In “Shame,” actress Carey Mulligan plays Sissy — the long-lost (in more ways than one) sister to Michael Fassbender’s sex addict character. Under the direction of Steve McQueen, it’s one of the year’s best supporting performances – and, as you’ll read below, one that took its toll. We spoke with Mulligan in L.A.
I always want to ask people about exactly how projects come across their bow. Do they meet with the director? Do they just have casual cocktail party chatter? Do they get sent something formal?
Mulligan: This one came to my London agent, and (director Steve McQueen) was meeting actresses, and I read it and asked to meet him. So that was fairly conventional. I didn’t end up auditioning for it, but we met and talked, and I kind of begged him to give me the job and it was good. He did.
I’m also curious if there was any sense of concern about entering such a strong working relationship between Mr. McQueen and Mr. Fassbender? I mean they had that prior film, ‘Hunger,’ which is so stultifying good. Were you afraid of being a little bit excluded from their conversations or did they open the film up?
Mulligan: No, they were very sweet and it didn’t feel like ‘boys club.’ I’ve been to ‘boy’s club’; I’ve seen that. I’ve done the boy’s club movies, where they all go off and disappear into corners and talk about things. This wasn’t that. They were so cool. Michael is such a cool — have you met Michael?