“Promising Young Woman” star Carey Mulligan covers the May 2020 issue of Vogue Australia magazine photographed by Josh Olins and styled by Christine Centenera.
Have you been conscious of working with female directors, or is it something that’s happened organically? [Promising Young Woman was written, directed and co-produced by Emerald Fennell]
“It’s kind of a mix, I think. I always feel when I get a script from a female director, it makes you sit up and take notice more, because you know for that to have gotten financing, then that director had to probably do a shit ton more than her male counterparts to get to that place. And that’s sort of pretty much statistical at this point, it’s not a sweeping assumption. For the most part, female directors have a harder time getting in and a harder time staying in the industry. If their first film is not a massive box office success or critically acclaimed, then their second film is much, much harder to get made. So I always just think that a female director sending around a script is really worth investing in and doing the work on. It’s not like the way you’ve set up your production company, which I’m in absolute awe of, I wouldn’t call myself anywhere near as proactive as that. But I’ve just been lucky that lots of female directors have come my way and they’ve all been really, really brilliant.”
How would you describe yourself in one word?
“Tired [laughs]. It’s quite accurate, though. When I was little I never won any prizes at school, but the one year I did win something it was the prize for endeavour, which meant I really tried but didn’t necessarily get the results. So I don’t know if my one word could be endeavour but, yeah, that’s it: endeavour.”
Speaking of fear and sometimes that fear-induced enthusiasm to take on a role, has there ever been an instance you turned something down because you felt you couldn’t take it on?
“No, I don’t think so in terms of fear stuff. There have been times in my career when I’ve stepped away from things to preserve my life a bit more. Like after I got married, I stopped for a bit, because I just wanted to have that time to be married and not doing lots of things that would take me away. I don’t know what it’s like for you, but more often than not when I read something, within the first read I know whether or not it’s of interest.”
This article will appear in Vogue Australia’s May 2020 issue, on sale Monday, May 4.
[Photo Credit: Josh Olins/Vogue Australia]
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