Carey Mulligan took on one of the most explosive scandals in recent history with her latest role.
The Academy Award nominee, 37, told PEOPLE she "took it very seriously" playing one of the New York Times journalists who exposed the sexual abuse allegations against Harvey Weinstein as she arrived at Friday's Los Angeles premiere of She Said at the 2022 AFI Fest.
"I think we felt that weight of responsibility, and I felt that on other jobs," she explained. "I think particularly when you play a real person, you have that, but the stories that we were telling are so real and so recent, and not just to the people that were involved in the film, but to viewers, to an audience.
"You're aware that this story will impact people who go and see it in the cinema, so I think we all felt like it was a big task and we took it very seriously," Mulligan added.
She raved that the "biggest joy" from the whole experience was celebrating the premiere with Megan Twohey, whom she plays in the film, and Twohey's fellow reporter, Jodi Kantor (played by Zoe Kazan), as well as Weinstein's survivors.
Universal Pictures Carey Mulligan and Zoe Kazan in She Said (2022)
Mulligan also recounted how Twohey — who won a Pulitzer Prize with Kantor for their reporting — "gave unfettered access to her life" as the actress had the rare opportunity of meeting and bonding with the person she was portraying.
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"I've never played a person who's still alive. I played real people, but I've been reading autobiographies, so this was really exciting, and she's just the coolest person. So I wanted to be her friend. I wanted her to like me," she said
"Our kids hung out together," Mulligan continued. "We had play dates. She brought her daughter to my son's birthday party, and she was just so generous. She was amazing."
The British Actress explained that meeting Twohey was helpful, as screenwriter Rebecca Lenkiewicz not only detailed how she and Kantor broke the story, but how "the story impacts their life."
Mulligan noted that one of the most informative elements in playing Twohey is that "journalism is a vocation for her, it's not just a job," adding: "It comes from this deeply rooted belief that she has that her vocation is to uncover injustice and mistruths and show them."
After more than 80 women came forward with accusations, Weinstein, 70, was convicted on charges of first-degree criminal sexual act and third-degree rape in New York in 2020, and was sentenced to 23 years in prison.
RELATED VIDEO: Harvey Weinstein Sentenced to 23 Years in Prison After Rape and Sex Assault Convictions
In August, he was granted an appeal as his attorney Arthur Aidala told PEOPLE that they are "hopeful that the entire Court will find that Mr. Weinstein did not receive a fair trial and reverse his conviction."
She Said premieres Nov. 18 in U.S. theaters.
If you or someone you know has been a victim of sexual abuse, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741-741 to be connected to a certified crisis counselor.