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Carey Mulligan says her "heart stopped" when she was approached by the Coen Brothers

Carey Mulligan and Justin Timerlake singing in
Carey Mulligan and Justin Timerlake singing in "Inside Llewyn Davis"

The British actress appears as fictional folk-singer Jean Berkey in the moviemaking duo's 'Inside Llewyn Davis' and says she was stunned when she first heard they would like to work with her.

Speaking on "The Today Show" with Matt Lauer, she said: "I was filming 'The Great Gatsby' in Sydney and I got an email and the subject line was 'The new Coen Brothers movie', and that's the moment my heart stopped really, because you never even think you can get a chance to even audition for a Coen Brothers film.

"[Then] I came to Los Angeles and I was doing press and they asked me to audition, so I did in my hotel room, of this very angry young women."

Matt told Carey he had heard her audition frightened the duo, to which she replied: "That's so cool! That's all you want ... My character in this is pretty angry most of the time and pretty vitriolic."

Carey, 28, was also asked about an earlier quote when she said she'd rather do a nude scene than sing in a film.

She explained: "That's true in a weird way. In the context of this film, we had the most incredible people ... T-Bone Burnett produced all the music and he's a living legend. And Justin Timberlake, I have to sing with him, and he's a decent singer, so that's something to contend with.

"I was surrounded by all these great musicians. The prospect of baring my voice in front of all of them was a little bit... I spare everybody my singing apart from when I do it in performance."

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