LA Times – There’s a bouncy, open quality about their conversation on a late November morning, something that Mulligan says began with their first meeting. At the time, Mulligan had an impressive résumé in film, TV and theater and a 2009 lead actress Oscar nomination for “An Education,” whereas Fennell was the showrunner on Season 2 of “Killing Eve” and occasional actress (currently giving serrated edge to Camilla Parker Bowles on the latest season of “The Crown”).
Fennell’s only directing credit at that point was on a 13-minute short called “Careful How You Go.” She appealed to Mulligan with a digital mood board, a bubbly female-only pop song playlist and a script that was sometimes funny, often unsettling and 100% tricky to pull off.
[…] It’s one of those “she can do anything” performances, especially because Mulligan has a natural modesty about her — in real life, she sends notes before photo shoots requesting that she not be asked to wear anything too skimpy or tight-fitting — and that she’s best known for breathing life into fragile women of prior eras.
“Ten minutes in, I knew I just trusted her,” says Mulligan. “Emerald is so intelligent and has such a specific, brilliant sense of humor and also is completely in command of things in a way that’s really appealing to an actor. I knew she could pull it off. It felt like a tightrope walk. But it felt like no risk at all. It was more like, ‘This is going to be awesome.’”
[…] “There’s a practical component to making your first film, which is that you’re not going to have a lot of money or time,” says Fennell, who shot the movie in Los Angeles in 23 days. She did everything she could to carve out entire days in the schedule for scenes where Cassie drops her falling-down-drunk act, sits up and sharply confronts the men attempting to assault her, guys who actually consider themselves honorable. […] “I wanted [Mulligan and the actors] to be able to face off with each other,” says Fennell, who encouraged her cast of bar habitués — Adam Brody, Christopher Mintz-Plasse and Sam Richardson — to improvise within the scene but only after offering a key piece of direction: “I want you to imagine yourself as the hero in a romantic comedy.”