Carey Mulligan 'Took Issue' with Promising Young Woman Review Mentioning Her Appearance

Jen Juneau
·3 min read

Stephane Cardinale/Corbis/Getty Carey Mulligan

Carey Mulligan is speaking out after a review of Promising Young Woman called her "a bit of an odd choice" for the lead role.

In the black-comedy thriller, Mulligan plays Cassie, a conniving former medical student who had a bright future ahead of her until a traumatizing event derailed her life, leading her down a road of revenge.

The 35-year-old star chatted with The New York Times in an interview published Wednesday about the film and the review from Variety that called her "a fine actress," albeit one who "seems a bit of an odd choice as this admittedly many-layered apparent femme fatale."

"I read the Variety review, because I'm a weak person," Mulligan said. "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."

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

Courtesy of Focus Features Carey Mulligan in Promising Young Woman

Courtesy of Focus Features Carey Mulligan in Promising Young Woman

RELATED: Minnie Driver: Good Will Hunting Producer "Did Not Think I Was Hot Enough" for the Role

The review went on to say, "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 blond hair feels like a put-on."

"It wasn't some sort of ego-wounding thing — like, I fully can see that Margot Robbie is a goddess," Mulligan told the Times. But the mention of appearance at all "drove [her] so crazy."

"I was like, 'Really? For this film, you're going to write something that is so transparent? Now? In 2020?' I just couldn't believe it," the actress continued.

"We don't allow women to look normal anymore, or like a real person," Mulligan added. "Why does every woman who's ever onscreen have to look like a supermodel? That has shifted into something where the expectation of beauty and perfection onscreen has gotten completely out of control."

Variety later added a statement to the review after Mulligan's quotes.

"Variety sincerely apologizes to Carey Mulligan and regrets the insensitive language and insinuation in our review of Promising Young Woman that minimized her daring performance."

Courtesy of Focus Features Carey Mulligan in Promising Young Woman

RELATED VIDEO: Carey Mulligan Jokes It's "Terrifying" When She Realizes She's Not in Her 20s Anymore

Carey Mulligan Jokes It's 'Terrifying' When She Realizes She's Not in Her Twenties Anymore

The actress is a 33-year-old mother to two kids with singer Marcus Mumford — and yet sometimes, she still can't believe where her twenties went!

Promising Young Woman, with a scintillating trailer that dropped in October, was written and directed by Killing Eve's season 2 showrunner Emerald Fennell.

The critically acclaimed thriller, which Fennell produced alongside Robbie, 30, also stars Bo Burnham, Laverne Cox, Alison Brie, Connie Britton, Jennifer Coolidge, Max Greenfield, Sam Richardson and Molly Shannon.

The movie was originally scheduled to debut in April but, like many films, was pushed back due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Promising Young Woman hits theaters Friday.