Carey Mulligan as Gatsby’s Daisy Buchanan? Let’s Think This One Over

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Deadline New York has announced that Carey Mulligan will be playing Daisy Buchanan. But is she the right choice to play the female lead of Baz Luhrmann’s film adaptation of The Great Gatsby?

Who would land the role–to be played opposite Leonardo Dicaprio’s Gatsby–has stirred up speculation and gossip over the last few weeks. Reportedly there have been numerous talented actresses in the running. Luhrmann himself has noted that the choice was difficult to make.

(Read a Q&A with Carey Mulligan.)

Don’t get us wrong–NewsFeed loves Carey Mulligan. Like, love loves. There’s no denying that she’s uber-talented and absolutely stunning. We literally cannot sing her praises loud enough. Yet… we aren’t quite convinced that she checks all of the boxes necessary to nail Daisy Buchanan. Let’s break it down:

1. Daisy is Beautiful

No doubt about it, Mulligan is gorgeous. However, hers is more of an adorable, child-like beauty. Remember, it wasn’t that long ago that 25-year-old Mulligan (believably) played a 16-year-old in An Education. Daisy strikes us as best played with by someone with a womanly look and a selfish, immature temperament. Mulligan is exactly the opposite–she has a composure beyond her years and certainly beyond her look.

Our alternate suggestion: Sienna Miller, who has experience playing the self-centered beauty (Alfie, Factory Girl).

2. Daisy is Haughty

Years of social advantage can do that to a person. This box is definitely checked–we think Mulligan could nail upper-class snootiness barely masked by social niceties with her eyes closed.

Our alternate suggestion: None.

3. Daisy is Seductive

How else does she enchant soldiers for years on end? And once again, Mulligan’s youthful look works against her here. It’s not that we don’t think that Mulligan can play the seductress–like we said, she’s really talented–she just isn’t who first springs to mind.

Our alternate suggestion: Scarlett Johansson. Have you seen Vicky Cristina Barcelona? She has seduction written all over her.

4. Daisy is Wearied

Her husband routinely cheats on her, yet her life of privilege has led her to believe that not being loved is better than not being of a certain social standing. Wearied actually doesn’t even begin to describe it. Mulligan gave us a glimpse of weary in Never Let Me Go (though it was really more of a bleak depression), so she could pull through on this one.

Our alternative suggestion: Natalie Portman could also play the wearied heroine–as her small, lovely role in the otherwise boring New York, I Love You showed perfectly.

5. Daisy is Manipulative

OK, Daisy is a character you love to hate. We can’t even fathom hating Mulligan, no matter how many times she betrays Gatsby.

Our alternative suggestion: Kirsten Dunst. She can definitely play manipulative, plus, we love to hate her!

Of course, there are numerous other actresses that could have been chosen for the role, some with some really solid strengths. And for all of our doubting, a part of NewsFeed is hoping that Mulligan will prove us wrong in all categories. Have another suggestion? Let us know in the comments below.

2 comments
ncullenm
ncullenm

If it's a closed case, no question about it, why are they 'refreshing themselves' 20 years later? I'm sure family members of unsolved homicides in this jurisdiction are thrilled to see this waste of time and resources.

Mr.Wallingford
Mr.Wallingford

Would it be putting too fine of a point on things if I wrote that the flooring in the photos looks a little grungy?