Disney’s Cruella Interview: Emma Stone & Emma Thompson
Emma Stone and Emma Thompson star in Disney’s Cruella as two rival fashion designers that may not have the best relationship, Cruella and The Baroness. Both of these seasoned actresses do a fantastic job of breathing life into their characters, and in this interview they discuss just that, as well as the incredible costumes that they had to wear. Thompson even joked around that the “frocks wore her” when discussing them because while gorgeous on screen, and in person, they are quite the hassle to put on and take off.
Both of the Emmas said that it was something else to step into this clothing, and that the outfits required a whole team. “There were people hauling on ropes. Peeing was hard, and involved a team of people.” explains Thompson, as Stone laughs and shakes her head in agreement. They would be in separate makeup, hair, and costume trailers, and then come together on set. So when they did arrive on set there was so much to take in about each other’s appearances, that they would walk around each other like they were looking at works of art. Which honestly, they were. From top to bottom they look amazing in every scene. Stone adds in that the dresses were all quite structured, and created some very interesting shapes.
Stone admits that playing Cruella is a lot of fun, and while she crosses some lines that Stone herself would not cross, she much prefers the Cruella world over the Estella world. In Disney’s Cruella, Estella and Cruella make take up the same body, but they are two very different people. Young Estella learns to embrace her inner Cruella, and that is what Stone had the most fun doing. When she got the role of Cruella, it was six years ago, and a very long wait to actually make the movie. “It was a process of about four years and different writers and different things were brought to the table. It really felt like we might not ever make the movie of Cruella, even though she’s such a fun and interesting character.” After exploring many different options, and landing on putting Cruella in the 1970s, as well as Craig Gillespie and Tony McNamara coming on board, things really came together. That is whey it hit Stone and she was very excited, and says it was unbelievable.
As for Thompson, she claims to have been asking to play a good, proper, villain for a while now, so was thrilled to be cast as The Baroness. She jokingly says it was not much of a stretch for her to play someone so mean, and that her husband would even say there was no acting required. But in all seriousness, she was happy to explore the dark side of a female character, because all too often they are not allowed to go that dark. Seeing it in a Disney movie, nonetheless, is surprising and exciting. Thompson adds that something so unique about her character is her commitment to her own creativity, no matter what she has to sacrifice along the way to get it. Something that much be very difficult for her, but is also quite admirable.
What is a Cruella movie without the dogs? Both actresses rave about the animal actors, and how sweet they are. They all had their little crosses marked on the set and when told to go back to mark, they would walk over and stand exactly where they should be. Thompson loves that the movie had very little CGI, and it is all real, however Stone admits the dogs are what needed the most CGI. Why? Because they are so nice they needed some help looking nasty. “Estella’s dog, Buddy, whose real name is Bobby, I genuinely think he was the cutest and sweetest dog I had ever known in my life, and I’ve got a lot of dogs. So that’s saying something.” says Stone.
Without giving too much about the film away, Cruella and The Baroness do butt heads as they try to upstage each other time and time again at red carpet arrivals. The Baroness is determined to destroy her competition, instead of allowing it to make her better. “She appears and presents as this very strong personality, but in fact, of course, she’s very weak, and contains the inevitable seeds of her own destruction, because she can’t acknowledge talent in any other person. So when she finally sees someone who’s not only talented, but actually more talented than her, and younger and more beautiful, than her, she finds it very difficult indeed.” Thompson says of her character, before joking that she feels the same way about Stone in real life. A comment that had Stone rolling her eyes and smiling, which shows just how well these two get along in person, even if their characters do not on screen.
Academy Award® winner Emma Stone (“La La Land”) stars in Disney’s “Cruella,” an all-new live-action feature film about the rebellious early days of one of cinemas most notorious – and notoriously fashionable – villains, the legendary Cruella de Vil. “Cruella,” which is set in 1970s London amidst the punk rock revolution, follows a young grifter named Estella, a clever and creative girl determined to make a name for herself with her designs.
She befriends a pair of young thieves who appreciate her appetite for mischief, and together they are able to build a life for themselves on the London streets. One day, Estella’s flair for fashion catches the eye of the Baroness von Hellman, a fashion legend who is devastatingly chic and terrifyingly haute, played by two-time Oscar® winner Emma Thompson (“Howards End,” “Sense & Sensibility”). But their relationship sets in motion a course of events and revelations that will cause Estella to embrace her wicked side and become the raucous, fashionable and revenge-bent Cruella.
Cruella will release simultaneously in theaters and on Disney+ with Premier Access for a one-time additional fee on Friday, May 28.