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'I felt like I was failing her': Emma Stone had doubts about playing Bella Baxter in Poor Things

'I felt like I was failing her': Emma Stone had doubts about playing Bella Baxter in Poor Things


Emma Stone feared that she would “fail” Bella Baxter as a character in ‘Poor Things’.

The 35-year-old star plays the lead role in the acclaimed Yorgos Lanthimos film about a woman who goes on a journey of self-discovery after being brought to life and admits that she initially doubted that she would be able to live up to the part.

Speaking to Variety magazine, Emma said: “I think because I had lived with her in my mind for so long and I was so deeply in love with Bella, it terrified me not to live up to her as a character. I felt like I was failing her in the first week, and failing Yorgos. It was just difficult.”

The ‘Cruella’ star – who was honoured with the Best Actress in a Leading Role gong for her portrayal of Bella Baxter at the BAFTA Film Awards last weekend – revealed how she was eventually able to overcome her concerns with support from Lanthimos.

Emma said: “I could talk to Yorgos about it, and we were able to discover as we went. And because it’s a safe environment, it doesn’t feel rushed. His sets don’t feel like, ‘Oh, we have to get this, and we’ve got to move on, even though I don’t want to.’ Or at least he doesn’t communicate that to us.”

Stone also gave insight into Yorgos’ unique approach to rehearsals and the way the process made the cast bond in a “more intimate way”.

She explained: “For ‘La La Land’, we did a ton of rehearsals for a very long time, but it was very specific: dancing and singing. But when Yorgos was talking about rehearsal, I didn’t know exactly what that entailed.

“And it turns out that his rehearsals, they have nothing to do with what you’ll ultimately do on the day. But what it does, I think, subconsciously or in a subterranean way, is it lets everybody feel very comfortable with each other. You’re playing a lot of games… I loved it.”

Emma added: “And I realized by the time that we were on set, we all felt very close to each other. We had all gotten to know each other in a much more intimate way than we would’ve if we’d just been blocking and saying our lines over and over.”

Read the full Variety feature with Emma Stone and Yorgos Lanthimos at https://variety.com/2024/awards/features/emma-stone-yorgos-lanthimos-poor-things-taylor-swift-jokes-interview-1235915119/

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