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'Far From the Madding Crowd' exclusive: Meet Carey Mulligan's suitors

Cast discusses the heroine of Thomas Hardy’s classic and the three men vying for her affection

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Far From the Madding Crowd director Thomas Vinterberg told EW recently that working with Carey Mulligan and the other actors on the film was akin to “Getting the best violinists in the world flown in and having them say, ‘What do you want, sir?’”

In this exclusive 4-minute featurette, we are introduced to Bathsheba Everdene (Mulligan), a tough, feisty landowner in 19th century England. And we meet the three very different men—played by three very different actors—that are vying for her affection. First is the virile soldier Frank Troy (Tom Sturridge), whose bright red uniform is a sure sign of heat and danger. Then there’s Bathsheba’s middle-aged neighbor, William Boldwood (Michael Sheen), tiptoeing awkwardly around his own feelings for her. And finally Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts), a humble shepherd whose proposal of marriage is rejected in an early scene, but who continues to crisscross with Bathsheba as the story goes on.

The clip features interviews with all four actors, in addition to Vinterberg and screenwriter David Nicholls, who puts it best when he says, “We wanted to provide Bathsheba with a difficult choice.” Indeed they did.

Far From the Madding Crowd, based on Thomas Hardy’s classic romantic novel, opens in limited release on May 1.