The year gave her a "best-dressed" title from UK Harper's Bazaar, and she starred in "Never Let Me Go" and "Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps," the latter alongside her former beau, Shia Lebeouf. She also scored the role of Daisy Buchanan in the upcoming remake of the "Great Gatsby."
Sporting a Céline jersey dress, her trademark pixie crop (which we learn in the interview made her cry that after those fateful snips) and minimal makeup, the actress looks naturally gorgeous on the cover of the January issue.
The busy 25-year-old actress dished about her ex, Botox, body image and the role that got away.
When asked about her ex-boyfriend, Lebeouf, Mulligan only had kind words. "I always wanted to work with him, above and beyond anything else, because I thought he was so amazing in "A Guide to Recognizing Your Saints," she said. "I don't want to meet all these amazing people, that's not the thrill – I want to work with them."
She says she was shocked when a Los Angeles doctor suggested she have Botox to smooth some lines under her eyes.
"So I can't move my face? Isn't that the antithesis of what I'm trying to do as an actress?" she said. "Only in LA would someone try and give you Botox when you're 25 years old."
But the confident chick we see on the red carpet -- in skin tight Chanel, in red hot Prabal Gurung, and bold Vionnet, for example -- wasn't always that put-together. "I've never felt like a sexy person...I've always felt like a sensible person. I've always felt absurd wearing anything revealing. I've always felt different here [in Hollywood]. I remember going up for auditions, walking into rooms of girls in denim minis, with cut-off tank tops, tanned legs, long hair and manicures, thinking, 'Erm...'. But it never made me feel bad. I've never felt pressure to look like that."
Her casting strategy didn't always prevail, however. "I'll be in agony when I watch "The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo"... I auditioned for it, but I didn't get the part," she confesses.
Meanwhile, check out Mulligan wearing the same dress as Vogue's Anna Wintour, and let us know who you think wore it better.
Love Carey's style? Check out this roundup of her best looks.