Two New Heroines

Lately I’ve found myself two new people that I absolutely, unbelievably, heart-wrenchingly and painfully want to be. I admire them so much that it aches that I can never be so talented and brilliant. And who are these people? Well, to start…


Winona Ryder

Eternally ethereally beautiful and stylish, it is not this that makes me like her (although it is part of the reason that my never being able to be anything like her makes me sigh). She is not only a brilliant actor (I reject the term actress because it’s just a faff) but she appears in such cool films. Evidence? She was in the amazing dark comedy “Heathers”. The thing I love about her in this is that she’s not just the psychopath’s girlfriend and she doesn’t just collapse into a hole in floods of tears. Also, it’s just hilarious and, gosh darn it – she wears a monocle!  She was also in the surreal beetlejuice in which she plays a goth teenager…. very well too. She’s been in several

  independant movies (always good to support the arts) and in Edward Scissorhands, which is just such a cool film. Additionally, in her role in Girl Interrupted – a film that is mentally distressing to watch, in a good way? – she perfectly portrays the feeling of frustrated, confused, disaffected youth that so many people can relate to. I never realised that Angelina jolie could… act, until I saw that film. Also I loved the stripy jumpers.

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Carey Mulligan

My admiration for Carey Mulligan is like that which I feel for Judy Dench or Meryl Streep. She is such a good actor, conveying so much emotion in so little and gentle movements – the flicker of an eyelash, the quirk of an eyebrow. You get the feeling, watching Carey Mulligan that in order to act an emotion, she is genuinely feeling that emotion.

She’s played such a variety of roles in films with many different tones: the light, romantic “Pride and Prejudice”, in which she plays poor, neglected Kitty, the intelligent, thoughtful and charmable Jenny in the melancholy and moving “An Education”, feisty, proud and ever so slightly torn  Bathsheba in the visually stunning “Far from the Madding Crowd” to name but a few.

And there are so many more! She plays Sally Sparrow in one of the scariest (and best) Doctor Who episodes: The first angel one, of course! Just as a little side note, the other episodes with angels in them are incomparable. She was amazing as Kathy H in Never Let Me Go – which literally broke my heart and got me to read the book.
I love the way she interprets her lines, rather than just reading them as perhaps you might expect them to be read. I know that you could say that this is the director’s decision and influence, but (and I could just be imagining this) I feel like she brings a certain quality to every performance that I think kind of links them? I don’t know, but I’ve read that she’s very selective with the roles she plays – she only picks those that she feels some kind of connection or relation with, so perhaps this quality is her bringing a tiny bit of herself into the roles? Again, I don’t know, but I feel that it adds something very real and lovely to her work.

Plus I love the story of how she broke into an acting career, writing to Kenneth Branagh after seeing him in Henry V. His reply that if she felt that strongly about it, “she must be an actor”. Then, after talking to Julian Fellowes who gave a talk at her school, (and advised her to marry a banker and then think about acting), she was invited to a dinner Julian Fellowes and wife Emma were giving for aspiring young actors, after which she was pu tinto contact ith the person who would cast her in 2005’s “Pride and Prejudice”, her ‘big break’, as it were. A few year’s later, she was Jenny in “An Education”, for which she received an Oscar nomination, and her work has become even more interesting and complex from then on.

Now, she is described by David Hare as being “very quiet, very purposeful, and steely in the way she goes about a part” and says that as Nina in Chekhov’s Seagulls, it was “as if she wasn’t acting, but simply existing on the stage.”

She’s just so cool, and you get the feeling that she really loves acting and wants to do it so very well. She was so determined and focussed and… also I get the impression that she’s quite a nice person. And i like nice people, they’re the best. 🙂

Just as a side note, recently I went to see Suffragette, and that was amazing too by the way. Go see it!

And, and, and, she can sing. This is her doing just that it “Far From the Madding Crowd”

So yeah, that’s it. If there’s anyone out there that actually wants to comment, who are your heroines and why?

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