Carey Mulligan Admits She Has Failed Her Driving Test in England Five Times

Carey Mulligan sundance
Nicholas Hunt/Getty Images for Sundance Film Festival

The Great Gatsby starlet told Jimmy Kimmel nerves always get the best of her while trying to get a U.K. driver’s license.

Carey Mulligan had to take a mulligan on her own driving test. . .five times! And she still hasn’t passed!

The Great Gatsby starlet shared her tragic story on Tuesday’s Jimmy Kimmel Live. Despite a “great desire” to drive, she doesn’t because she has failed her UK driving test a whopping five times. 

“Wait, five times?! What can’t you do?” Kimmel asked. 

“I’m an excellent driver!” Mulligan responded.

“No, no. I don’t think you are,” joked Kimmel. 

Mulligan easily passed the U.S. driving test, which she labeled “a piece of cake," but unfortunately that license doesn’t allow her to drive back in England. 

“I could only drive for like six months when I was living here and then I went back to England and I can’t drive anywhere,” Mulligan explained.

Apparently, the pressure is what prevents the Doctor Who star from passing, not the actual driving. “It’s a pressure thing,” the actress admitted. “I am an excellent driver and then I get in a test environment and someone has a clipboard and my mind explodes.”

She shared that early on in her acting career she took the bus everywhere, which surprised Kimmel. “I don’t know if—and I’m not joking when I say this—I would be smart enough to figure it out. I feel like I would just be standing on a corner crying,” Kimmel said.

According to Mulligan, figuring out the bus route did take a lot of time. “That’s all I did though! I didn’t have friends, so I would just spend my evening figuring out my bus route,” she added.

Taking the bus did offer a great excuse for being late to auditions, often walking in saying, “Oh god, I’m so sorry, but I was on the bus and the bus went here and I got off at the wrong place. That was my intro.”

And how did casting directors feel about Mulligan’s tardiness?

“They loved it! They loved the bus.”

Her last attempted driving test was while she was nine months pregnant with her second child. Her husband, Marcus Mumford, was so confident she would pass, he showed up to the testing center with a bottle of champagne. When Mulligan emerged from the car pregnant and crying because she had failed, Mumford quietly hid the bottle of champagne behind his back. 

“It was the saddest thing he’s ever seen.”

Hopefully, sixth time’s the charm!