Actress Emma Stone reportedly had no reservations about filming sex scenes in "Poor Things," her latest movie. This sci-fi black comedy, based on Alasdair Gray's 1992 novel, marks her reunion with Director Yorgos Lanthimos since "The Favourite" in 2018. The story follows Bella (played by Stone), a resurrected Victorian woman seeking independence from her supposed guardian, portrayed by Hollywood veteran Willem Dafoe.
Lanthimos emphasized the importance of Stone feeling comfortable during the raunchy scenes, considering them intrinsic to the novel's portrayal of freedom. Despite explicit content, "Poor Things" received critical acclaim, an eight-minute standing ovation at the Venice Film Festival, and Oscar buzz for Stone's bold performance.
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Emma Stone In ‘Poor Things’
Director Yorgos Lanthimos recently shared that Emma Stone showed no hesitation while filming sex scenes in their new movie, "Poor Things." The sci-fi black comedy adapted from Alasdair Gray's 1992 novel of the same name marks Lanthimos and Stone’s reunion after their 2018 collaboration on "The Favourite."
The story revolves around Bella (played by Stone), a young Victorian woman who is resurrected after her death and then seeks independence by escaping from her supposed guardian, portrayed by Willem Dafoe.
Lanthimos, ahead of the film's premiere at the 80th Venice International Film Festival, stressed the importance of Stone feeling comfortable during the sex scenes in "Poor Things," which played a significant role in the source material.
Emma Stone Had To Have 'No Shame About Her Body'
During a press conference at the Venice film festival, Lanthimos emphasized that "sex was intrinsic to the novel” and a key element in portraying the character's freedom. He highlighted the need to avoid prudishness, as it would be a “betraying the main character.”
"It was very important for me to not make a film that was going to be prude, because it would be completely betraying the main character. So we had to be confident Emma had to have no shame about her body, nudity [and] engaging in those scenes and she understood that right away,” he shared, per Variety.
Lanthimos praised Stone's confidence and understanding of the character's needs, mentioning their strong working relationship built over four films.
He explained, "The great thing about me and Emma is that we have made four films together; there is a shorthand and we can communicate without having to explain or talk too much about things.” Lanthimos added, “As soon as I started saying something about sex, she would say: 'Yes,' of course, it's Bella. We will do what we need to do.”
Additionally, “The Lobster” director mentioned hiring an intimacy coordinator for "Poor Things," which he believed made the process easier for everyone involved, emphasizing their importance in the industry.
‘Poor Things’ Receives Praise At Venice Film Festival
At the recent Venice Film Festival, "Poor Things" received high praise and an eight-minute standing ovation. Additionally, the Frankenstein-inspired story has garnered a perfect 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
Critics applauded the “La La Land” actress for her performance and her boldness in a movie featuring explicit scenes, including one involving her character, Bella Baxter, with a piece of fruit.
Stone, who also serves as a producer alongside Lanthimos, Ed Guiney, and Andrew Lowe, delivers a performance that has generated Oscar buzz.
Notably, neither Stone nor her co-stars Willem Dafoe and Mark Ruffalo attended the festival due to the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strikes.
Emma Stone's New Film Is A Hit With Critics
Variety's Clayton Davis labeled the film a unique coming-of-age story and praised Stone's astonishing performance, suggesting it might lead to an Oscar nomination. Davis also noted that some viewers “bolted for the exit during some of the racier scenes.”
In a four-star review, The Independent hailed Stone's performance in "Poor Things" as the boldest of her career, recognizing the “physical and psychological demands” of her role.
Scott Feinberg from The Hollywood Reporter concurred, stating that Stone's fearless and inventive performance could earn her a second Oscar. He acknowledged that even those not fond of the film “will find it hard to not admire the fearless, inventive, no-holds-barred performance of lead actress Stone.”
The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw awarded the film five stars, praising Stone for taking her career to the next level with her amazing and hilarious performance. "Poor Things" is scheduled for release on December 8 later this year.