In Promising Young Woman, Carey Mulligan plays a woman who hunts down sexual predators by pretending to be drunk in bars and then faces the men who try to take advantage of her. Focus functions hide labels
In the dark comedy Promising Young Woman, Cassie (Carey Mulligan) works in a café during the day and hunts sexual predators at night. She goes to bars pretending to be drunk – and then confronts the men who try to take advantage of her.
Cassie avenges the death of her best friend, who, as the film suggests, died of suicide after being raped in medical school. Writer and director Emerald Fennell says the film was partly inspired by the messages other films send about alcohol and consent.
“Growing up – and I think that’s probably still the case now – I used to get women drunk in movies to sleep with them, top up their drink more than you’d top up yourself, and at the end of the night Waiting to see who’s drunk in the club, girls who wake up and don’t know who’s in bed next to them – it was just comedy fodder, “says Fennell. “We live in a culture in which such things are normalized.”
Fennell started out as an actress on television, then worked as the showrunner for the second season of Killing Eve. Promising Young Woman is the first film she directs. The film was nominated for five Academy Awards, including Best Director and Best Original Screenplay. Fennell describes the film as “a kind of fantasy – with wish-fulfillment”, but also as something “much darker and hopefully more honest”.
“I always wanted to make a movie, I think people really have fun and connect with it emotionally and find it gripping and romantic and all of those things, but [that’s] Also not a film that lets someone off the hook, “she says.” That’s a really interesting position for a filmmaker: to make the audience feel like they’re in a familiar area when they aren’t. ”
Highlights of the interview
About the film’s depictions of sexual assault, particularly alcohol
The most incredible thing is happening in the UK right now: women and girls are writing about their experiences [with sexual assault] at schools. Honestly, the volume, the sheer volume of these stories shows how commonplace this stuff is. There is nothing in this film that is not – and unfortunately – incredibly normal and certainly was when I was growing up. And I think for anyone who thinks these things weren’t terribly common, I think they probably never went to a party or nightclub or fooled themselves.
About the character of Cassie
This is a film about a woman who, in a very sad and angry way, tries to find a way forward. And part of their journey, part of their coping tools, is to present themselves as incredibly working. Like many addicts, I think she’s a little addicted to those night outings that make her feel slightly better. During the day she wears a lot of pink. Your hair is always flawless. Your nails are perfect – whimsical pastel colors. She has armed her femininity not only in an aggressive way, but also in defense. She knows that when she is in sight like this, people won’t ask her too many questions.
Why she wanted Cassie’s act of revenge to frighten men rather than commit acts of violence
Emerald Fennell’s promising young wife won BAFTA awards for Best British Film and Best Original Screenplay. The film has been nominated for five Academy Awards. Colomba Giacomini / Getty Images Hide caption
Colomba Giacomini / Getty Images
Colomba Giacomini / Getty Images
I think part of the movie for me was taking a genre that I really love, which is the revenge thriller, and see if I could … use that structure we’re all so familiar with, but something Doing the unexpected with it – and above all doing something that felt feasible for me and women because I think so often in films like this, and especially when it comes to violence, it is not feasible for a woman to commit acts of violence against men at night. It’s not fair to expect. And I think this movie is very clear about what happens when you try. I really started by thinking, if I were to go on a trip like this, what could I do? And if I couldn’t shoot a gun and I was too unable to wrestle with someone, what could I do to make a change, or punish or scare people? I could do what she does, what scares her.
Whether she sees any resemblance between Kill Eve and Promising young woman, in terms of how they undermine expectations
Anything that makes you laugh / gasp, kind of like “No! Oh God. Yes!” will just always be such a fun place.
I certainly think this feeling of malice is something it shares. Anything that makes you laugh / gasp, kind of like “No! Oh God. Yes!” It will just always be such a fun place. Absolutely, they’re both twists in genres, but I’d say they’re both quite different genres, and I’m always pretty careful not to make comparisons just because I think we tend to make comparisons between women-led ones too To do a lot more projects, just generally all of us as a society of sorts. I think they are very different, but I think they share a sense of macabre malice and a subversion of the feminine.
To portray Camilla Parker Bowles in the final season of The crown
I definitely don’t see her as a villain. I think we are increasingly realizing – and certainly on the show – that everything that touches the royal family, everything that goes with it, is so profoundly strange. It’s not like any other world. It’s not like any other family. The circumstances are just utterly extraordinary. That was always interesting for me about Camilla because she is actually very, very private. The Camilla that I played, there is almost no footage, no photos of her. … She was head girl at her school. She was incredibly popular. Everyone who has met her through research says that she is incredibly funny and nice and great fun, and I was just so interested in what happens to this type of person when they get drawn into this world and then hers Biography written for them by other people. I’m certainly not saying that having business is good, but a lot of people do and it also takes more than one person to do it. I made it very fictional to be honest. It’s just an amazingly brilliant drama.
Lauren Krenzel and Thea Chaloner produced this interview and edited it for broadcast. Bridget Bentz, Molly Seavy-Nesper, and Beth Novey customized it for the web.