Her father is of Irish descent and was originally from Liverpool. Her mother is from Llandeilo , Wales. When she was three years old, her family moved to Germany when her father was hired to manage a hotel there.
As a teenager, she was educated at Woldingham School in Surrey. During rehearsals, she pleaded with his teachers to let her be in the play. They let her join the chorus. She was the student head of the drama department there, performing in plays and musicals, conducting workshops with younger students, and helping put on productions. His performance emboldened her and reinforced her belief that she wanted to pursue a career in acting.
She wrote a letter to Branagh asking him for advice. At age 17, she applied to three London drama schools, instead of the universities that she was expected to submit an application to, but did not receive a subsequent offer.
Mulligan briefly talked to him after the lecture and asked him for advice on an acting career. However, Fellowes dissuaded her from the profession and suggested that she "marry a lawyer" instead. Undeterred, she later sent Fellowes a letter in which she stated that she was serious about acting and that the vocation was her purpose in life.
Several weeks later, Fellowes's wife Emma invited her to a dinner for young, aspiring actors that she and her husband were hosting to offer advice. The event facilitated an introduction between Mulligan and a casting assistant that led to an audition for a role in Pride and Prejudice.
She auditioned on three occasions and was eventually given the role of Kitty Bennet. She identified with her role Elsie , the daughter of writer Rudyard Kipling , who vociferously opposes her brother going to war. The Daily Telegraph said her performance was "quite extraordinarily radiating'" and The Observer called her "almost unbearably affecting.
Over a hundred actresses auditioned for the part, but Mulligan's audition impressed Scherfig the most. Her involvement with the project helped it "tremendously", according to the director. It was released in September , competing against her other project, the Oliver Stone -directed film Wall Street: