Carey Mulligan has been quiet since the birth of her and her husband Marcus Mumford’s daughter Evelyn in September 2015. The actress has two movies in the can, however, and is currently filming in London what promises to be a top-notch miniseries.
Collateral, a four-parter directed by S.J. Clarkson (Bad Girls, Toast), marks the original series debut of David Hare, one of Britain’s most distinguished and challenging stage and television writers. Stepping into Prime Suspect mode perhaps, Mulligan portrays Kit Glaspie, a stubborn police chief investigating the fatal shooting of a pizza-delivery boy.
As reported in Screen Daily, Collateral was commissioned by Piers Wenger, controller of BBC Drama, and Charlotte Moore, director of BBC content. The Forge and Netflix are co-producing. Netflix will distribute the series internationally.
“Collateral is a highly imaginative, thought-provoking, and utterly contemporary state-of-the-nation thriller written by Britain’s foremost political dramatist,” Wenger said. It’s not yet been revealed how the killing ties into a political crisis or if it involves racism, terrorism, new Cold War anxieties, and/or post-Brexit skulduggery. None would be beyond Hare’s remit.
John Simm plays David Mars, a politician involved in a scandal, and Billie Piper is his volatile ex-girlfriend, Karen. Nicola Walker has been cast as a vicar anxious to cover up her affair with the only witness to the crime.
Mulligan starred with Bill Nighy in Stephen Daldry’s 2015 revival of Hare’s Skylight, which transferred from the West End to Broadway. She was Tony-nominated for her performance as the socially minded teacher recovering from her affair with Nighy’s self-aggrandizing hotel and restaurant entrepreneur.
Last seen by general audiences in 2015’s Suffragette, Mulligan has since acted in two feature films. She has been praised for her portrayal of a city woman married to a rural man in Dee Rees’s ensemble drama Mudbound, adapted from Hillary Jordan’s novel about a white family and a black family in the segregated Mississippi Delta of the 1940s. The film was screened at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Netflix bought the distribution rights for $12.5 million.
In Paul Dano’s directorial debut Wildlife, based on Richard Ford’s 1990 novel, Mulligan plays Jeanette Brinson, who falls in love with a wealthy bachelor in 1960 Montana after her down-on-his-luck husband (Jake Gyllenhaal) joins a forest firefighting crew. The ailing marriage is seen through the eyes of the couple’s 16-year-old son.
Mulligan is an actor capable of eliciting sympathy for every character she plays, so no one should watching Wildlife should assume that Gyllenhaal’s Jerry Brinson is merely his wife’s victim.
Release dates for Mudbound and Wildlife are still to be set.