Carey Mulligan calls out film critic who implied she ‘wasn’t hot enough’ for her role in ‘Promising Young Woman’

Promising Young Woman Focus Features

  • Carey Mulligan called out a Variety review that she believes implies that she wasn't "hot enough" for her new movie "Promising Young Woman."
  • In the movie, Mulligan plays a role in which she acts like she's drunk at bars and clubs and then wreaks havoc on the men who take her back to their homes and try to take advantage of her.
  • In the review by critic Dennis Harvey, he wrote that Mulligan looks like someone in "bad drag" and that the role would have been better suited for the movie's producer, Margot Robbie.
  • "I was like, 'Really?'" Mulligan told The New York Times of the review. "For this film, you're going to write something that is so transparent? Now? In 2020?' I just couldn't believe it."
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Carey Mulligan called out a film critic who opined that she was "a bit of an odd choice" for her "femme fatale" role in her new movie "Promising Young Woman."

In his review for Variety, critic Dennis Harvey implied that Margot Robbie, who is a producer on the movie, would have been better suited to playing the lead, Cassandra.

"One can (perhaps too easily) image that role might once have been intended for [Robbie]," Harvey wrote. "Whereas with this star, Cassie wears her pickup-bait gear like bad drag; even her long blonde hair seems a put-on. The flat American accent she delivers in her lower voice register likewise seems a bit meta, though it's not quite clear what the quote marks around this performance signify."

"Promising Young Woman."
Focus Features

In a New York Times profile, Mulligan brought up the Variety review when asked if she had read any of the critics' takes.

"I read the Variety review because I'm a weak person," she told Kyle Buchanan.

"It felt like it was basically saying that I wasn't hot enough to pull off this kind of ruse," said Mulligan, who noted that she can still recite some of the lines from the review.

"It drove me so crazy," she continued. "I was like, 'Really?' For this film, you're going to write something that is so transparent? Now? In 2020?' I just couldn't believe it."

Insider has reached out to Variety and Harvey for comment.

"Promising Young Woman."
Focus Features

In the acclaimed dark drama, Mulligan plays Cassandra who has thrown away a career in medicine to dedicate her life to wreaking havoc on men who prey on unsuspecting women.

She does this by acting drunk at bars and clubs and when men pick her up and bring her to their homes she reveals she's actually sober and makes the guy wish he never laid eyes on her that night.

Harvey's take is a wicked irony seeing that the intention of the movie's director, Emerald Fennell, is to blow up all the expectations placed on women in society.

"We don't allow women to look normal anymore, or like a real person," Mulligan said in the Times story. "Why does every women who's ever onscreen have to look like a supermodel? That has shirted into something where the expectation of beauty and perfection onscreen has gotten completely out of control."

"Promising Young Woman" opens in theaters December 25.


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