Carey Mulligan usually keeps her personal life with husband musician Marcus Mumford and their family under wraps.
However, the British actress reveals in this week’s edition of PEOPLE that acting in the new film She Said encouraged her to open up about her experience struggling with postpartum depression after the birth of her first child.
Mulligan, 37, plays New York Times investigative writer Meghan Twohey, who, together with journalist Jodi Kantor (played by Zoe Kazan), wrote a shocking Harvey Weinstein exposé in 2017 that sparked a global #MeToo reckoning.
Most people are unaware that when Twohey took on the massive study with Kantor, she was on maternity leave dealing with postpartum depression.
“Megan’s experience with postnatal depression was one of the sections of the script that struck me the most at first.
I had a similar experience with my first child seven years ago, and I felt quite alone, afraid, and confused by the whole thing “Mulligan, the mother of Evelyn, 7, and Wilfred, 5, adds
“It was actually getting back to work in some way,” Mulligan says of her 2015 film Suffragette, “that set me on the road to finding myself again with amazing support around me.”
The challenging era was something Twohey had not before addressed publicly, not even in the 2019 nonfiction book she co-wrote with Kantor, which served as inspiration for the new film…
Twohey tells PEOPLE, “We don’t really discuss about our personal life.” “We just concentrate on our task.”
She Said, the film adaption, makes a point of showing the entire lives of the two working mothers as they pursued printable proof of Weinstein’s sexual misconduct while avoiding the intimidation of his legal team.
It coincided with “one of the most sensitive periods in my life,” according to Twohey.
Kantor approached Twohey, then more of a coworker than a friend, in the early days of the Times investigation for guidance on reaching Weinstein’s victims. ..
What she didn’t realize was that Twohey had been quietly battling since the birth of her daughter, who is now five years old…
“Something was awry, I could tell by Megan’s voice. And, because I had postpartum depression, I believed she had it as well “Kantor, whose kids are 16 and 7, explains She quickly passed along a doctor’s referral.
Twohey eventually agreed to let filmmakers shoot the intimate scene.
“I thought Megan including it in the film when it wasn’t in the book was absolutely fantastic,” Mulligan says. “And I wanted to talk about it and say that it’s terrible, but there is a way out.
There are simply too many people who go through it. I believe that films simply allow a debate (such as this) to begin.”
The actress hopes that the film would spark more open discussion about the issue. “I felt absolutely alone when this happened to me,” she recalls.
“And, in fact, many people have had this experience. Megan has gone through it, as have many of my friends, and we all feel horrified, as if we’re the only ones who have.”
Though the reporters claim they had no idea what would happen once their work was made public – certainly not Weinstein’s 23-year sex crime conviction in New York or his current trial in Los Angeles – Kantor believes She Said ultimately represents “the truth” of how the Weinstein investigation began.
“It was two women leaning on each other extremely hard to shoulder what felt like heavy responsibilities: being a parent, becoming a parent, raising children, and then the duty of trying to discover these painful realities,” Kantor says.
“And as I reflect on the summer of 2017, I am struck by the weight of both. This feeling that we have to get this story, which is quite difficult.
We can’t possibly fail. Then we have to go home and pick up the kids. And you’re not going to let yourself fail at that either.”
“When we eventually viewed the film, it just touched us,” Twohey adds. “And I believe that, aside from journalists, a lot of working mothers would identify themselves on the screen and feel seen.”
She Said is currently in cinemas.