ENTERTAINMENT
01/17/2012 11:11 am ET Updated Jan 17, 2012

Carey Mulligan Talks Rejection, Calls Auditioning for Drama School 'Torture'

Rejection is part of an actor's life and Carey Mulligan has had her fair share.

Although the 26-year-old actress starred in some of 2011's most talked about films, like "Shame" and "Drive," she told Charles McGrath at the New York Times 11th annual Arts & Leisure Weekend, she was rejected from every drama school she applied to.

"I went to boarding school with I was 14. I was a drama geek, I never fell into acting, you know I was obsessed with acting from a really young age," she explained. "I just wanted to be in musicals and I wore a "Les Miserables" t-shirt for like four years, well into my teens."

Mulligan said she desperately wanted her parents to send her to a theater school as a child, but they wouldn't let her. So when it came time to apply to university, she applied to drama schools instead.

"It was the most rebellious thing I've ever done. I applied to drama school instead of university and got rejected from every one. And Drama Center London told me to be a children's TV show presenter," she explained, calling the auditions for drama schools "horrendous" and "torture."

Mulligan told McGrath she was crushed when she wasn't accepted because she just wanted to be able to act every day, but, she also admitted she probably could have chose her audition piece more wisely.

"I did Psychosis 448, a monologue about someone who is about to commit suicide, as my audition speech. So there's this incredibly well-adjusted, happy person coming from boarding school and I'm miming slitting my wrists on stage," she said." "They were like, 'Go home! Or at least experience something other than boarding school.' So that's what I did."

A little early rejection may have been what Mulligan needed. In "Shame" she played the troubled sister of a sex addict, and attempts suicide in one scene.

She told MakingOf, "I was sitting there and this fake blood was pumping out of my arms and I was in this completely hopeless state with a kitchen knife next to me," she remembered. " But it just made me feel horrible. I felt devastated and I felt so sad. And I'm fine. I'm great and well adjusted and everything's cool, but just the idea of being that helpless and that lonely, it was just really sad. I got into the taxi at the end of the day and I couldn't stop crying."

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