Saturday, June 06, 2015

what's up, Carey?

Carey Mulligan is a dimple-cheeked little pixie who first came to my attention in the drama "An Education." She's a very talented actress, and on that level, I admire her greatly. But all it took was two viewings of two different sessions of Mulligan on "The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson" for me to begin wondering what she's like in real life (first and second viewings). Ferguson, who's off the air now, ran his show as a sort of light-improv comedy, marked by wacky stream of consciousness and often-hilarious non sequiturs. Occasionally, the laughter seemed forced (as when he had Aisha Tyler on; Tyler, perennially gorgeous, is funny on her own, but it was obvious that she and Craig had decided to turn their banter into a standup routine on the spot), but more often it was quite genuine, as when Ferguson found himself breathless while doing an interview with Robin Williams.

If you watch the two above-linked interviews with Mulligan, however, you'll notice right away that the poor girl is completely out of her element: she has no idea how to respond to anything Ferguson does or says; all she can do is retreat into giggle fits. It's enough to make a man wonder how she'd act on a date with an especially witty gentleman: would she be this tongued-tied in real life? Would she have so little to say? Is she really that much of an airhead? Perhaps she was just nervous to be on Craig's show. After all, not all actors take to Ferguson's style that well (watch Craig crash and burn with the great Anthony Hopkins, who often seemed just as off-balance and uncomfortable as Carey Mulligan did), and Ferguson ended up having to keep up both ends of his conversation with the little waif.

So I came away thinking that Ms. Mulligan is a fine, fine actress, but a bit of an airhead in real life—a suspicion I have about many actors, actually: they're shells in search of personalities, which is what makes them so good at inhabiting roles. If anything, Mulligan's manque d'esprit on Ferguson's show reminded me of some of my socially awkward Korean students, who often find themselves with nothing to say after they've done exactly the required amount of partner work: they do the obligatory Q&A, then they giggle nervously and clam up.

Anyone home, Carey?


1 comment:

TheBigHenry said...

Yeah, yeah. But would you kick her out of bed (assuming she didn't "clam up")?