Emily Browning's Beauty attack

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A haunting portrait of Lucy, a young university student drawn into a mysterious hidden world of unspoken desires.
October 21st, 2011

Emily Browning had a "panic attack" when she read the 'Sleeping Beauty' script.

The Australian actress admits her new movie, in which she plays Lucy - a student drawn into a hidden world of debauchery - left her feeling very uncomfortable when she was first approached about it.

She said: "Even reading the script made me uncomfortable. I read the first scene and had a panic attack - I had to leave it for an hour to catch my breath."

However, Emily insists it wasn't the scenes of prostitution which unsettled her, but those where her character underwent medical research and had a probe pushed down her throat.

She explained: "Nudity doesn't bother me. Mainstream media and society seem so frightened by sex, but it's not really that scary.

"I'm really squeamish and I did say, 'If this tube has to be in my chest I might faint.' "

Although her character consents to "non-penetrative" sex with others while drugged into a stupor, Emily doesn't believe her alter ego was exploited.

She said: "Obviously, the fact she's asleep means she's objectified to some degree, but she is completely willing to submit control to others and see what happens.

"I don't think it's a healthy attitude for someone to have, but the film isn't portraying a character who's going to be a role model for young girls. It's about the choices we make as humans, and the battle to find control while living in a society that wants to objectify you and commodify you."