Emma Stone: The wildest Cruella de Vil

Emma Stone in Disney’s live-action 'Cruella.'
Laurie Sparham / Disney Enterprises Inc.

By María Estévez, MWN

There is a new Cruella de Vil in town, played by Emma Stone.

After six years, the 32-year-old gets to embody a character for which she seems to be born. Wickedly surprised and with a wardrobe that brings punk times back, the director Craig Gillespie and the writer Tony McNamara have created a fabulous movie. “Cruella” is a subversive spin on the origin story of an iconic Disney villain who wanted to kill 101 Dalmatians.

Emma Thompson appears as the greatest villain Baroness von Hellman, the head of a swank fashion house and also a renowned Haute fashion legend. In 1970s London, young fashion designer Estella de Vil becomes obsessed with dogs’ skins, especially Dalmatians, until she eventually becomes a ruthless and terrifying legend known as Cruella. Stone is wildly entertaining in the lead role as she fully commits to embodying two characters, Stella and Cruella.

Metro had the opportunity to talk with the actress about her preparation for an unforgettable dual role. 

Were you surprised by how dark Disney allowed this movie to be?

I was. Greg and Tony have made what they wanted to make and it’s definitely dark for a Disney movie, but maybe not for an intense R-rated film. If I think about it, yes, it was darker than I’ve seen Disney in a long, long time.

Laurie Sparham / Disney Enterprises Inc.

What was the craziest outfit that you wore as Cruella?

The most ridiculous costume was the one I wore on the garbage truck, because it had a 12-meter tail and it wasn’t attached to the dress. Obviously, I couldn’t move if it was, so they added it to the dress at the last minute to shoot that part, and it was just phenomenal. Nothing I could even remotely wear in real life. It was a great moment. But, to be honest, also that crazy skirt with which I had to cover the whole car was just fantastic. I thought, ‘I’m in a movie right now and I’m never going to have this moment again.’

None of those moments were CGI?

Everything is real. I got in the car and pulled the skirt and I had to do it a few times because it was hard. The dogs are the only part where they used CGI, but those dogs were always on set.

Between the two characters you play, Stella and Cruella, which one was more of a challenge and which one do you prefer?

I felt a sort of rejection to Stella. I think Stella is sweet but she is not fully embodied so I would say there is something about Cruella that is pretty enticing. She is in full acceptance and autonomy. So I’m interested in that kind of Cruella world but, that said, she crosses some lines that I don’t think I would necessarily cross. But I prefer Cruella because I’m interested in the dark side of a female character.

Was it fun to play her?

It was a lot of fun. With many roles, you need a rubber face and to always hold back a little bit. But when you embody someone like Cruella, you have to go all out and it’s a pleasure. A lot of fun.

Growing up, were you a fan of “101 Dalmatians”?

I love the movie, especially that the dogs looked like their owners. I thought it was so funny, I remember as a kid trying to see if in fact, the dogs looked like their owners and many of them do.

What were your thoughts when they offered you to play Cruella?

I thought it was a great character but it wasn’t as straightforward as getting a call to play Cruella. It was six years ago, long before we shot the movie, it was kind of an idea, as Disney has all these characters and during a brainstorm, we had the idea of bringing her to life. But it has been a process of four years with different writers and ideas. It felt at times that we were never going to make the movie as it was fun and interesting but we didn’t know what world we wanted her to explore to make a good film. When Greg and Tony came on board I felt the movie got the push it needed to move forward.

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