Carey Mulligan is the first to admit that her latest film, the adaptation of Kazuo Ishiguro’s “Never Let Me Go,” was a role very close to her heart, as she fell in love with the novel before a film was even planned. She plays Kathy, a cloned woman raised in a boarding school in a futuristic Britain, where she and her classmates are kept until their organs are needed for their counterparts.
Mulligan sat down with Metro to discuss playing a part she never thought she’d get.
Were you a fan of the book before auditioning?
Yes. My mum was a big Ishiguro fan, and I read it immediately after her. I loved it, and didn’t really think it was a part I could get because of all the usual reasons. So when it came around, to get to audition for it was huge for me. It was sort of the biggest part I’d auditioned for — and kind of the best phone call I’d ever had when I got the job. Because I was such a fan of the book, when I read the script I was opening the first page thinking, “Don’t f— it up.” And they didn’t.
Why do you think the characters don’t run away?
I don’t see any reason why they would, having kind of briefly lived in that world. You know, they’re brought up to believe if they leave the confines of their school, it’s certain death. There’s nothing out there that’s better than what they have, in their minds. The people that they grow up with are their only family and the only people that they know. And also they have a sense of duty. They’re brought up believing they’re special and that this is the purpose of their lives.
How was it bringing to life a character you loved so much already?
I loved it. My agent said to me a while ago you should only ever play the parts that you can’t bear the idea of anyone else playing, and I think that’s how I felt about Kathy. I thought, “No one else could play her!” I mean, I’m sure they can. They can do it brilliantly — better than I can — but they shouldn’t be allowed to. I should play it.