Emerald Fennell Interview on Promising Young Woman


Image Credit: Getty / Rich Polk / Getty Images for IMDb

When writing a script, not every method is the same. Some opt for isolation to complete the script, while others devote themselves to research to make their work authentic. To the Promising young womanAs a writer and director, Emerald Fennell, her method encompasses music and years of work. “I basically all approach writing the same way,” Fennell told POPSUGAR. “I just write everything completely in my head for years and then transcribe it at the end when it’s done. So I stare at a wall for years and listen to music.”

Promising young woman sees Carey Mulligan as Cassie Thomas, the promising young woman who deals with trauma from her past while leading a double life. It also features Bo Burnham, Alison Brie, Clancy Brown, Jennifer Coolidge, Connie Britton, Laverne Cox, Adam Brody, Max Greenfield and Christopher Mintz-Plasse. Fennell wrote and directed the project herself, and as an actress, she wanted to make sure the set went the way she would have liked if the roles had been reversed. “I’ve always felt most comfortable when it’s fun and [there’s] a society of people, “she announced.” I had a strong feeling that everyone, especially actors, does their best job when they feel supported. And that it’s okay for them to fuck or drop a line. So I tried to do that Promising young woman. ”

“I had a strong feeling that everyone, especially actors, does their best job when they feel supported.”

In the film, Mulligan’s Cassie leads a double life trying to correct the injustice caused by her best friend’s death, and there’s a reason there’s a breakup between her and the audience. “The thing about Cassie is that she’s completely traumatized, and [she’s] Traumatized people who are in cycles of addiction or self-harm, that’s how I see them, “explained Fennell.” No matter how much we admire them, how much we like them, how much we think they are funny, we may not like them all the time, and I think that’s really important because we’ve had in all of the times in our lives which we were deeply unlikely, and I still think it rarely happens in male and female protagonists. ”

Cassie isn’t the only “unlikely” protagonist in Fennell’s life as she plays the woman we love to hate on Netflix The crown, Camilla Shand. “I think the character of Camilla is really interesting because to me she is a perfectly normal woman who wants to lead an ordinary life and has unfortunately fallen in love with someone whose life is in no way normal,” she said. “There is no comparison to the life these people lead on this TV series. Neither of us can say, ‘Oh, it’s a bit like when I …’ which I think makes creator Peter Morgan so brilliant is is that he humanized every single person on [The Crown]. I think every character in it tries their best in exceptional circumstances. ”

The Krone S4.  PICTURE SHOWS: Camilla Parker Bowles (EMERALD FENNELL).  Location: Australia House, Aldwych

Image source: Netflix

While Fennell may have been nervous about making her directorial debut Promising young womanShe knew that she could rely on her friends Jessica Knappett and Phoebe Waller-Bridge. “I was very fortunate to have such a network of amazing women,” she revealed. “I think there is still the idea that people have to be competitive, especially women. However, I think I was able to do all of these things because these other women who had done things before gave me so much confidence.” and they were just wonderful soundboards. ”

In addition to her support network, she’s also grateful for the changes Hollywood has made. “This year has proven that people want different stories from different storytellers,” she added. “It’s wonderful that then producers, networks and studios realize that that’s what people want. It’s not just something they have to do to tick a box, but we’re all looking for things that we haven’t seen before.” have and hear voices that we haven’t heard. “

“Not only is it something you have to do to tick a box, but we are all looking for things we haven’t seen before and hearing voices we haven’t heard.”

While working on the film, Fennell also had a moment of self-discovery regarding her next project. “I definitely won’t be able to stage anything I haven’t written,” said Fennell. “I don’t think I would be very good at it. I admire people who can direct the work of others because I think it sounds very complicated.” As to what she’s going to direct next, Fennell had no definitive answer other than, “I would just like to do story-led things. I get bored very quickly. So I would love to do it.” different things each time. “

Fennell has written numerous books, including Shiverton Hall, The creeper, and monster, along with episodes for shows like Kill Eve, but she is perhaps best known for her roles as sister Patsy Mount on Call the midwife and Camilla on The crown. It is her experience in both of these areas that has helped influence her choices in writing and governing. “You’re looking for something that feels very real to you,” said Fennell. “In a way, writing books was more helpful. Especially the most recent [Monsters]that was from a first-person narration. I think this was really helpful for Promising young woman. “

Outside of projects like Promising young womanFennell also had the opportunity to work with Andrew Lloyd Webber and David Zippel on the musical Cinderella, a reinterpretation of the classic story that premieres in the West End in 2021. “Something like Cinderella is amazing because there are three of us and we all rely on each other, “she shared.” It’s so different from anything I’ve done before because the music informs the story that the lyrics inform. And in fact, it kept me completely sane this year because we pretty much had to use Zoom. “Fennell readily admitted that working with others on a story was a new thing to her.” I’m usually pretty lonely, “she said,” And I’ll just go and live in the parallel universe of the story until I think: ‘OK, there’s no other place in this story that I haven’t tried.’ “

PARK CITY, UT - JANUARY 25: Emerald Fennell, Carey Mulligan and Bo Burnham of the Promising Young Woman pose for a portrait at the Pizza Hut Lounge on January 25, 2020 in Park City, Utah.  (Photo by Emily Assiran / Getty Images for Pizza Hut)

Image Source: Getty / Emily Assiran / Getty Images for Pizza Hut

This idea of ​​living in a parallel universe for writing started when Fennell was younger and is part of the reason she considers soundtracks to be an important factor in her writing process. “I would buy this score and then write my own version of the film or my own episodes of Sweet Valley High or I would write the episode of Saved by the bell where I would marry Zack Morris in my head at the age of 10, “she shared. Fennell includes these cases of fanfiction as inspiration for her love of writing.

“That’s another thing that I don’t think people talk about that much,” she continued. “So many people and writers I know have their lives, then they have some imaginary lives. They live in an imaginary house with an imaginary boyfriend or girlfriend with an imaginary pet and it is set in Victorian England or they live in an apartment in Paris I always had the feeling that my real life only runs parallel to the imaginary and that they influence each other. ”

Through her experience as an actress, Fennell understands the subtleties required to get her characters across in terms of directing. She can also use such experiences The crown and Call the midwife as inspiration for her own style as a director. Promising young womanThe premiere on December 25th is just the beginning of a promising directing career for Fennell, and we are eagerly awaiting her next project.