I am so excited that Cruella comes out this weekend. Without spoiling anything, I can tell you that this movie is easily in my top five favorite Disney movies of all time! Truthfully, it is that good!
Academy Award® winner Emma Stone (“La La Land”) stars in Disney’s “Cruella,” an all-new live action feature film about the rebellious early days of one of cinemas most notorious – and notoriously fashionable – villains, the legendary Cruella de Vil. “Cruella,” which is set in 1970s London amidst the punk rock revolution, follows a young grifter named Estella, a clever and creative girl determined to make a name for herself with her designs. She befriends a pair of young thieves who appreciate her appetite for mischief, and together they are able to build a life for themselves on the London streets. One day, Estella’s flair for fashion catches the eye of the Baroness von Hellman, a fashion legend who is devastatingly chic and terrifyingly haute, played by two-time Oscar® winner Emma Thompson (“Howards End,” “Sense and Sensibility”). But their relationship sets in motion a course of events and revelations that will cause Estella to embrace her wicked side and become the raucous, fashionable and revenge-bent Cruella.
“Cruella” stars Emma Stone, Emma Thompson, Joel Fry, Paul Walter Hauser, Emily Beecham, Kirby Howell-Baptiste and Mark Strong. The film is directed by Craig Gillespie, with screenplay by Dana Fox and Tony McNamara, story by Aline Brosh McKenna and Kelly Marcel & Steve Zissis, based upon the novel “The One Hundred and One Dalmatians” by Dodie Smith. “Cruella” is produced by Andrew Gunn, Marc Platt and Kristin Burr, p.g.a., with Emma Stone, Michelle Wright, Jared LeBoff and Glenn Close serving as executive producers.
INTERVIEW WITH EMMA THOMPSON AND EMMA STONE:
1. Were you surprised at how deliciously dark Disney allowed this movie to get?
Emma said it was darker than most Disney movies. When you introduce Emma as the Baroness, it takes on a new light in terms of her being a nightmare and fabulous all at the same time.
2. So what was that process like of creating the Baroness?
She joked that her husband said she was like this in her real life. She always wanted to be a villain and now she got the opportunity in this movie. She also loved wearing these frocks for the clothing.
3. What are the nuts and bolts of wearing these unbelievable creations? Did you sit at all during the production, Emma? Are you allowed to eat at all? Did they napkin you?
Emma Thompson joked that her underwear was like a sort of ship’s rigging.
“There were people hauling on ropes. It was a lot. Peeing was hard, and involved a team of people. The shoes were also a real challenge as well as the wigs.”
Emma Stone said that they had such structure. Their costume designer, Jenny Beavan, had a wonderful time getting them in the corsets.
4. What was the craziest outfit that you wore as Cruella that you were so proud of it?
Emma Stone said her favorite outfit that was absolutely ludicrous was the dress that she had to wear on the garbage truck, because there was a 40-foot train. The train was not attached to the dress because she wouldn’t be able to move. The skirt was insanity she said.
5. Between Estella and Cruella, which character do you prefer for yourself, and which character was more of a challenge for you?
“It is interesting, because there is a sort of rejection of Estella that comes at a point, you know, Estella is sweet, but she’s not fully embodied. So I would say there is something about Cruella that’s pretty enticing, because she is just kind of is who she is.”
“She’s in full acceptance and autonomy there. So I am kind of interested in that Cruella world. But to be honest, I sort of prefer Cruella.” – Emma Stone
6. Can you talk about how you approached her relationship with Estella?
The Baroness is hardened, completely, and believes in hardness. She thinks that’s the only way, and that’s what is so kind of 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. You know, 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. We don’t know about where they’ve all come from and how they’ve developed, but the Baroness is just so single-minded, and she says this wonderful thing.
She says, “If I hadn’t been single-minded, I might have had to put my genius at the back of the drawer like so many other women of genius, who died, without producing anything and without using their genius. It is a very good point. So whilst, as Em says, I wouldn’t necessarily walk that path, her commitment to her own creativity is rather admirable.”- Emma Thompson
7. 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 creating Cruella?
Emma Stone said the accents were a big learning curve for her. To do the emotional scenes, it was difficult at times as you need to make it very poignant.
“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 there is always 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.”- Emma Stone
8. Did you get inspiration from anyone in particular that you can tell us to play a villain, and how hard was it to be mean to the delightful Emma Stone? To Emma Thompson
Emma Stone joked around that it was delightful. They had so much fun doing it. They are very good friends.
9. Does your character have weaknesses? What are they?- to Emma Stone
She said yes she is human so she does have her weaknesses. This story is very nature vs. nurture. So she found weakness early on and went from there. The weaknesses eventually become the strengths.
I also had the chance to speak with Craig Gillespie (Director) , Jenny Beavan (Costume Designer) , Nadia Stacey (Hair & Makeup) , and Fiona Crombie (Production Designer). They are the true geniuses behind this movie and it was fascinating to learn more about hairstyles, makeup, and clothing. If you are in Boston are, you can go to the School of Fashion Design on Newbury Street to see all the awesome costumes.
WHERE TO WATCH CRUELLA:
Disney+ subscribers can pre-order Premier Access to “Cruella” from now to May 27 for [$29.99] in the U.S. and Canada. Once subscribers get Premier Access to the movie, they can watch it as many times as they want on any platform where Disney+ is available, with an active Disney+ subscription.
Pre-order Premier Access on Disney+ for $29.99: https://www.disneyplus.com/cruella
Fans can also purchase advance theater tickets through Fandango to see the movie on the big screen in cinemas.
Advance theater tickets now on sale at: https://www.fandango.com/cruella-2021-224240/movie-overview.
*Thanks to Disney for inviting me to this press conference. All opinions are my own and not swayed by outside sources.*