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Carey Mulligan Says She Went Through Three Rounds Of Auditions For 'The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo'

by Kevin Jagernauth
January 10, 2012 11:00 AM
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Carey Mulligan

While the movie is out, and Rooney Mara has proven to be the perfect choice for Lisbeth Salander, the story of what could have been is alwasy intriguing. As has been well documented already, "The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo" wen through a lengthy, and very publicized casting process and in the final days, Sarah Snook, Sophie Lowe and Léa Seydoux were said to be the final candidates, with a mix of established and lesser known names like Ellen Page, Natalie Portman, Emma Watson, Mia Wasikowska, Emily Browning and Katie Jarvis also in the running. Last fall, David Fincher said that Scarlett Johansson gave a great audition but proved to be too sexy for the somewhat androgynous part. Also being considered was "Drive" and "Shame" star Carey Mulligan, and she reveals she was called back more than once to try out for the part.

"I auditioned three times for 'The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo,' " Mulligan told Little White Lies in a recent interview. She went on to explain that Fincher's exacting methods and pursuit of what he wants, isn't just restricted to the film set. She also hoped that landing the role would allow to her break out of being offered parts that mirrored her youthful turn in her breakout film, "An Education."

"The first audition I did, I don’t think I was sort of in his mind for it. So the first audition I did for the casting director without him. And then the second was with him and the third one was with him. He is very specific. He tells you exactly what he wants you to do. He’s very kind. I was intimidated, but he was very…He’s very direct. I like people who are direct," Mulligan explained. "I just sort of went all out for it because I did feel a little bit stuck in sort of being young looking or playing these parts. And I’d done so much costume drama and all these things kept on presenting themselves as opportunities and I just thought, ‘If I could do that… ha!’ And also to work with him and to work with Daniel Craig was an amazing opportunity. It was such a great character. But he was just very, yeah, very specific, very direct, very honest and quite brief – with me, at least. His reputation of course is that he takes, like, 45 takes so him being brief with me was probably an indication that I wasn’t going to get the job. But that’s okay." 

A fascinating peek behind the curtain, from an actress who appears to be quite grounded. The rest of the interview is fascinating and worth clicking over there for, particularly for Mulligan's thoughts on the "one for them, one for me" strategy (she doesn't particularly buy into that notion), how her U.K. agents tend to take more risks in finding her roles the responsibility women have in creating their opportunities in the industry.

At any rate, though she lost out on 'Dragon Tattoo,' Mulligan has an envoius 2012 ahead of her with roles in two of the most anticipated films of the year: the Coen Brothers' "Inside Llewyn Davis" and Baz Luhrmann's "The Great Gatsby."

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  • jingmei | January 10, 2012 8:46 PMReply

    No worries she can play the sequel of this trilogy or someone like Rooney Mara's sister, both can be vulnerable and kicking ass. 8)

  • JP | January 10, 2012 2:24 PMReply

    Why do people keep saying that Mia Wasikowska was "in the running" for the part? She never screen tested for it, let alone auditioned.

  • Unknown | January 10, 2012 12:24 PMReply

    Don't worry. She happened to star in two really great GREAT films this year that are miles ahead of Dragon Tattoo--one of which I heavily consider to be the best film of 2011.

    Yeah, it's Drive.

  • a | January 10, 2012 12:57 PM

    While I disagree about Drive/Shame being miles ahead, I think in terms of roles there's a difference between a somewhat iconic, layered, transformation-required character, and two supporting parts, one of which was great (Shame), the other pretty thankless (Drive). But, yeah, it's been a very good year for Mulligan regardless.

  • a little muse | January 10, 2012 11:42 AMReply

    She's lovely and a STRONG actress. I don't think she sounds bitter at all! She's just telling it like it is!
    Check out some actors I've featured on a little muse!

  • ea | January 10, 2012 11:24 AMReply

    Why does she keep talking about missing out on this movie JFC. IDK how she even thought she was right for the part. And it's not like tumbleweed is blowing through her resume; I think it's fair to say things worked out for the best. Get over it girl, you're starting to sound bitter.

  • a | January 10, 2012 12:44 PM

    Doesn't sound bitter at all...

  • EA | January 10, 2012 12:38 PM

    I did read the source interview and as you said, she brought it up. She also brought it up in about 3 or 4 other interviews recently, it's getting annoying. You don't see Lea Seydoux doing it nor the other actors that auditioned.

  • Keith L | January 10, 2012 12:00 PM

    If you read the source interview, you would have realised that she only brought it up when talking about auditions generally, and was then specifically asked about it by the interviewer. So it's just that people keep asking her about it...

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