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Why Emerald Fennell is our new girl crush

She juggles horror and humour and always comes out on top; and from Killing Eve to The Crown to Young Promising Woman, she's written or acted in the most talked about film and TV in years

Emerald Fennell is behind some of the most talked-about television and film productions of recent years. At 35, she’s already a stellar actor, writer, director and published author, with an A-list girl gang of buddies, a famous heritage (her dad is jeweller Theo Fennell) and frankly we’d be ridden with jealousy if we didn’t also think she’s gorgeous and, y’know, should be our new BFF Here’s are five reasons she should be on your radar too.

Promising Young Woman

She’s nailed the killer plot twist

In everything Fennell writes, her plots are unexpected. Her feature film directorial debut, Promising Young Woman, released last week, is typical of this. What could play out as a classic revenge thriller is unsettlingly dressed in fluffy pink jumpers with Carey Mulligan as you’ve never seen her before with a soundtrack of Paris Hilton (not even joking) and Britney Spears. The plot takes you one way then pulls the rug from under you.

Even her series of children’s books (yes, there’s nothing this woman can’t do) are creepy. There’s all manner of chilling horror and gore at Shiverton Hall, a spooky boarding school in a Gothic manor. 

She’s got a dark sense of humour

Fennell’s deadpan humour takes dark to its darn right darkest. She was the perfect writer to take on the imposing task of deciding what would happen to Villanelle in Killing Eve after Phoebe Waller-Bridge left the psychopath wounded in a Paris apartment. Plus Emerald has Villanelle wincing over donning a pair of jewel-embellished Crocs in order to escape hospital moments after killing one of the young patients and stealing his pyjamas.

Image: Instagram / @careyhmulligan

She’s in the cool gang

Er, well, doesn’t want to stay up all night having negronis with Phoebe Waller Bridge and Carey Mulligan?

She’s a risk taker

Emerald played nurse Patsy Mount in Call the Midwife, whose part addressed the issue of discrimination around same-sex relationships in the 1960s. She is also working on a new stage adaptation of Cinderella with the kingpin of musicals himself, Andrew Lloyd Webber. Somehow we don’t see this Cinderella being rescued by a prince and a fairy godmother this time.

She seemed to be the only one having fun…

… in The Crown. In playing the role of Camilla Parker Bowles, Emerald took on a character who, while denied their true love, seemed to be one of the least tortured of the Royals. “I’m basically playing a chain-smoking posho standing in a corner making cutting remarks. So it’s not a stretch,” she says, in classic deadpan form.

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