Emerald Fennell struggled to admit she’s ambitious

Emerald Fennell struggled to admit she’s ambitious


Emerald Fennell says it took a long time for her to be comfortable saying she is “ambitious”.

The ‘Promising Young Woman’ director admits women are labelled an “unscrupulous monster” if they are too ambitious but are dubbed “worthless or lazy” if they’re not so obvious about succeeding.

She said: “The age-old thing with being a woman is if you’re too ambitious, you’re an unscrupulous monster. And if you’re happy in your life and easygoing and not wanting to be the president then you’re worthless or lazy. Boys are still encouraged to believe that they can do whatever they want. Increasingly girls are, but it’s also not just a question of gender, it is one of race and of privilege too. I’m always very quick to say a lot of the confidence and ambition that I have comes from an immense place of privilege. But it takes you a long time and a lot of work as a woman to be comfortable saying you’re ambitious. There are so many women now who have led by example, who are unapologetically ambitious.”

And the 35-year-old actress and filmmaker believes there needs to be a “widening” of the conversation following the #MeToo movement to include everyone in Hollywood.

Speaking to Glamour UK, she added: “I genuinely want to know what male filmmakers and male actors think about it. Because up to a point all we can do is make the work. The people who can actually change it are the people who are putting the obstacles up.

“We collectively need to widen the conversation. I want Promising Young Woman to be accessible to everyone and it’s not effective as a movie if the only people who go and see it are the people who already know about this. It’s a conversation we all need to start having more honestly.”