British-born actress Carey Mulligan is making her name with this week’s London-set coming-of-age drama An Education, in which she plays a young schoolgirl romanced by an older Peter Sarsgaard — but she’s a New York girl now. In town to shoot Oliver Stone’s Wall Street 2 and to promote Education, she spoke with us at last night’s premiere about her growing celebrity and her move to Manhattan.
In An Education, your character veers off on a path she wasn’t planning on. Have you ever done anything like that?
Oh, I wish. This is what I keep saying about her: She’s much more interesting than I am. So, uh, she does stuff that I just, no, I never did. And I wouldn’t have gotten in the car in the first place, so I’m busted in that respect.
The Times’ T magazine just put you on the cover, and Anna Wintour has said she admires you — how does it feel to be the center of attention suddenly?
One of my best friends from school came out for the whole party thing and she got really drunk, and at like two in the morning she came over and she sat with me, and she was like, “This is soooo weird!” And I was like, “Yeah.” [Laughs] And that’s pretty much it. It’s like, it’s so weird. But good, you know, it’s all positive stuff.
But it’s big and sudden — suddenly, there you are on the cover of a magazine.
I know. I felt bad, because I was like, no one knows who I am. No one wants to read that.
You’re making your third movie in America — you made Public Enemies, Brothers, and now Wall Street 2. Is there anything about the U.S. that you can’t get used to?
Oh, no. Stuff I love. Like, I wish I could say “jackass” and make it sound as cool as an American. I say jackass as, like, [in her British accent] “jahkahs.” It just doesn’t have the punch. So I’ve fallen in love with, like, lingo, you know. And New York. I was here for six months last year, and I didn’t want to leave then, and this time I don’t want to leave. So I don’t think I’m going home. I haven’t told anyone in London yet.
You’re going to relocate here, to the U.S.?
Yeah, I think so. New York.
For real, or you’re just wishing you could move here?
No, no, no, no. I think pretty much for real. I hope.
Is there anything about New York that you can’t get in the U.K.? Like central heating?
No. I just want stuff delivered. You don’t get that in London. I want stuff delivered to my door, and I want my laundry delivered. Like, I go and do my laundry, or I do it in my washing machine, and here it’s done. And food from anywhere into your apartment — that’s the best thing in the world, I think.
So if you’ve gotten so used to New York, have you become grouchy and impatient?
I’m getting there. I get itchy. I’m like, more queues? What queues? Um, lines, I mean. Lines. You don’t say queues here. See, that’s another thing. I have to change my language a little bit.
View more in our Party Lines slideshow.