Carey Mulligan Explains Why She Called Out a 'Promising Young Woman' Review That Focused on Her Appearance

The film's star noted that the decision had nothing to do with ego.

Carey Mulligan understands the importance of how women are discussed in the media. Her gripping new film, Promising Young Woman, has received mostly positive reviews from the critics, but Mulligan recently decided to call out a review from Variety, which suggested that producer Margot Robbie might have been a better fit for Mulligan's part as Cassie. 

"I felt it was, you know, it was a surface read, it was a sort of criticism or an appraisal of my looks as opposed to my performance," Mulligan tells ET's Matt Cohen. "It wasn’t a sort of big thing, it wasn't something that felt very dramatic in the writing of it, but I think it's important. I think it's those everyday things that build up and create a bigger picture. And I think the effect -- the way that we treat women onscreen -- and I think the way that we learned so much from what we see onscreen, I think it's so much of our culture, so much of the way that we treat each other." 

Mulligan noted that especially due to the film's subject matter, which deals with sexual assault and the double standards between men and women, she felt it was important to speak out. 

"Our film is dealing with real-life stuff," she says. "We're talking about things that are really tragically commonplace... you've gotta treat that kind of material respectfully."

Variety eventually issued an apology to Mulligan in the form of an editor's note on the review, which reads, “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.”

"I was very, very glad ... that the publication made an apology and I thought that was a really kind of important and good step," Mulligan says. 

Mulligan's latest project is the film The Dig, which tells the tale of the excavation of Sutton Hoo in 1938. Coincidentally, she was not the first actress chosen for her role of Edith Pretty. 

"I kind of came to the job really last minute, about three weeks before they started shooting," she tells ET. "I replaced somebody, so I didn't get to go to the British Museum, but I did go to Sutton Hoo with Ralph [Fiennes]. We went there before we started shooting and sort of sat on the mounds and soaked it in a bit."

The Dig was released in theaters on Jan. 15 and hits Netflix on Friday.