Actress learns to deal with media, work and praise

Ever since “An Education” bowed at the Sundance Film Festival to critical praise, newcomer Carey Mulligan has found herself swept up in a whirlwind of press junkets and round-table discussions. Not to mention a nice view from near the top of Oscar’s possible actress noms.

Yet ask her how she feels about all that, and Mulligan simply chocks it up as “work stuff.”

Mulligan says she has maintained a level head by keeping busy on set.

“I’m very aware that I have to go back and do my job,” says Mulligan, who recently wrapped “Never Let Me Go” for Fox Searchlight and is filming Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street 2: Money Never Sleeps.”

She describes a recent chance encounter with Baz Luhrmann, who provided the thesp with a few words of wisdom.

“He said to me, ‘This isn’t a party; this is a wedding, and you’re the bride. Your job is to make everybody else feel good.’ That kind of helped me look at things differently,” she says. “I’m not suppose to be having the best time.”

Mulligan has been earning raves for her playful turn as teenage Jenny in the 1960s Blighty-set “An Education.” Variety describes her perf by saying, “When she finally gets to Paris and puts up her hair, you could almost swear you’re watching Audrey Hepburn skipping through the same streets 50 years ago.”

Mulligan is quick to separate herself from the Oscar-winning screen legend but admits it’s always nice to hear such praise.

“It’s so lovely, and I think it’s added to people wanting to see the film,” she says. “That’s all that I care about, really.”

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