There’s dedication, and then there’s dedication: to land her role as Cissy in Steve McQueen’s Shame, Carey Mulligan tattooed a small seagull on the inside of her wrist. As she explained to New York magazine’s Vulture blog, she had to beg the director to cast her as the sister of a troubled sex addict (played by Michael Fassbender) in his upcoming drama. To convince
him, she cited the uncanny similarity between Cissy and the character of Nina in Chekhov’s The Seagull—a part she played on Broadway in 2008, and which remains her favourite to date. “[Cissy is] practically related to Nina, they’re like cousins, almost the same person,” she told McQueen. Mulligan then informed the director that she’d been thinking of getting a seagull tattoo as an homage to the play; McQueen offered her the role the next day. “I think it was only because I told him I was getting a tattoo,” she laughed. “I got the tattoo the following morning.” If glowing reviews for Mulligan’s performance are anything to go by, the seagull may end up being a reminder of the time she won an Oscar. -Allison Friedman
Shame opens in Toronto on Friday, December 2, and Vancouver on Friday, December 9.