Emma Stone had ‘no shame’ with her body while filming nude scenes for her upcoming Frankenstein-inspired dark comedy Poor Things
Emma Stone had ‘no shame’ with her body while filming raunchy scenes in the upcoming sci-fi dark comedy titled, Poor Things.
The 34-year-old actress stars in the lead role of Yorgos Lanthimos’s surreal new movie and the filmmaker was grateful for the effort she put into her alter ego Bella Baxter’s intimate sequences in the adaptation of Alasdair Grey’s novel.
The Greek director spoke at the 80th Venice Film Festival, where Poor Things premiered on Friday at the Sala Darsena cinema, although none of the cast was in attendance due to the ongoing SAG-AFTRA strike.
‘It’s a shame that Emma could not be here to speak more about it, because it will all be coming from me. First of all, sex is an intrinsic part of the novel itself, her freedom about everything including sexuality,’ Yorgos.
The 49-year-old filmmaker continued, ‘Secondly, it was very important for me to not make a film that would be prudish, because that would be like completely betraying the main character.’
‘We had to be confident Emma had to have no shame about her body, nudity, engaging in those scenes and she understood that right away.’
Lanthimos has worked with Emma on projects such as The Favourite, which meant they did not have to spend too long having to discuss the sex scenes.
‘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,’ he said.
‘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.’
The director hired Elle McAlpine as an intimacy coordinator on the film and praised her positive influence on the picture.
Lanthimos said, ‘At the beginning, this profession felt a little threatening to most filmmakers, but I think its like everything: if you’re with a good person, it’s great and you realize you actually need them. She made everything much easier for everyone.’
Yorgos further discussed the Frankenstein-inspired project and tried to ‘describe’ the film during the press conference in Venice, per The Hollywood Reporter.
‘It’s very hard to describe. There have been many films throughout time that were unique and exceptional, but I guess maybe in our time, there aren’t many films like it, so it’s hard for me to say what it is,’ he explained.
While Poor Things is set in the Victorian era, the director stated that the movie ‘feels very contemporary’ due to the film exploring ‘freedom and the way we perceive the world’ as well as ‘the position of women in society.’
Yorgos also explained that sets for Poor Things were built to allow only a limited number of individuals when filming the sex scenes. ‘So that created a very comfortable, intimate environment,’ he stated.
He also continued to discuss the sexually explicit scenes with the Oscar winner, adding, ‘We sat down with Emma at some point and decided what kind of position we would do here, what kind of thing we do there, and what’s missing…’
‘From the experiences of sex and the different desires people have — in order to make enough of a presentation of human desire and idiosyncrasies.’
The director expressed, ‘It was important to all of us to have that be a part of the film and not shy away from it. And it’s also very funny sometimes.’
Poor Things, which initially began development back in 2009, has yet to receive an NC-17 or R rating.
Alongside Stone, other stars that were cast in the sci-fi fantasy include William Dafoe, Mark Ruffalo, Ramy Youssef, Margaret Qualley, Jerrod Carmichael, and also Christopher Abbott.
The premise follows, ‘The incredible tale about the fantastical evolution of Bella Baxter (Stone), a young woman brought back to life by the brilliant and unorthodox scientist Dr. Godwin Baxter (Dafoe),’ per an IMDB synopsis.
Poor Things officially had its world premiere at the 80th Venice Film Festival on Friday. Despite the cast members not attending due to the SAG-AFTRA strike, other stars joined Yorgos on the red carpet, such as Neelam Gill and Barbara Palvin.
According to Variety, the filmmaker received applause when he entered the theater and took his seat. After the conclusion of the movie, the project received an eight-minute standing ovation from the audience.
Poor Things – which has been selected to compete for the prestigious Golden Lion – is slated to release in theaters later this year on December 8.