Carey Mulligan used to pretend her mother had died so she could cry on camera.

The 'An Education' actress had to evoke extreme emotions when filming harrowing roles even though it was "really horrible" to get the desired on screen effect.

She explained: "For a couple of years, I used to draw from my own experience, so I was imagining all sorts of terrible things because I had to cry a lot in costume dramas. I remember in 'Pride And Prejudice' I had to do a scene where I broke down. And before we filmed I spent like three hours imagining my mum's funeral. Actually, she's very much alive, happy and healthy. It was really horrible."

Carey - who is dating Shia LaBeouf - admits she now takes a different approach and finds it much easier.

She explained to "It started when I did 'The Seagull' on Broadway. My character runs off to Moscow and has a baby and loses the baby. I could never even comprehend that. So I gave up the emotional recall thing. I don't use my own life anymore. I started just making up the people I play and it's a lot easier on me."