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Carey Mulligan Explains Why She Called Out Variety's 'Promising Young Woman' Review

Carey Mulligan Explains Why She Called Out Variety's 'Promising Young Woman' Review

Carey Mulligan is reacting to a review.

The 35-year-old actress first responded to Variety‘s review of Promising Young Woman in a profile for the New York Times in December.

PHOTOS: Check out the latest pics of Carey Mulligan

“I read the Variety review, because I’m a weak person,” she explained, saying that the review suggested she wasn’t “hot enough to pull off this kind of ruse,” but said she wasn’t mentioning it because her feelings were hurt.

“It wasn’t some sort of ego-wounding thing — like, I fully can see that Margot Robbie is a goddess.” The review also suggested that Margot, who served as a producer, might have been a better choice for the role of Cassie.

“It drove me so crazy…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,” she went on to say.

Variety then added an editor’s note at the top of the review: “Variety sincerely apologizes to Carey Mulligan and regrets the insensitive language and insinuation in our review of Promising Young Woman that minimized her daring performance.”

In a new interview with Zendaya for Variety‘s Actors on Actors, she further elaborated on calling out the outlet.

“I feel it’s important that criticism is constructive. I think it’s important that we are looking at the right things when it comes to work, and we’re looking at the art, and we’re looking at the performance and the way that a film is made. And I don’t think that goes to the appearance of an actor or your personal preference for what an actor does or doesn’t look like, which it felt that that article did,” she said.

“Which for me felt disappointing, because obviously the film is sort of tackling issues around our perceptions and our preconceived ideas about people. In the broadest sense, I think there’s an element to where we have idealized women on screen for so long that I think we start to lose sight of what women really look like. When I worked with Steve McQueen on Shame, he said, ‘Really, what we’re all doing is holding up a mirror. That’s what we do as storytellers,’” she went on to explain.

“And I think if women continually look on screen and don’t see themselves, that’s not helpful for women or for anyone, really — that we’re not going to tell authentic stories. So I think in criticizing or sort of bemoaning a lack of attractiveness on my part in a character, it wasn’t a personal slight, it wasn’t something that I felt. It didn’t wound my ego, but it made me concerned that in such a big publication, an actress’ appearance could be criticized and it could be that, you know, that could be accepted as completely reasonable criticism. I think it’s important to call out those things, because they seem small and they seem insignificant. People around me at the time said, Oh, you know, get over it. Whatever. It’s great — it’s a great review. Or whatever: People love the film,” she continued.

“But it stuck with me, because I think it’s these kind of every day moments that add up — that mean that we start to edit the way that women appear on screen, and we want them to look a certain way. We want to airbrush them, and we want to make them look perfect. Or we want to edit the way that they work, the way they move, and the way that they think and behave. And I think we need to see real women portrayed on screen and in all of their complexity. So I felt that it was one small thing to point out that could be helpful.”

If you’ve already seen the movie, the director just explained the ending.

Watch her full reaction inside…

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Photos: Getty Images
Posted to: Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman

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