Carey Mulligan is living an ''incredible dream''.

The 'Far From the Madding Crowd' actress can't believe her career has gone so well, she has shared stage and screen time with the likes of Bill Nighy and Dame Judi Dench because she never had any ''grand aspirations'' for the future.

She said: ''I'm still exhilarated by the experience of acting with immensely talented people, many of whom I've grown up admiring.

''I started out simply wanting to earn my living acting, and now I feel like I'm living this incredible dream. I never expected this and I never had any grand aspirations beyond finding the net job, so all of this has been an extraordinary journey for me.''

And the 29-year-old actress admits it is ''bizarre'' to work with actors she has admired from her youth, such as her 'Wolf of Wall Street' co-star Leonardo DiCaprio.

She told Psychologies magazine: ''To get to work with Baz Luhrmann and the Coen brothers in the same year was amazing.

''I have 'pinch me' moments constantly.

''At a certain point, you have to acknowledge how bizarre it is to be in a film with Leonardo DiCaprio, who's the actor you grew up watching in movies.

''I saw him in 'Romeo + Juliet' when I was 15 and thought it was the best movie I'd ever seen, so acting with him was surreal. It was a heightened experience being in that place.''