Carey Mulligan poses at the 2024 Critics Choice Awards

Carey Mulligan Reminds Us That Actors Do Care About the Awards Race

According to Carey Mulligan, actors who claim not to care about awards are “100% lying.” While she can’t speak for every actor, this sentiment from someone within the industry is an important reminder that it’s normal for actors and celebrities to care about awards races.

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With the awards season in full swing, it’s common for conversations to arise about reactions, acceptance speeches, and snubs. These conversations can get complicated, though, when it comes to talking about who’s allowed to call out a seemingly unfair snub and if it’s appropriate to express disappointment over losses. For example, when Jay-Z called out the Grammys for failing to give Beyoncé, who has 32 Grammys, an Album of the Year Award, many labeled him and his wife ungrateful while failing to consider the struggles Black artists have faced to gain higher recognition at the awards show. Similarly, when Angela Bassett experienced a difficult Oscar loss, many criticized her for showing an ounce of disappointment, ignoring the fact that she has been snubbed by the Oscars too many times.

This year, conversation arose again of what constituted a “snub” when Barbie‘s director, Greta Gerwig, failed to secure a Best Director nomination at the Oscars. Unfortunately, the conversation took a sour turn primarily because everyone started weighing in with how they felt and used the opportunity to push their own opinions and agenda. Very few people just let the cast and crew speak for themselves or validated their feelings of either gratitude or disappointment. Needless to say, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to take note of Mulligan’s input on what it’s actually like being in an awards race.

Carey Mulligan on how actors feel about awards

Carey Mulligan at the 2024 BAFTA Tea Party
(Gregg DeGuire / Getty)

In an interview with The London Times, Mulligan opened up about her experiences this awards season. She has experienced both snubs and triumphs in the 2024 Oscar race, as she received a Best Actress nomination for her role in Maestro. However, Mulligan also starred in Emerald Fennell’s Saltburn, which received no Oscar nominations despite its popularity in public discourse.

Mulligan gushed about her Oscar nomination, describing it as “just the coolest thing. Because it’s from your peers. It’s wicked.” Given her own feelings about the awards, she has a hard time believing that some actors genuinely don’t care about such recognition. She stated, “And the thousands (literally) of actors that I’ve met who say that awards don’t matter and that it’s the work that counts? They are 100 percent lying.” Mulligan also mentioned how she was “gutted” for Gerwig and questioned what else one could possibly “do as a director to get nominated.”

She also wasn’t sure how to feel about Saltburn‘s snubs, saying, “I went to the Saltburn premiere in L.A., and I sat with Em, and there were 1,700 people having the greatest f***ing experience, so I don’t know.”

Mulligan is likely exaggerating by stating that every actor who says they don’t care about awards is lying. After all, there are some films like Barbie that really are much bigger than any awards nominations. However, as someone within the industry, she likely recognizes that is the expected thing for actors to say in regard to awards.

Mulligan may think that some actors are lying because it’s just human to care about recognition and awards when one puts one’s best work forward. Actors, singers, directors, etc., get so much scrutiny for every statement and reaction at awards ceremonies and, a lot of times, receive swift judgment for any supposed breach of etiquette or display of poor sportsmanship. Hence, some need a reminder that those in the industry are human, and it’s perfectly normal to have thoughts or feelings when one experiences a particularly impactful loss or win. Perhaps actors wouldn’t feel the need to “lie” or say what’s expected if the public weren’t always in such a rush to label them arrogant, ungrateful, or sore losers just because they expressed some tiny emotion at an awards show that does, understandably, matter deeply to them.

(featured image: Lionel Hahn / Getty)

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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is a Staff Writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, literature, and celebrity news. She has over three years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant, JustWatch, and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.