Old story, new heroine
Carey Mulligan plays Bathsheba Everdene in remake of Far From The Madding Crowd
Carey Mulligan steps into the role of Bathsheba Everdene, made famous by Julie Christie, in the new film version of Far From The Madding Crowd.
Opening here tomorrow, the film is based on the literary classic by Thomas Hardy and tells the story of a feminist trying to maintain her freedom against society's expectations.
But it's a romance after all and we root for Bathsheba to end up with the right man out of the three suitors played by Matthias Schoenaerts, Tom Sturridge and Michael Sheen.
Off-screen, Mulligan settled down in 2012 with her own Mr Right - Marcus Mumford, the lead singer of British band Mumford & Sons. The couple are expecting their first child.
Mulligan talks about sheep dip, corsets and taking one to the head for her art.
Was it intimidating taking on Julie Christie's iconic role in the 1967 film version?
Definitely. She's such an extraordinary actress and she made that role so famous.
We all felt a certain trepidation about taking on the project. But with great classics, there's always room for another interpretation and that's why Hamlet gets done every year - so you can find new things.
What appealed to you about the story?
This Victorian classic started with a woman turning down a proposal of marriage instead of going out looking for it.
I love that the story starts in one place and you think there's such an obvious conclusion that she is going to marry this farmer (Schoenaerts) and then the story goes off in a completely different direction.
What I can identify with is that young girls have a tendency to fall for the wrong men and that's the infatuation in the story with Troy (Sturridge) in his soldier uniform.
I think what director Thomas Vinterberg did well in the film was to balance out those three stories, that it's not a foregone conclusion that she's going to end up with one of them.
Being a city girl born in London to a middle-class family, how did you prepare for the farm scenes?
My mum is Welsh, so I have family in the countryside and I spent a decent amount of time around farm life. It's fun.
What makes Bathsheba different from most Victorian heroines is that she is hands-on. I really liked the sheep dip. It was fun for a couple of hours. Then it was slowly less fun and a bit more smelly.
What about the costumes?
They were such an expression of her character, how individual and unique she was with these amazing hats and the scarlet outfits.
I loved the riding jacket. I think wearing a corset is interesting for an actress because you feel that that is so representative of the time, where women were so restricted and kept in their place.
Tell us about the accident on set while shooting the last scene.
I come riding around the corner on a horse and I shout after (Schoenaerts), racing down this path to him.
The third time I did it, the horse reared and threw me off the front. I landed quite badly on my head.
We carried on filming for another 20 minutes. I thought everything was fine and then I fainted. Matthias thought I was acting, so he carried on.
I went to hospital, I had a concussion. We came back and continued filming the scene a week after.