships with various women, many of whom were also his costars — including Mia Goth, Kate Mara, FKA Twigs, and Margaret Qualley — and later faced allegations of abuse.
Carey Mulligan has a famous husband, but a private marriage
When Carey Mulligan isn’t working on a new movie, she’s likely at home with her husband, Marcus Mumford, the singer and guitar player for Mumford & Sons. The pair got married in 2012, but first connected as kids — the two “were childhood pen pals,” according to Bustle — and then met up again as adults. The couple’s friend and fellow celebrity, actor Sienna Miller, talked to Vogue in 2015 about their nuptials (which Mumford’s father officiated), saying that it was “full of love, like you hope a wedding would be.” Aww.
Nowadays, the two enjoy a pretty private life. However, Mulligan was willing to tell Vogue, “Like anyone, you try and split your time evenly [between work life and home life].” She also explained, “Marcus is the only thing that’s mine that I can keep away, so I try to.”
As for Mulligan and Mumford’s marriage, Miller noted, “They both come from very solid families and have a real sense of the life they want to live.” She also pointed out another key trait about the couple: “Their normalcy.” Miller revealed that “they have chickens and a dog, and roasts and friends, jams by campfires. It’s sort of idyllic.” Indeed, despite the fact that Mumford “can headline Glastonbury and [Mulligan] can be nominated for however many Oscars,” they always still get to return to their home, where “they’re in big woolly jumpers and funny hats, raising piglets. It’s an amazing balance they’ve managed to strike.”
Motherhood changed Carey Mulligan's 'whole life'
Carey Mulligan and Marcus Mumford are not only famous figures in their own right as well as husband and wife, but they are also parents. The couple has two children together, a daughter named Evelyn Grace, who made her entrance into the world in September 2015, according to IMDb, and a son named Wilfred, who was born in August 2017.
While Mulligan tends to keep the specific details of her personal life, including her children, rather private, she does open up about parenting on occasion. She told Baby magazine, “What does motherhood change? Well, your whole life ― it’s undeniable ― it changes everything.” In the context of her own life, the actor added, “As regards my work, I don’t know if motherhood is always the first thought on my mind when I read a script, but I would suspect it’s altered my attitude.”
Although becoming a mother has obviously had an impact on who Mulligan is, it hasn’t changed what she does. While she admitted that she “doesn’t miss [her] life before kids,” according to People (which she explained in a Net-a-Porter interview), she’s also said that she wouldn’t want to be a stay-at-home mom. Indeed, Mulligan is seemingly determined to balance being both a mother and a performer. For example, IMDb notes that the star “was six months pregnant with her daughter Evelyn when she completed her run of the Broadway play Skylight,” and “returned to work eight months after giving birth to her daughter Evelyn to begin filming Mudbound.”
Carey Mulligan has a 'down-to-earth attitude,' but isn't afraid to call people out
Carey Mulligan “is known for her down-to-earth attitude, and is probably the only Oscar nominee to travel around Los Angeles by bus,” according to Hello!. Indeed, back when she was with Shia LaBeouf, the celebrity couple went “sightseeing in Los Angeles together” by this mode of public transport. Someone who had spotted the pair told People, “Shia has been taking Carey to all of his favorite spots.” The day apparently included “brows[ing] several books” while the two “would not let go of each other’s hands.”
However, while Mulligan seems like a pretty chill person, The New York Times has pointed out that she’s also the kind of star who “won’t let Hollywood off the hook” when it comes to issues that she perceives as problematic. That’s just what she did in late 2020, when she “call[ed] out [a] film critic who implied she ‘wasn’t hot enough’ for her role in Promising Young Woman,” per Insider. The Variety writer in question felt that “Mulligan, a fine actress, seems a bit of an odd choice as this admittedly many-layered apparent femme fatale.”
Mulligan responded via the NYT, saying, “It drove me so crazy … I was like, ‘Really?’ For this film, you’re going to write something that is so transparent? Now? In 2020?’ I just couldn’t believe it.” In turn, Variety issued an apology to the star.
Carey Mulligan also has a musical side
Carey Mulligan may be a famous actor who’s married to a famous musician (Marcus Mumford), but she also happens to have a musical side of her own. Indeed, she’s a singer herself. If you’re a fan of the star, then you may know that she used her vocal talent to perform “New York, New York” in Shame, “Five Hundred Miles” (with Justin Timberlake and Stark Sands) in Inside Llewyn Davis, and “Let No Man Steal Your Thyme” (with Michael Sheen) in Far from the Madding Crowd. However, her musical pursuits don’t end when the camera stops rolling.
Hello! points out that, in 2010, Mulligan was brought on to sing on Belle & Sebastian’s song “Write About Love.” If you listen to the tune, you’ll hear Mulligan’s sweetly peppy voice as she “sings the part of a crushed-out office girl on the Swinging London title track,” according to Rolling Stone. As for how the actor and band connected in the first place, she told MTV News, “They called me up and they just said, ‘Do you wanna sing?’ and I was like, ‘Yeah, if it’s effectively backing vocals.'”
When they confirmed that was just what they wanted from her, Mulligan was on board. However, she explained that doing it wasn’t her attempt to move into the music side of the industry. She was instead motivated by the fact that she’s “a massive fan” of Belle & Sebastian, and was just happy to “hang out” with the band.
Bradley Cooper once took Carey Mulligan to urgent care
It’s hard to imagine anyone wanting to get hurt, but if you do end up with a bump on the head, it would be pretty cool to have a popular celebrity come to your rescue. That’s exactly what happened to Carey Mulligan. In July 2018, the actor sat down for an interview on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and opened up about how Bradley Cooper helped her out when she injured herself while performing in an Off-Broadway play called Girls & Boys.
“On the first preview, we had a bit of a mistiming thing … About three-quarters of the way through the show … the curtain … [which is] made of metal and wood, came down on my head,” Mulligan told host Stephen Colbert. When she eventually got off stage, she told her director that she was “really, really [hurt],” but at the same time, “someone came over and said, ‘Well, Bradley Cooper’s here.'” Mulligan continued, “He’s someone I’ve met a couple of times and I don’t know very well but is unbelievably nice … But I was also crying on the floor in my dressing room.” While that could have made for an awkward situation, Cooper opted to help out. “He came down and got down on the floor with me and took me to urgent care, which was so sweet,” Mulligan recalled.
The two obviously hit it off, and in 2020, it was announced that Mulligan would be starring in Cooper’s Netflix film, Maestro.
Carey Mulligan's worthy causes
Carey Mulligan may be famous for her acting career, but supporting worthy causes is also an important part of her life. That’s why she’s been involved in various charitable endeavors, such as acting as an “ambassador for the Alzheimer’s Society, support[ing] Oxfam,” and “appear[ing] in campaigns against sex trafficking,” according to Look to the Stars. In 2020, the star also teamed up with her husband, Marcus Mumford, to organize a celebrity auction to support War Child efforts.
Mulligan talked about her work with War Child while also speaking about the COVID-19 pandemic, per the Evening Express, saying, “Like most people I have spoken to throughout this, people have been reflecting on what their experiences have been like, and we have been super lucky to have a good family time in this.” She added that “it immediately makes you think how people are experiencing this in other parts of the world.”
While Mulligan is clearly motivated by compassion and empathy, she has also explained how she was inspired by something her sibling experienced. “When my brother was a soldier in Afghanistan, he was at a base around the corner from a girls’ school that had to be shut down because of the Taliban. They had poisoned the water source,” she told Harper’s Bazaar U.K. (via People). In order to build a new well, her brother “started raising money for this school. War Child was a charity that responded immediately.” In turn, Mulligan is clearly eager to support the organization herself.
Carey Mulligan lives in a pricey farmhouse
Carey Mulligan may be a Hollywood star, but she doesn’t live in California or even New York. Frankly, she isn’t based in the United States at all. Instead, the British-born actor and her husband, Marcus Mumford, “have the perfect country home to enjoy their married life together,” according to the Daily Mail. That’s because in 2013, the duo “bought a 16th century farmhouse in Devon, for a cool £2 million,” which is around $2.7 million USD, as of this writing. It may not be Los Angeles, but there are plenty of other celebrities with links to the English area, as Devon Live points out, such as Coldplay’s Chris Martin, model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, and artist Damien Hirst.
It’s a long ways from Hollywood, but why wouldn’t Mulligan want to settle down in such an idyllic abode? Picture a lovely white house that is sizable enough for each member of the family to have their own space, but not so large as to come across as overwhelming. There are also plenty of outbuildings that are big enough for livestock, tractors, and anything else that the family wants to keep on their property.
“Set amongst a green landscape of vast fields and rolling hills, it seems the perfect location for the private marital life shared by Marcus and Carey,” the Daily Mail notes. Perhaps even more perfect is the fact that the “rose-covered farmhouse is reportedly not far from where the couple have already become regulars in two of the local pubs.”
Carey Mulligan has an impressive fortune
Carey Mulligan may be an accomplished and established star nowadays, but she worked hard to get to where she is. She scored her first onscreen acting role in 2005’s Pride & Prejudice, and would go on to star in the fan-favorite Doctor Who episode, “Blink,” in 2007. In the years since, she’s continued to land gigs on shows like The Amazing Mrs Pritchard, as well as in movies like 2011’s Drive and 2013’s The Great Gatsby.
With that kind of success, Mulligan has been able to build up an impressive fortune that sits at $16 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Considering the fact that her husband, musician Marcus Mumford, is also in a potentially lucrative line of work, you’re likely curious about who has more money. That would be Mulligan, whose fortune tops the $10 million that her spouse is sitting on.
Granted, while Mulligan may be the major money-maker in her family, she’s still aware of issues regarding what women make. In 2015, Vulture notes that the actor discussed the gender-based pay-gap issue that exists in the entertainment industry, saying, “It’s important that our conversation isn’t just about Hollywood. It shouldn’t be a self-serving thing; it should be used to have a wider conversation, because it’s the same in all industries.” Mulligan added, “If we’re going to talk about it, we should use it as a platform, as opposed to just try and fix it for ourselves.”
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