It’s been two years since Emma Stone won the Best Actress Oscar for La La Land. And I’m still mad about it, honestly. I *like* Emma and I think she’s so talented, but Jesus, you gave her an Oscar for THAT? La La Land is arguably the worst performance or the worst character in her CV. Anyway, I’m still salty about all things La La Land, but it occurred to me that I will be fine with Emma receiving another Oscar nomination this year for The Favourite. As I keep saying, The Favourite is running a really smart Oscar campaign, and I think all of the women – Emma, Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz – will end up with big nominations.
I actually remember Emma’s Oscar campaign for La La Land, because it was notable for being so boring. She talked about the same things in interview after interview, and towards the end of the season, I got the feeling that she was a little bit embarrassed by the fact that she was the shoo-in for the Oscar. But the vibe around this year’s campaign feels different. She’s really proud of this film, and her work in it. Emma chatted with Entertainment Weekly about her character, Abigail, and the film in general (some spoilers):
All of the physical comedy: “Oh, it was okay. I had a stunt double, an amazing woman named Claire who was incredible rolling backwards down a hill when Nick had to push me. You know, things like that, or horseback riding. I’m a terrible horseback rider, and I took a bunch of lessons but I was like, I am just not good at this. And Rachel and Olivia are very good at horseback riding at this point. I was like, “Great, okay, of course.” I’m the American that can’t horseback ride. So, I did have a great stunt double, but there was a lot of falling in mud and falling down the stairs and getting slapped and slapping and fighting. It was like a daily basis of what is gonna happen to Abigail today.
She has a love scene with Joe Alwyn: “A lot of the elements were choreographed but it was also a free for all. It was a roaming camera and we sort of just went for it but there were certain beats that we needed to hit, like the rolling on the ground and then me kneeing him in the balls.
Queen Anne has 17 rabbits in the film: “You’d think they’d be divas because they’re so beautiful, but they were very, very personable. Yeah, no, they were incredibly sweet. They do pee a lot. So, I think when Olivia was in bed with them, she was feeling little wet patches every once in a while.
Her character has to step on a rabbit: “Hated it. Yeah, I hated it, but they have handlers that are so protective of them and they’re so great with them. It didn’t hurt the rabbit what I had to do, but it was just the concept of it made me sick to my stomach. I was just, ugh. It’s also just such a great moment for that character, because you realize in that moment, she is at a point of cruelty to something so small and vulnerable, and it’s just to exercise her power. I understood the necessity of it, because you see in that moment, she’s just so far gone that she’s willing to do this when she’s already gotten what she wants. It’s just a gross, unredeemable moment for this person.
Whether Abigail is a villain: “I look at her as a survivor. I think her history makes sense to me that she needs safety and security above all else, and that she needs to truly be off the streets. I understood most of what she’s doing as not villainous until the end, until that moment with the rabbit. I really do not know how to redeem that or what about that isn’t just pure evil. That does become her most irredeemable moment to me.
I’m also a terrible horseback rider, mostly because I break out in a rash whenever I’m close to a horse. I guess I’m just not a horsey person, and it sounds like Emma tried but she couldn’t the hang of it either. British actors are just different, because they all get offered so many period films and TV projects, and that involves horses and riding and such. As for the bunnies… poor bunnies. At least a real bunny wasn’t hurt.
Photos courtesy of WENN, ‘The Favourite.’
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