Carey Mulligan has laid her emotions bare on screen numerous times. But in "Shame," the upcoming drama about a sex addict played by Michael Fassbender, she exposes far more of herself.
In the movie, Mulligan plays the sister of Fassbender's character -- a somewhat promiscuous young woman open with both her body and her feelings. The role required the actress to get fully naked for one scene in a shower -- something Mulligan said was surprisingly easy to do.
"I wasn't uncomfortable being naked. For other roles, it may be inappropriate, but for this, I felt like it was right for the part," the 26-year-old told 24 Frames on the red carpet Monday evening at the Hollywood Awards, where she was accepting a prize for her supporting role in the film. "It was a very small set and a very small crew, so it didn't feel like I was doing it in front of that many people. And Michael is so engaging when you act with him ... I felt like I was just in the room with him."
What caused more anxiety, she said, was having to sing a rendition of "New York, New York" in the Steve McQueen-directed film.
"That was actually probably more nerve-racking than the nudity. Yeah, that was scary. We did about 15 takes because [Steve] wanted it live," she said, adding that said she was so taken with the script that she "begged" McQueen for the job, despite not being an "obvious choice for the role."
Meanwhile, the movie will almost certainly receive an NC-17 rating when it is released stateside in December. The actress said she admired McQueen for not excising the film's riskier parts in an effort to make the movie more commercial.
"I think Steve was brave and made an uncompromising film and didn't want to change anything and won't change anything," she said. "He wanted to sort of hold up a mirror and show real people doing real things."
— Amy Kaufman
Photo: Carey Mulligan poses on the red carpet at the Hollywood Awards. Photo: Mario Anzuoni / Reuters