Carey Mulligan was so ''excited to work alongside her friend of ten years'' Jake Gyllenhaal in 'Wildlife'.

The 33-year-old actress plays Jeanette Brinson, a woman who struggles to cope when her husband Jerry (Gyllenhaal) leaves to fight a forest fire, in the Paul Dano directed flick and she admits it was a great thrill to get to shoot a movie with her pal.

Speaking on The Empire Film Podcast, Mulligan said: ''You meet this sort of this classic American family and it seems like a dutiful 50s housewife and their sweet son. Then the husband leaves to fight this forest fire and she starts to unravel and you kind of, page to page, don't know what direction she's going to go in, and that was quite exciting to play.

''I love that you're seeing someone really f***ing everything up because, we just don't see that in women on screen, we just see great saintly dutiful women doing the right thing, and it's just not true.

''We were in the set of our house - where a lot of the film was shot - and it felt like we were rehearsing the night before we shot the scene and all that, we kind of just had to wing it, which is fine!

''Jake and I have known each other for 10 years and so we kind of knew how to work together and we had a little bit of night-before rehearsal when we got there.''

The 'Great Gatsby' star - who has three-year-old daughter Evelyn with her musician husband Marcus Mumford - confessed that working with actor-turned-director Dano on his first project was nerve-wracking and ''intimidating'' at first.

Mulligan added: ''It was different for me and I was kind of nervous from the beginning and I was sort of intimidated by his work. His work is so instinctive and he's really honest and everything he does is honest and truthful. There is a scene where Jake goes to go and fight the fire and we have this enormous row and we took a day to shoot it. We got half way through and we got a bit stuck, and he identified it immediately and sort of fixed the problem, where I think maybe a director who didn't understand the process may have pushed it or tried to approach it in a different way.''