Last night, David Letterman had on two charismatic and funny guests. One has a movie most Americans will forget about within two weeks, the second was promoting a critically-acclaimed slower burner for the next four months that should lead to her first Oscar nomination. Yes, Vince Vaughn may be the box office king this weekend with "Couples Retreat," but "An Education's" Carey Mulligan's fanbase is about to take off. Her first talk show appearance, she was so charming that even Letterman seemed beguiled on what to ask her. Phrases such as "a star is born" get thrown around a little too much these days, but in Mulligan's case don't discount it.
Speaking to the London native last week, the actress was calm, cool and confident as we discussed her role as Jenny, a 60s teenager looking to escape her boring suburban British existence. When she meets the older, but charismatic David (Peter Sarsgaard), she is thrown into London's nouveau rich nightlife and her world turns upside down. Mulligan is supported in the film by an excellent troupe of co-stars featuring Alfred Molina as her father (a wild card best supporting actor candidate), the always fantastic Emma Thompson as her conservative school mistress, Dominic Cooper as David's concerned "business partner" Danny and a refreshing Rosamund Pike as Danny's ditzy and unintentionally hilarious girlfriend. Can you say SAG ensemble nomination? Quite possibly...
In any event, check out my in depth conversation with Mulligan as well as one with Sarsgaard. Mr. Maggie Gyllenhaal isn't always the easiest interview, not because he's trying to be difficult, but because he has this innate awkwardness that probably is more suitable for print stories than TV. It certainly makes for interesting viewing though, to say the least.
"An Education" opens in New York and Los Angeles Friday. As it expands across the country, make sure to keep an eye out for it. You'll be glad you did.