Interview: Production Designer Michael Perry Discusses the Collaboration Behind ‘Promising Young Woman’

While watching Emerald Fennell‘s searing Promising Young Woman in addition to being mesmerized by Carey Mulligan’s transformative performance, what also grabs viewers’ attention is the film’s distinct look. The use of bright candy colors as disarming and deceptive as the film’s heroine herself. The film’s world was envisioned by Fennell and brought to life by the film’s Production Designer, Michael Perry.

Perry’s life story starts with very humble beginnings, takes some unexpected turns, and ultimately arrives at the present day where he is living the dream – working on Promising Young Woman. Surprisingly, his involvement with the film seems like destiny tied to a job he worked on 25 years earlier that caught Fennell’s imagination. During the interview, Perry tells me how he became involved with the film, his amazing collaboration with Fennell, his process, the symbolism throughout the film, and much more.

His work on one of the most provocative and praised films of the year has earned Perry a career-first Art Directors Guild nomination, and deservingly so. The look of the film is a seamless extension of the main character and reveals just as much about the character as the dialogue.

If you have not seen Promising Young Woman, stop reading now and fix that. Award Radar’s editor-in-chief, Joey Magidson, called it “a staggeringly brilliant achievement that will stand the test of time.” For those who have watched the film, enjoy my interview with the charming and talented Michael Perry.


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[…] gave us in our interviews with Fennell, star Carey Mulligan, production designer Michael Perry, editor Frédéric Thoraval, and cinematographer Benjamin […]



Written by Steven Prusakowski

Steven Prusakowski has been a cinephile as far back as he can remember, literally. At the age of ten, while other kids his age were sleeping, he was up into the late hours of the night watching the Oscars. Since then, his passion for film, television, and awards has only grown. For over a decade he has reviewed and written about entertainment through publications including Awards Circuit and Screen Radar. He has conducted interviews with some of the best in the business - learning more about them, their projects and their crafts. He is a graduate of the RIT film program. You can find him on Twitter and Letterboxd as @FilmSnork – we don’t know why the name, but he seems to be sticking to it.

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