Carey Mulligan was recently a guest on Jimmy Kimmel Live promoting her recent film, Mudbound which takes place in rural Mississippi just after WWII. Among other things, the English actor spoke about performing with American accents. What follows is a partial nonverbal analysis.
JIMMY KIMMEL (beginning at 0:03): I mentioned it to Idris Elba last night, and I'm gonna say the same thing to you - it always [stutter] amazes me and impresses me when, when you're from England - you come over here and do our accent so well.
CAREY MULLIGAN: Oh, thank you - well § see the film first ...
During 0:14, right after she says, "Oh, thank you - well" - and just before she says, "see the film first", Carey Mulligan displays a classic unilateral combination of both a:
• Neck of Fear (pulling laterally and down)
• Mouth of Fear (with tension and a "tenting-up" of the superficial neck muscles
[platysma and the sternocleidomastoid])
A split second earlier (also during 0:14), Ms. Mulligan was repositioning in her chair (a common anxiety tell).
She also displayed a suppressed smile - simultaneously as her eyebrows pulled together and were vectored downward. This nonverbal cluster displayed her questioning/disbelief/emotional discomfort with Kimmel's compliment.
A moment later, during 0:16 - 0:17, Carey displays a false-adjustment of her jacket/shirt. This MAP (Manipulator, Adaptor, Pacifier) is general anxiety indicator.
MULLIGAN (beginning at 0:32): I think for someone from Gr-, I think if you do Southern, you just slow everything, you just talk very slowly Ω ... I think?
During 0:37, Just after she says, "... you just talk very slowly ...", Carey Mulligan displays another fantastic example of a Unilateral Neck of Fear - as well as a Mouth of Fear.
And again, just after she says, "... Oh, it was my strategy - I don't know ...", Ms. Mulligan displays her third example of a one-sided Neck of Fear/Mouth of Fear cluster - along with a suppressed smile (0:40).
Notice her left-hand gesture (Illustrator) - which was partially palm down (and an alpha-beta hybrid) - during 0:35 - 0:38, flips to a palm-up configuration during 0:39 (thus projecting a more beta mindset as she says, "... I think?").
Summary: Care must always be taken to never interpret body language signals in isolation. If we only looked at Carey Mulligan's right neck and mouth - we may very well interpret her emotion as fear (e.g., pure fear/physical fear/deep visceral fear). Yet if notice that her displays are almost completely on her right side - and we see her other accompanying facial and body signs in her nonverbal cluster (e.g., suppressed smile, disbelief/questioning, some subtle alpha displays, etc.) - we can see that her fear is not deep - it's not physical fear - but rather that of a milder, social embarrassment fear.
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