Interview with Carey Mulligan about Collateral
Collateral - Carey Mulligan, John Simm and Billie Piper star in David Hare's new political thriller for BBC Two
Monday 12th February at 9pm on BBC Two
Tell us about working with David Hare...
How did you come to be part of this project?
Then I met SJ Clarkson, the director, and I loved her - I am a big fan of her work. She had this incredible energy, which made me very excited to be working with her on this project. Then this incredible cast formed around it which was amazing, but also a bit of a regret as there are so many amazing actors in different parts of the story who I never had any interaction with. I never have anything to do with Billie Piper, which was a massive sore spot for me because I think she is brilliant.
I was also excited to do something contemporary, having done a fair amount of period dramas. I wanted to play a character who is alive right now, not 100 years ago. This drama just felt very different to anything else. There is an exciting pace to the writing and I liked the multi-narrative and the way it weaves so well in and out of so many different people's lives and throws a lot of people’s perspectives at you. It really was a dream job and it is always an honour getting to work with David Hare.
Tell us about DI Kip Glaspie
We actually made a rule at the beginning that Kip wasn’t going to cry because she is not that kind of girl. Maybe when she gets home after the final scene she may have a moment to herself but you are not going to see it, she is not going to cry in front of us. I loved that as there were definitely a couple of moments where it could have happened but we just said no, that isn’t in her. That is just not how she is made up, she is not emotional in that way. That doesn’t mean that she doesn’t feel things and isn’t deeply connected to the people she is working with and those she is trying to help, she is just not a crier. And she doesn’t whinge about being pregnant which I love.
Did the fact you were pregnant in real life affect the shoot?
Other than the fact I was hungry all of the time, the only moment being pregnant affected me was right towards the end of the shoot when I was about seven months along. We were still doing full night shoots where we would be sitting in a car from about 6pm until around 4am and it was just sitting down for that amount of time, being kicked by a baby and you suddenly remember oh yes - I’m pregnant!
How was working with the director SJ Clarkson?
In prepping for the role I spent a good couple of days with SJ and David, in a room just going over the script and thinking about Kip’s back-story and what has brought her to this point in her career as a police officer. We met a real-life murder detective who was really influential for both SJ and myself in terms of the ladder you have to climb and what it means, day to day, to work in that job.
What did you take from your research and from talking to experts in the police?
That was what SJ wanted between me and Nathanial (Martello-White), who plays my partner in the drama. We share a love-hate relationship where we know how to wind each other up and how to press each other’s buttons. These people do this every day and we wanted to make it all feel lived in, this isn’t the first time they have talked about these things and it wouldn’t be so shocking to see a dead body. You have to try and imagine the years of experience and all of the work that has led to this point.
Kip and her partner Nathan don’t always see eye to eye. Can you tell us a little more about their relationship?
Was it a difficult time to be filming in London, given the timing?
So it was a slightly tense time to shoot in the city but it was also amazing. You get to put these iconic places on camera and there is something wonderful about getting to walk along Westminster Bridge with the Houses of Parliament behind you and to see parts of London you never go to. When you are shooting in your hometown, you don’t really think about where you are and then you put it on camera and you just realise that you live in the most extraordinary city.
But it was definitely an odd time to be filming. When there is a lot of uncertainty and people are on edge you have to be careful sending about sending police cars around London. We had to make sure people knew that we were filming a drama and that people didn’t get panicked that there are suddenly 10 squad cars pulling up outside, you have to make sure that people around you know that these are stunt men driving those cars and not real policemen. So that was certainly a consideration.
Tell us what sets Collateral apart from a lot of British drama
It's great to be a part of a project which starts conversations; you want to be in thought-provoking work. First and foremost it is a great story and you want to be part of one of those shows which people binge watch. If people are dying for the next episode to come out that would be my dream end result.
February 2, 2018 8:54am ET by BBC TWO