Disney gave us the special opportunity of attending a recent online press conference for their new film "Cruella." The film stars Emma Stone as one of Disney's most notorious female villains, Cruella, and introduces Emma Thompson as a new villain in the universe known as the Baroness.
From the cast Q&A, Noovie had a chance to find out more about the characters, and the origin story of how Estella became Cruella. Below are some of the interesting things we learned from team Emma & Emma.
'Cruella' Q&A - Emma Stone & Emma Thompson
Q: Were you surprised at how deliciously dark Disney allowed this movie to get?
Emma Stone: I was. They really let Craig and Tony make what they wanted to make. It's definitely dark for a Disney movie. Maybe not for like a really intense R-rated film. But yeah, it was darker than I've seen for a Disney movie in a long time.
Q: The Baroness is new to this universe, and she is both fabulous and also a living nightmare. So, what was that process like of creating her?
Emma Thompson: Oh well, you know, I drew on the life, obviously. I think if my husband were in the room, he'd say, "And no acting required, really." I had such fun doing her, because I've been asking for quite a number of years if I could be a villain, a proper villain. And I spent decades playing what my mother used to call, "Good women in frocks." And now I got to play a really evil woman in frocks. I had just the best, best time.
Q: What was the craziest outfit that you wore as Cruella that you were so proud of it, and it just put you into Cruella de Vil a hundred percent?
Emma Stone: My very, very favorite outfit that was absolutely ludicrous was the dress that I wear on the garbage truck, because there was a 40-foot train. And that wasn't attached to the dress, because obviously I wouldn't be able to move anywhere, so they added that onto the dress at the last minute when I get onto the garbage truck to shoot that part. And it was just nothing you would ever be able to even remotely wear in real life. There was also that insane skirt when I cover the car. And that was epic too. Trying to walk up onto a car and then cover an entire car with a switch of the skirt was just fantastic. That really is the moment where you're like, I am in a movie right now.
Q: The Baroness is very hardened and selfish and she's willing to use anyone for her benefit. Can you talk about how you approached her relationship with Estella?
Emma Thompson: She is hardened, completely, and believes in hardness. She thinks that's the only way, and that's what's so unusual about her, actually. I am very interested in the dark side of a female character because they're so rarely allowed to be dark. We're all supposed to be nice and good, aren't we? And bad mothers are simply unforgivable. I mean, nobody can find words for the bad mother. And so, we don't know about where they've all come from and how they've developed, but the Baroness is just so single-minded.
Q: Was it harder to portray the accents and dialogue in the film, the emotional scenes, or was it nailing the fashion with the attitude? What did you find the most challenging in sort of that stew of creating Cruella?
Emma Stone: It's always a little bit of a learning curve with the accents. But I think any time a character has a very important emotional scene that you know is incredibly poignant and moves the story along in a way that is necessary, I think that's always a bit of pressure, because you only have that one day and that one time to do it, which is the difference between theater and film. It doesn't matter how tired you are or how you feel that day, if you are doing that scene, that's what the scene will be. So, I think that always is a sleepless night the night before when there is something I know is a very pivotal moment that we're shooting the next day. So that's probably the most challenging for me, but that's also why I love it.
Q: You've played difficult characters before, but the Baroness is especially mean. Did you get inspiration from anyone in particular that you can tell us, and how hard was it to be mean to the delightful Emma Stone?
Emma Thompson: Oh well you know, of course we're acting so we're not really being mean. I mean, there is nothing more fun than pretending. I found pretending to be mean came horribly easily. I was very well brought up by a very kind and wonderful woman, my mom, and my dad, a wonderful man. I was surrounded by lovely, kind people. And my experience of people who were truly mean like that and truly hard and narcissistic is quite rare. But there are quite a number of them in show business. Mentioning no names. I suppose the Baroness is a mixture of all kinds of people.
Q: Growing up, were you a fan of 101 Dalmatians? And can you talk about getting that call to be Cruella?
Emma Stone: I loved the cartoon of 101 Dalmatians. I especially loved that the dogs looked like their owners. I always thought that was so funny. And I remember as a kid trying to see if dogs did in fact look like their owners, and a lot of times, they do. But yes, I loved the cartoon. I thought Cruella was such a fun character. It wasn't as straightforward as getting a call to play Cruella. It was six years ago. I mean, it was long before we shot the movie. There was sort of an idea. It was a process of about four years and different writers and different things were brought to the table, and it really felt like we might not ever really make the movie of Cruella, because even though she's such a fun and interesting character, what world would we all want to explore her in that would really make sense and make a good film that didn't feel shoehorned into this character.
Q: In a fist fight, who gets it, the Baroness or Cruella?
Emma Thompson: Um well you think the Baroness will because she's just heavier. You know, you think if she just lies on top of Cruella, that finally she'll manage to suffocate her. But she wouldn't ever get the chance, 'cause Cruella is far too nippy on her feet.
*Be sure to check out Emma Stone & Emma Thompson in "Cruella," now playing everywhere in theaters, and on Disney+ Premier Access.
About the Author
Jesse is a writer and content manager for Noovie. When he's not working, he's on the beach playing volleyball.