It's easy to binge-watch all of Netflix's new mini-series Collateral, because there are just four episodes and no second season on the horizon. Carey Mulligan plays a detective hunting down a killer, subsequently unraveling a whole plot that touches on immigration, refugees, and mental health — and she does it all while pregnant. Both Mulligan and her character are expecting during the series (the actress gave birth to her second child with Marcus Mumford in September of last year), something that creator David Hare wrote into the script that ended up making an important statement.
"It seemed to me that it was an ideal opportunity to say that there are women who proceed with their jobs and behave in a completely normal way and get on it with it while being pregnant," Hare told IndieWire earlier this month. "All I knew was that I didn’t want to make a big fuss about it and that it should just be a fact that she is pregnant."
Mulligan was just as passionate about this inclusion, as well as the fact that no tropes or stereotypes about pregnancy made it into the script.
"Being pregnant had to become part of the story, and what I loved about it was that there was no, 'oh, no goodness me' [mimics back pain], or 'oh, he/she just kicked,'" she told Harper's Bazaar in January ahead of the show's initial BBC2 February premiere. "No pregnant acting was allowed, and no crying, which was a revelation. So she doesn't cry. She's a working woman, who's working through her pregnancy."
This is part of what Mulligan stressed is crucial progress for women in film and TV, but also in general. Pregnancy can often be misconstrued as a complication when it comes to a woman's career, and they sometimes face unwarranted consequences because of it. Now, however, Mulligan had both the opportunity to act while pregnant, and to use her pregnancy on screen to send a larger message about working mothers: that women can do both, even if that includes hunting a murderer.
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