Golden Globe Nominee Emerald Fennell Was 7 Months Pregnant While Directing Promising Young Woman
"I was so pregnant and I think that really helped," she says about making the movie while expecting her son
Emerald Fennell had a lot on her plate while making her directorial debut.
The British filmmaker (known for playing a young Camilla Parker Bowles on The Crown and for serving as showrunner on Killing Eve season 2) scored a Golden Globe nomination Wednesday morning for her revenge thriller Promising Young Woman — a movie she directed while seven months pregnant.
Fennell, 35, also wrote the film, which finds Carey Mulligan's Cassie committing herself to a revenge mission after her college friend was sexually assaulted. She recently explained to Deadline how being pregnant helped her on set during the 23-day shoot.
"I was so pregnant and I think that really helped because in general, I care deeply, pathetically what people think about me," she says. "I just chose the worst possible career in every way for that personality trait. The idea of people not liking me and thinking I'm difficult, all those things, is just dreadful to me."
"But luckily," she continues, "when you're carting around a massive baby and you're about to give birth, you don't have the time to be anxious. I was like a literal ticking time bomb, which I think gave me this weird power for myself."
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According to The Hollywood Reporter, Fennell was in her third trimester during the shoot, making the already-tight schedule even more hasty given her approaching due date. She went on to give birth to her son three weeks after the film wrapped production.
"We were all excited, of course, but, you know, s--- got real. Suddenly, we had a real biological imperative to get the movie done," producer Ben Browning recalls to the outlet.
Fennell's dedication paid off in the form of Golden Globe nominations for best director and best screenplay. The awards show made history with the 2021 nominations by recognizing more than one woman in the directing category: along with Fennell, Chloé Zhao (Nomadland) and Regina King (One Night in Miami) were also honored.
In December, Mulligan, 35 — who shares daughter Evelyn Grace, 5 and son Wilfred, 3, with husband Marcus Mumford — explained to PEOPLE why Promising Young Woman is so provocative to today's audiences.
"It's not about a sort of goodie and baddie situation," she said. "I like the fact that the film makes us kind of reexamine, 'How have we all been complicit in this?' There's so much to unpack about the way people talk about consent."
Promising Young Woman is now available on demand.