Revenge is wrapped in a bow (or more precisely, a scrunchie) in the opening film by writer / director Emerald Fennell, Promising Young Woman . After premiering to make reviews at the Sundance Film Festival in February of this year, the distribution of this film starring an amazing Carey Mulligan has been held (like many other things) ) due to the spread of COVID- 19. And like this, a promising young film is placed in a certain position.
Fortunately, revenge – somehow against the virus – is coming soon. And with it, the re-release of Promising Young Woman on Christmas Day in select theaters and on-demand in the new year. While the quarantine stress set in months ago, the anticipation and excitement around this strange pastel-hued thriller is not lost, which is an absolute pleasure to talk to Mulligan and co-star Alison Brie about this week’s film on Zoom.
Both Brie and Mulligan's passion and enthusiasm for this creative work and Fennell, in particular, are evident, as well as the underlying weight of this story of unequal revenge that challenges the viewer to consider considering the roles they played to maintain, forgive. , or even silenced victims of sexual assault. This toxic, contagious substance in our culture (particularly Hollywood) has accounted for the emergence of the MeToo movement in 2017. But instead of being a viral infection, the plague of attacks is more insulting and difficult to treat. , in the speech of society. With that in mind, it is not lost on the viewer that Mulligan’s character, Cassandra, graduated with a medical degree before her life was reversed. His approach, while at healing times, is more focused on exclusion.
For better or worse, revenge is a story as old as time. Without revealing any villains, both Mulligan and Brie, two self-described "beautiful gals," shared what the game was about, sorted out the inner demons, and revived Fennell's brand with smart construction of chaos with colored candy in life in a former pandemic world.
Since it has had so much buzz since Sundance that feels like forever, can you tell me about your first impressions in the script?
CM: I think I read the script in January of 2019, and I have never read anything like it. It felt completely new. I quickly arranged to get to know Emerald, and in the meantime, he sent me a playlist of music with "Toxic" twice in two different ways, "Stars are Blind," and "Boys," by Paris Hilton by Charli XCX , and it also had "Take My Breath Away" from Top Gun which is a very good reference. After about five minutes I said I wanted to make the film based solely on how clever the script was and the world he was building around it. I just know that Emerald has something to do that is really good and I want to get involved in it.
AB: I love working with Emerald. What a powerhouse. He had a strong outlook, and carried that from reading the script. It jumps to the page. I like the soundtrack. I love that there are glitter and glitz in the film. I love the dark pervasive sense of humor. I think he did a brilliant piece of work whose packaging was kind of misleading. She wrapped this commentary in a very dark subject with bubble-gum pink nail polish wrapped with glitter on it, so you & # 39; t like, "I want to open it, I want to watch it, I want to live here. " Then you go out on the other side and you're like, "Wait, whoa – let's talk about it, it has an effect on me in a way I never expected." This is a great hat trick.
What about Cassie's role, in particular? How did you get into that headpace?
CM: By thinking of Cassie as a vengeful angel, who has certainly played a role in cinematography and film design. I really started with Emerald to find out why he acted the way he did, who [her friend] and what that relationship meant to him. Because I think his actions are perceived as a person full of hatred when it really is the opposite. I think Cassie is full of love and loyalty. Itâ & # x20AC; & # x2122; s all a misrepresentation of true deep love for her friend, so knowing what her former relationship was and what she was like before it all happened is really key. And a lot of that came from talking to Emerald.
Onto Madison Macphee. Alison, I feel like you are really playing against the type. What backstory do you think for him?
AB: I talked to Emerald for a long time about what Madison's experience at school was and what her relationship with Cassie would be (they would probably be pretty close friends if not pseudo-frenemies), certainly identical in the same social circle, hanging out at all the same events. There are key things written in the script like Madison that talk about “these kinds of things” that happen “all the time” and to me, that is an indication that Madison herself is likely to fall victim to some way, and the way it chooses to deal with that is clearly the polar opposite of Cassie. This makes Madison an exciting character. He was really very complex and a representation of something equally nuanced. When we talk about the subject of consent, Madison is this representation of women’s conspiracy in terms of accusing the victim, but she is also a victim of this kind of social behavior. This is an interesting character study of a variety of coping mechanisms, and its coping mechanism is amusing; it is all consensual.
I hope people look at it a second time. It would be a shame — it would be so easy to write Madison as a donkey or whatever. But everything in this film is more complicated than it seems, and I think he is definitely part of that.
How about presenting your characters? Do you have a favorite costume or scene?
CM: I love it all! There was a pair of pink jeans I wore for the love montease at the Paris Hilton pharmacy scene that I really chose. I had a weird kind of pink dress when I was filming. I bought a pink hoodie and a pink dress when I was shooting in L.A. I was more than happy to have a multicolored manicure more than I thought. The nails are so much fun. And the nurse's costume was amazing. Hair and makeup for that is like full-blown armor. They were all carefully considered by Nancy Steiner, our brilliant costume designer. The nurse costume is really the most fun and something I will never wear again in a million years.
AB: When you take out Madison's costumes, I like those two scenes. We see a total deconstruction of this woman. Even at lunch he came looking perfect, and at the end of lunch, his lips were stained with wine; he was sweating profusely. I believe this is an Emerald direction of "We need wine on the lips. We need to give you the stain we are all familiar with."
You started seeing the release even in her first encounter with Cassie, and then in the middle of the movie when you saw her again, she was wearing jeans and a shirt. This is what that woman got the most casual – with her Tory Burch flats. Like I said, I wear Tory Burch flats. Visually, you can see Cassie’s effect on this woman in a very short time.
Thinking about pink, especially, I love that it is like a poppy feminine treatment for a thrill film. I noticed that Cassie tends to wear a lot of roses when she is feeling good, safe, happy — like the pharmacy scene — even though she has a romantic moment and is getting more comfortable in that relationship. When she is more strategic and thoughtful she is wearing these blues… It is fun to hear that the rose also reflects on you.
CM: Yeah, I did. And all of this is meant for Emerald and Nancy partly to have color associations. It is also so important to the emerald that everyone feels very tactical and approachable. There are soft fuzzy sweaters and lots of softness around it. It did not feel … It was easy to approach because he was a very person who hid in plain sight. Part of the reason he looks like he looks (and I don’t think he looked like that when he was in college) is that men don’t really recognize him. This is kind of the idea that you do not suspect someone with a colorful manicure-floss manicure capable of destroying your life. All of that is meant on his part.
I love the use of bright, tactical objects as iconography, even the closeness of the manicure in one of the last scenes, but also the scrunchie that Cassie secured in her notebook. It feels almost adorable, and someone is hurt and loves behind the revenge story that I don’t think you want to see in the more typical thrill that the man drives.
CM: When Cassie threw away the notebook, as soon as she decided to reform, she threw away the book but kept the scrunchie … Sounds like a funny sentence, but the scrunchie has a really significant emotional meaning for me when I was filming because I always felt that it was a tie to his friend.
I appreciate how Emerald included all the "great" actors that included yourself. Can you talk to me about playing against type for you and how it can be an important thing to consider for the audience when watching a movie?
CM: I thought it was a clever cast to send all these people that we have such warm fellowship with. Even Emerald and I, when Adam [Brody] was in, geeked out about The O.C. We see these people on-screen and they really want to be everything we expect, and Emerald even told Adam on his first day of shooting when we shot the scene in the apartment, "You are the hero of romantic comedy this and you are about to meet the love of your life. "It is not only in the casting but also in the way he directs everything. None of these characters came up with terrifying ideas. These are people who believe they are good until they realize they are not. Or that they at least acted in a way that they did not.
AB: This is about the need for a societal mental shift. This movie and every character in this movie is pretty complicated. It is not black and white. Some things are not as intense as you expect them to be. Emerald threw away all the comedic actors that people know and love — a bunch of lovely goofballs — that made the discussion even more compelling. Because if you throw a bunch of really villain people and everyone who plays it in a bad villain mode, then there really is no question. "Oh, that's a bad person." It is a test of people who think they are good people but commit acts that are, you know, bad. Disagree The conversation itself is very complicated. This is a broader and deeper and more complex issue than giving credit to people.
CM: Everyone brings this wealth to their duties. Alison’s entry on the first day — the first thing we filmed throughout the film was that restaurant scene — was unbelievable. [She is] a man with three days shooting throughout the film and entered and completely destroyed the first scene on the first day of filming. Emerald and I both like, "Wow, she & # 39; s a fucking pro, Alison Brie!" This idea of people playing completely unexpected roles that constantly upsets our expectations throughout the film.