Carey Mulligan felt "forced as a woman" to star in a film about female heroism

British actress Carey Mulligan said she felt “forced as a woman” to star in the upcoming film She Said because it focuses on “female heroism”.

The biographical drama sees Mulligan and Zoe Kazan play investigative reporters who uncovered Harvey Weinstein’s story in a scandal film.

New York Times reporters Megan Twohey (Mulligan) and Jodi Kantor (Kazan) recount how the once all-powerful Hollywood tycoon spent decades abusing women.

The historical exposition, published in October 2017, helped propel the #MeToo movement into the public consciousness and led Weinstein to be found guilty of rape and sentenced to 23 years in prison in 2020.

Arriving at the film’s international premiere at the BFI London Film Festival, Carey told the PA news agency: “I felt compelled as a woman to be part of a story about so much female heroism.

“I was really fascinated by Megan, the person I play in the film.

“She’s an investigative reporter, I couldn’t really get into my head of what it was like to be someone who can call someone in the middle of the day and say ‘There’s this thing I know about you, right? Tell me and I can tell. all.’

“To build that trust and be able to have that kind of relationship with people, I think I was so fascinated by who he was as an individual.”

She Said International Premiere - BFI London Film Festival 2022

Carey Mulligan attends the international premiere of She Said during the 2022 BFI London Film Festival (Ian West / PA)

This is the first time Mulligan and Kazan have appeared on screen together, although they starred in Ian Rickson’s Broadway production of The Seagull in 2008.

He detailed the investigation into Weinstein and how reporters shot down the tycoon.

Mulligan added: “I think this is kind of an immense important history lesson in a way, this has been a kind of huge event in our society and even though things have changed, there is a lot more to do.

“We know from reading the news today how much there is still to be done in so many parts of the world and even within our own industry, which has undergone many changes.

“I think art helps, I think storytelling helps. You can read about things in an article and you can read the stats about things that change, but I think so much about storytelling is that it engages you and makes you feel part of something and I think this movie does.

“I think it makes you feel like you’re in the newsroom with these women when you watch all these individual efforts come together and change, and I think it’s really inspiring.”

She Said International Premiere - BFI London Film Festival 2022

Producers Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, Rebecca Lenkiewicz, Carey Mulligan and director Maria Schrader (Ian West / PA)

The film is directed by Emmy Award-winning director Maria Schrader and produced by two-time Academy Award winners Jeremy Kleiner and Dede Gardner, who produced 12 Years of Slave and Moonlight.

Schrader said she thinks all women will be able to relate to the film “to some degree,” including herself.

He told PA: “Even though it’s been five years, I remember living these weeks and months so clearly after the article went public and changed my life as well.

“It has led to countless discussions over the years. I hardly know any woman who doesn’t bring with her at least stories of intimidation, what it’s like to grow up in the patriarchal system and in society. “

Describing the casting of Mulligan and Kazan in the lead roles, the director said she “almost had a physical reaction” to the combination because she felt it was “right”.

He added: “They are not only the best actors, but they are also intellectuals, credible writers.

“Zoe Kazan is a writer herself, Carey Mulligan has this lively mind and I believe every second that these two women are doing the kind of work that isn’t necessarily taken for granted, even within fantastic actors.

“It was just wonderful to work with both of them and their passion, their minds, their hearts and their emotions, that’s what makes this film.”

The film’s international premiere saw Weinstein survivors Laura Madden and Zelda Perkins arrive wearing matching yellow T-shirts that said, “You can’t buy my silence.”

Colleague survivor Rowena Chiu, played in the film by actress Angela Yeoh, described the film’s premiere as “very overwhelming and deeply surreal.”

He told PA: “It’s a whole mix of emotions, I don’t know whether to relate to the film as someone in it or as a viewer, so I think I’m still processing.

“I hope the film has an incredible impact, even more than the book and the movement. These things all build on each other and I think it’s very important that we continue to spread the message about male toxicity in general, but also specifically in the workplace and sexual harassment in the workplace.

“I think if that message reaches a wider audience, the film will have really succeeded in what it set out to do.

“The Me Too movement is now in its fifth year and I am often asked about its long-term impact and I think it started out as a cultural movement, but I think unless it turns into a legal and political movement, it is difficult to him have a long-term impact ”.

Ms. Chiu added that her screen-adapted story was “deeply emotional”.

“I am often asked if, because I have listened to my story so often, I now see it dramatized as well as in a book, if that emotional impact fades and I think it never completely disappears.

“It always seems very bizarre and I think you feel a conflict of things inside of you. It is not an emotion.

“You don’t necessarily feel sad or angry, but you do feel a combination of those things. I think it’s difficult, it’s rather difficult to put into words ”.

She Said will be released in the UK on November 25th.

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