On Thursday night, Carey Mulligan won the Independent Spirit Award for Best Female lead for her Promising Young Woman performance. But her acceptance speech during the virtual show ended on a poignant and heartfelt note, as she dedicated her award to the recently passed actress Helen McCrory.
Mulligan said, “She was a true independent spirit and actress that I have looked up to, and will continue to look up to for the rest of my career, Helen McCrory, so thank you to her for everything she gave us.”
Both McCrory and Mulligan came up treading the boards of London’s theaters, and both also found fame onscreen. McCrory, who starred in Peaky Blinders, His Dark Materials and the Harry Potter and James Bond film franchises, passed away April 16 at age 52. McCrory’s husband, Billions actor Damian Lewis, wrote on Twitter that she died peacefully at home after a “heroic battle” with cancer.
Promising Young Woman follows Cassie (Mulligan), a grieving college drop-out set on exposing sexual predators. It won a Spirit Award Thursday night not only for Mulligan but also Best Screenplay for first-time writer, director and producer Emerald Fennell.
“I’m shocked and in awe and honored to be in this group of extraordinary women,” Mulligan said, accepting the award via video. “I need to thank first and foremost, Emerald Fennell for her complete genius in writing and directing and producing.”
Mulligan also thanked the crew for surviving the 23-day shoot. “They were painstakingly thoughtful and careful and beautifully sensitive with each and every scene. I’m just so grateful to them and to our cast and to Margot Robbie, and LuckyChap, and Film Nation and Focus Features.”