In Killing Eve writer Emerald Fennell’s directorial debut, Carey plays Cassie, a young woman traumatised by a tragic event in her past who seeks out vengeance against those who cross her path.
The Great Gatsby actress was top of Fennell’s list for the role and Carey instantly she knew she wanted the part, so much so that she couldn’t keep her cool when she first met up with Fennell.
“Tor (agent Victoria Belfrage) sent me the script, but gave me absolutely no preamble: ‘Just read this,’” Mulligan recalled to Variety. “I just never read anything like it; I knew pretty certainly that I wanted to do it straight off the bat. But when we sat down and met a couple of days later, after five minutes, I said, ‘Tor gets really cross at me when I do this, but I just have to tell you, I really want to do this job. I’m doing it! Let’s do it.’”
The move paid off, with Carey winning the Best Actress prize at Sunday night’s Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards, and Emerald bagging the Best Screenplay award.
Explaining why she was so desperate for the part, Carey detailed how the script made her feel after she’d read it.
“It’s so lovely to read something and have no idea where it’s going, and you’re wrong-footed at every turn. Every time you decided something about somebody, it was ripped away from you and changed,” she shared.
“The reason I wanted to be in it is because I felt it was nothing I’d ever read or seen before. And I want people to feel that feeling that I felt when I read it: of I can’t believe this concoction can work. And what a thrill. It’s a magic trick, and you don’t see that very much these days.”
Promising Young Woman will be released in the U.S. in December and U.K. in February.