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Alison Brie Defends Co-Star Carey Mulligan From "Inappropriate" Critic

Corinne Heller
·2 min read
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GLOW alum Alison Brie has got some fighting words in defense of her co-star Carey Mulligan.

In December, Mulligan told The New York Times she "took issue" with Variety journalist Dennis Harvey's review of the actresses' new crime thriller film Promising Young Woman that had critiqued her appearance and implied she was miscast. Variety has since issued a formal apology to the British star, who is nominated for a 2021 Oscar for her leading role, for the "insensitive language and insinuation" in the review and said the article "minimized" Mulligan's "daring performance." Harvey has denied allegations of misogyny.

"It was pretty egregious," Brie told Insider of the review, in comments posted on Friday, April 16. "I felt really proud of Cary for speaking up about it because that idea is terrifying. To criticize the critics who are going to continue to critique your work for the rest of your career is a daunting idea."

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Brie continued, "There are so many things to comment on that feels like fair game, but appearance? It kind of blows my mind that in this day and age that people would think that's an okay thing to critique in an artistic space...It feels inappropriate."

In his Variety review, Harvey wrote, "Mulligan, a fine actress, seems a bit of an odd choice as this admittedly many-layered apparent femme fatale — Margot Robbie is a producer here, and one can (perhaps too easily) imagine the role might once have been intended for her. Whereas with this star, Cassie wears her pickup-bait gear like bad drag; even her long blonde hair seems a put-on."

Carey Mulligan, Alison Brie
Carey Mulligan, Alison Brie

Mulligan later told The New York Times, "I read the Variety review, because I'm a weak person...and I took issue with it. It felt like it was basically saying that I wasn't hot enough to pull off this kind of ruse."

After the magazine issued an apology, Harvey told The Guardian in January he was "appalled to be tarred as misogynist" and that he "did not say or even mean to imply Mulligan is 'not hot enough' for the role."

Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman, Womens History Month
Carey Mulligan, Promising Young Woman, Womens History Month

"I'm a 60-year-old gay man," he continued. "I don't actually go around dwelling on the comparative hotnesses of young actresses, let alone writing about that."

He added, "While Carey Mulligan is certainly entitled to interpret the review however she likes, her projection of it suggesting she's 'not hot enough' is, to me, just bizarre. I'm sorry she feels that way. But I'm also sorry that's a conclusion she would jump to, because it's quite a leap."