Carey Mulligan has been "obsessively reading" 'The Great Gatsby' to prepare for the forthcoming film.

The British actress - who will portray Daisy Buchanan in the Baz Luhrmann-directed movie - felt "surreal" when she found out she had won the role, and is currently reading the book ahead of the movie shoot next year.

Speaking at the Moet British Independent Film Awards, Carey told BANG Showbiz: "I'm still in shock. It was the most surreal night of my life when I found out I'd got it.

"I'd auditioned twice and waited for a fortnight, and called my agent every two hours for two weeks. He almost sacked me!

"It was a huge shock and I can't believe I'm going to be working with the people I'm going to be working with. I have a copy of it by my bed that I'm obsessively reading."

Carey - who picked up the prize for Best Actress at the awards for her role in 'Never Let Me Go' - will be working alongside Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire in the project, based on the popular novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Following the release of 'Never Let Me Go', 25-year-old Carey will next be seen in 'Drive' with Ryan Gosling.