Carey Mulligan Has Plenty of Gatsby Homework to Get Through

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Carey! Get back to reading!

Last time we ran into Carey Mulligan, outside an event she was hosting at the roof terrace of the Gramercy Park Hotel, she was in good spirits. She was riding the wave of breathless raves of her performance in Through A Glass Darkly, which was then in the middle of its run at the New York Theater Workshop. “The 26-year-old Ms. Mulligan,” Ben Brantley wrote in The Times, “more than confirms her promise as one of the finest actresses of her generation.”

She was also gearing up for her role in a over-the-top 3D extravaganza helmed by Baz Luhrmann.

“Oh, I’m doing this little known thing, The Great Gatsby,”  she told The Observer.

“Oh, my god, that’s amazing!” her friend, actress Zoe Kazan, said. “Are you playing Gatsby?”

“Yes,” Ms. Mulligan said. “I’m playing Jay Gatsby. It’s a really big role for me, I’m gonna wear a sock down my trousers, give it everything.”

This was fun, but it seems the kidding around has ended. In an interview during the Comic-Con mania going on in San Diego, she explains the stacks of reading material she’s been studying in preparation for her role as Daisy Buchanan. Hopefully she’s also taking speech lessons with someone who will make her voice sound like money.

So, what’s on the reading list?

“I went to Princeton, where they keep all of his papers, and I got to look at Zelda Fitzgerald’s medical records and the first manuscript of The Great Gatsby,” Ms. Mulligan said in a video shot by Empire Online. “I was, like, ‘Can I take a photo?’ and they were, like, ‘No.’ We all have research files so, like, six books to read and a folder this thick ,and we got little iPods with videos on it, and all the music”

Presumably, “all the music” refers to period ditties all the kids would listen to as they Charleston the night away. Though considering Mr. Luhrmann’s history of mashing up period drama with modern music, it could really be anything. Perhaps even the director’s own “Everybody’s Free (To Wear Sunscreen).” No, Baz, we haven’t forgotten.