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    16 "Promising Young Woman" Behind-The-Scenes Facts You Might Not Know, But Should

    "That's for me and Emerald to know, and the audience not to know."

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    To celebrate Promising Young Woman, Carey Mulligan sat down with us to answer all of our burning questions about her new movie.

    BuzzFeed / Via youtu.be

    Here's everything we learned:

    🚨 There are spoilers ahead for Promising Young Woman. So, if you haven't watched the movie yet, you might want to bookmark this for later. 🚨

    1. First, Promising Young Woman was directed and written by Emerald Fennell, who you might know as Camilla from The Crown or as the showrunner for Season 2 of Killing Eve, and Carey said working with her was amazing.

    Focus Features / Everett Collection

    "Emerald is one of my favorite people," Carey said. "She's just hilarious, absolutely in command of the whole film, in the best way, that gave a lot of us freedom to have fun on set."

    2. Carey feels that she was "so lucky" to have Emerald by her side through the Promising Young Woman process because Emerald's writing allowed Carey to really dig deep into everything Cassie was feeling.

    Carey reading a book in Promising Young Woman
    Focus Features / Everett Collection

    "[Emerald] was the one who was walking that tightrope," Carey said. "I feel like my role was just to play the writing as honestly as I could, and the writing does encompass all of that stuff."

    3. When approaching playing Cassie, Carey really focused on Nina and Cassie's friendship and how this wasn't a story solely about "revenge," but about "love and loyalty."

    Cassie wearing half of heart pendant around her neck
    Focus Features / Via youtu.be

    4. Carey's favorite behind-the-scenes memory from filming was when she filmed the dinner table scene with Jennifer Coolidge, Bo Burnham, and Clancy Brown, and she couldn't stop laughing.

    Focus Features / Everett Collection

    "It was the kind of moment where the entire crew just loses it," Carey said. "I think I ruined that take pretty quickly."

    5. In fact, Emerald asked Carey, Jennifer, Bo, and Clancy to improvise during the scene, and Jennifer ended up coming up with some hilarious occupations for her character.

    Focus Features / Everett Collection

    Carey explained, "Emerald asked us to improvise at the beginning of the scene, she said, 'Just ask Jennifer what she does for a living.' So, Bo asked Jennifer, and the first thing she said was that she had discovered late in life that she was a very talented fish tank interior designer. And then the next time she said that she was a roofer. And the time after that, she said that she trained small animals to detect carbon monoxide. It just went on for about an hour and I just couldn't do it. I don't know how comedians do it."

    6. Carey said it was "really stressful" learning the lyrics to Paris Hilton's "Stars Are Blind."

    Cassie sitting in front of a mirror decorated with photographs
    Focus Features / Via youtu.be

    "It was really stressful, learning the lines to that song because everyone knows that song," Carey said. "But actually, the lyrics are quite difficult to learn."

    7. Emerald gave Carey and Bo free reign to do whatever they wanted during the Paris Hilton scene, and it took Carey two takes to feel comfortable singing and dancing.

    Carey and Bo singing in Promising Young Woman as they walk down a store aisle
    Focus Features / Everett Collection

    Carey explained, "Bo immediately was just a genius and started picking up cans of Spam and popping packets of chips, and was being so funny, but I just couldn't go there. So I spent the first two takes sort of glaring at him, all in character, but sort of, you know, not really participating hugely. I was trying to hide behind my character and [Emerald] was like, 'Come on, you know, when you're in love you do crazy things.'"

    8. And Carey said that filming the Paris Hilton scene bonded her and Bo "for life."

    Cary and Bo sitting in a restaurant booth in Promising Young Woman
    Focus Features / Via youtu.be

    9. Promising Young Woman makes the point of calling out the "nice guy," and Carey said it was "intentional" to cast actors β€” like Max Greenfield and Adam Brody β€” who are known for playing "nice guy" roles.

    Max Greenfield with his hands on his head in Promising Young Woman
    Focus Features / Everett Collection

    "It was absolutely intentional on Emerald's behalf. She wanted people that you felt warmly towards and comfortable with. I don't think those scenes work if you have expectations that somebody is going to be not a nice guy," Care said. "I think if you see the guy who ordinarily plays the villain, the impact isn't really there."

    10. In fact, she said casting a "nice guy" actor to play Al Monroe made his character all the more terrifying.

    Focus Features / Everett Collection

    Carey explained, "I think what's so powerful about Chris [Lowell] in that role, and also in the writing, is that this is not somebody who thinks of himself as being a bad guy. He doesn't want to go upstairs. He says to her, 'I don't want to do anything. I love my girlfriend.' As an audience, we believed in these guys until we saw those scenes turn."

    11. Carey believes that Cassie "100%" loved Ryan during their relationship, even though it ends badly.

    Focus Features / Everett Collection

    12. Also, Carey thinks it's "heartbreaking" that the audience is able to see the life she could've had if she was able to "get past" what she discovers about Ryan.

    Focus Features / Via youtu.be

    13. Cassie has a lot of amazing outfits in Promising Young Woman, but Carey's favorite was the nurse costume.

    Cassie in a nurse's costume and a multi-colored wig
    Focus Features / Everett Collection

    "I've requested to keep the nurse's costume just for posterity," Carey said. "I don't know. I just love it. It was just hilarious."

    14. Carey was not expecting the ending when she first read the script, and she loved that Emerald "told the truth" with Cassie's ending.

    Focus Features / Via youtu.be

    Carey said, "I felt so strongly, like Emerald, that it was important to tell the truth and that felt like the honest ending to the film, perhaps not the one that we all might've wanted, but that was the truthful way to end the story."

    15. In fact, Carey loved that, as an audience, you had expectations for what was going to happen in the end, and it goes completely the other way.

    Cassie in a multicolored wig and pulling a piece of chewing gum from her mouth
    Focus Features / Via youtu.be

    16. And finally, in terms of what was the difference between Cassie using red pen vs. black pen for the tally marks in her journal, Carey said, "That's for me and Emerald to know, and the audience not to know."

    Focus Features / Via youtu.be

    Check out our full video with Carey about Promising Young Woman below!

    View this video on YouTube

    BuzzFeed / Via youtu.be

    Promising Young Woman starts streaming on VOD on Jan. 15.

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