Carey Mulligan guested with David Letterman on Wednesday night to promote the release of "An Education." Despite this being her first talk show appearance, Mulligan handled herself with charm and grace. But how odd was it to see David Letterman raving about a movie that depicts a doomed love affair between an older cad of a man (Peter Sarsgaard) and an innocent schoolgirl?
Mulligan appeared relatively at ease in the spotlight and should shine on the circuit as she promotes "An Education" in the months to come. Various Oscarologists like Dave Karger (Entertainment Weekly) and Sasha Stone (Awards Daily) have been touting her lead actress potential for some time.
Mulligan certainly has the babe factor that has dominated both the lead and supporting actress categories at the Oscars. With her new short hairstyle, Mulligan is eerily reminiscent of a young Audrey Hepburn. And at 24, Mulligan is the same age Hepburn was when she starred in "Roman Holiday." As a European princess who finds love with an American reporter (Gregory Peck), Hepburn won the lead actress Oscar in 1953.
Four years later Hepburn starred in "Love in the Afternoon" with two-time Oscar winner Gary Cooper as her decades-older paramour. That frothy Billy Wilder comedy flopped in the U.S. as moviegoers rejected this cross-generational love affair but was a big hit in more broad-minded Europe. More than half a century later, has Letterman unintentionally made this topic more palatable to American audiences?
Photo credit: Sony Picture Classics