November 15, 2018
‘The Favourite’ Blows Up Gender Politics With the Year’s Most Outrageous Love Triangle
Articles Emma Interviews Movies News The Favourite

The Hollywood Reporter 

This ain’t your mother’s costume drama as Olivia Colman, Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz preside over a royal spectacle of cunning ladies and dandied-up men with a lot to say about Trump-era power struggles: “We’re disgusting and gorgeous and powerful and weak and filthy and brilliant.”

Rachel Weisz has a few choice words about the c-word. She’s just slid into a chair at an Italian restaurant in New York’s East Village — not far from where she lives with husband Daniel Craig and their new baby girl — and she couldn’t seem more like a picture-perfect new mum. Casually yet fashionably attired in a slouchy gray sweater, leggings and sneakers, she’s elegant and down-to-earth at the same time. But then she starts dropping C-bombs.

In England, we say it all the time,” admits Weisz, 48, nonchalantly. “If I’m with another Brit, we’ll say, ‘So and so is being such a c—t,’ and laugh. It’s an old English word. Shakespeare used it. Or maybe Chaucer.” The London-born Oscar winner (for supporting actress in 2005’s The Constant Gardener) forks into a plate of kale salad, pausing when she notices my expression. “Why, does that word bother you?

Of course, in America that word is no laughing matter. On this side of the Atlantic, it may be the second-most-offensive slur in the book (just ask feckless Samantha Bee). But in The Favourite, Fox Searchlight’s $15 million period piece rolling into theaters like a post-feminist grenade Nov. 23 (and going wide to about 600 theaters nationwide in December), just about everybody — including co-stars Emma Stone and Olivia Colman — is slinging the obscenity, as well as a slew of other eyebrow-raising idioms. And that’s hardly the only thing about the movie that’s upending the corset genre.

Perfectly timed for the mixed-up zeitgeist of the #MeToo era — with women making historic gains in the midterms as the U.S. president regularly flings sexist insults like “horse face” — this female-fronted absurdist period piece about a power struggle in 18th century England already is being buzzed about as an awards race, um, favorite. Colman, who has experience playing British royals (she’s now filming the role of Elizabeth II on The Crown, replacing Claire Foy), stars as Queen Anne, arguably the most powerful woman on Earth in the early 1700s. Weisz plays her No. 1 adviser, Sarah Jennings Churchill (Winston’s great-great-grandmother), while Stone is Abigail Masham, Sarah’s scheming cousin who arrives at the court and begins a sexually charged rivalry for the queen’s affections that turns the palace into a snake pit as deceitful as the Trump White House. Rape jokes. Female-on-female violence. Orange-throwing at overweight naked men (more on that later). The film is packed with enough incendiaries that it could blow up gender politics for a generation.

As timely as it may seem, the original screenplay for The Favourite — then titled Balance of Power — was written 20 years ago. British screenwriter Deborah Davis pieced together the partly true, partly made-up story by studying volumes and volumes of letters among Queen Anne, Sarah and Abigail. Somehow an early draft found its way to the desk of British producer Ceci Dempsey, who couldn’t put it down. “It really haunted me,” remembers Dempsey. “Just the passion, the survival instincts of these women, the manipulations and what they did to survive.” Back in 1998, though, it wasn’t so easy to find financing for a historical love triangle with three female leads and virt­ually no parts of significance for men. Dempsey got a few nibbles but no bites. “[Studios] were like, ‘Oh, wait a minute, this is [lesbian] activity going on here,‘” she recalls of those first pitch meetings. “People were kind of, ‘What’s the demographics of that kind of thing? I don’t think we could really sell that.‘”

It wasn’t until a decade later, when Element Pictures co-founder Ed Guiney (Room) got hold of the script, that The Favourite finally got some traction. “We didn’t want to make just another British costume drama,” he tells THR. “[We wanted] a story that felt contemporary and relevant and vibrant — not something out of a museum.” At the time, Guiney had become familiar with director Yorgos Lanthimos, whose third movie, 2009’s Dogtooth, had just been nominated for a foreign-language Oscar. He brought The Favourite to the quirky Greek filmmaker, who saw cinematic possibilities in Queen Anne and her two backstabbing BFFs, and the director began working closely with Australian TV scribe Tony McNamara on freshening up the script. “These three women possessed power that affected the lives of millions — but it was an intimate story as well,” says Lanthimos, 45. By 2013, financiers were lining up: Film4, Waypoint Entertainment and Fox Searchlight. Meanwhile, Lanthimos went on to make 2015’s The Lobster, his absurdist dystopian comedy starring, among others, Rachel Weisz and Olivia Colman. It ended up winning the Cannes Jury Prize and getting nominated for best original screenplay at the Oscars.

There were more delays before Lanthimos finally turned his cameras on the project — like shooting his psychological thriller The Killing of a Sacred Deer — but he started thinking about casting The Favourite as early as 2014, when he sent the script to Colman. She was his first and only choice to play Queen Anne, although the famously difficult-to-pin-down director can’t say exactly why. “For me, casting is very instinctive,” he says. “It’s one of those things when you feel you’re right and you need to insist no matter what.Colman said yes immediately to her third turn as queen: Before she was cast in The Crown in 2017, she’d played Elizabeth the Queen Mother in the 2012 Bill Murray-as-FDR drama Hyde Park on the Hudson. “The main difference,” says Colman of The Favourite, is that “the other queens didn’t get to fall in love with two hot women.

Lanthimos’ instincts about Stone, however — who hadn’t yet won her best actress Oscar for La La Land — were less certain. All the director knew of her work was her comedic turn as Steve Carell’s daughter in Crazy, Stupid, Love. And for her part, the 30-year-old actress wasn’t so sure she wanted to be in the movie, either — at least not after reading the first 30 pages.

I was like, ‘Oh, Abigail’s just going to be this sweet kind of girl, the victim, a servant to these people,‘” Stone says of her initial reluctance. It’s a few days after my interview with Weisz, and we’re talking over salads at L.A’.s Sunset Tower Hotel. “But as [I read more], it unfolded, it became All About Eve.” By the time she finished the script, she was “begging” for the part. Lanthimos told her she could audition but only after she had worked with an accent coach for at least a month. “I don’t think he had thought of an American actor in the film at all,” she says. “Or at least for that character.

Weisz wasn’t his first choice, either. To play Sarah, he’d originally gone to Kate Winslet. When that didn’t pan out (“It was obvious it wouldn’t have worked,” he says vaguely), he moved on to Cate Blanchett. When that fell apart (“Timing problems“), he finally looped back to his other Lobster star, who understood the director’s quirks. “Yorgos never talks about motivation,” says Weisz. “He’d laugh if you asked about Sarah’s motivation.

Rehearsals, if you can call them that, were classic Lanthimos. They mostly involved crazy-sounding games, like having the actresses fast-walk backward toward one another to see if they crashed. “He wanted to see how much we could sense each other without seeing each other,” explains Stone. Weisz recalls another exercise that involved castmembers linking arms to “build a human pretzel.” Lanthimos, though, insists there is a method to his madness. “It enabled them to not take themselves too seriously, learn the text in a physical way by doing completely irrelevant things to what the scene is about, just be comfortable about making a fool of themselves,” he says.

By the time shooting began in March 2017, Stone certainly was feeling comfortable. During one scene, when Sarah discovers Abigail in bed with Queen Anne, she decided to improvise in a way that shocked even Lanthimos, to say nothing of Colman. “I had the sheet up around me,” recalls Stone of the moment she decided to bare her breasts for the camera for the first time in her career. “And as we were shooting it and we did a few takes, I said, ‘Can I please just be [naked]?’ I think it’s going to give Sarah something to look at when she sees that I’m not just under the sheet covered up. Olivia was like, ‘No, don’t do it!’ Yorgos was like, ‘Are you sure that’s what you want to do?’ And I was like, ‘Absolutely.’ I chose to do it. I was like, this makes sense to me. It’s an absolute [Stone flips the bird] to Sarah.

Olivia Colman is on the phone from London. She’s not alone. The 44-year-old British actress has agreed to be interviewed only if both Weisz and Stone also are on the line. It’s not entirely clear why, and the logistics of lining up a simultaneous call with three busy stars in three different cities in three different time zones is more than a little tricky, but never mind. After two weeks of scheduling, the phone finally rings.

A setback for women?Colman ponders when asked whether a film about females being awful to one another might be considered provocative in the tinderbox of today’s gender politics. “How can it set women back to prove that women fart and vomit and hate and love and do all the things men do? All human beings are the same. We’re all multifaceted, many-layered, disgusting and gorgeous and powerful and weak and filthy and brilliant. That’s what’s nice [about The Favourite]. It doesn’t make women an old-fashioned thing of delicacy.

She pauses for a beat, trans-Atlantic static crackling on the line. “Blimey,” she says. “I had a proper little rant there.

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November 15, 2018
Emma attends ‘The Favourite’ BAFTA film screening in New York
Movies Photos Public Events The Favourite

On November 13, Emma Stone attended ‘The Favourite‘ BAFTA film screening in New York City.

The actress posed alongside director Yorgos Lanthimos at the BAFTA screening and Q&A session in New York.

The Favourite‘ will hit theaters November 23.

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– Public Appearances > 2018 > November 13 – ‘The Favourite’ BAFTA film screening in New York

November 10, 2018
Emma Stone at The SAG-AFRA Foundation Center
Movies Photos Public Events The Favourite

On  November 09, Emma Stone and her co-star Rachel Weisz came together to attend The SAG-AFTRA Foundation Center for a screening of their latest period movie The Favourite in New York.

At the event, the trio gathered together for a discussion on all things regarding their latest project followed by an early screening of the movie.

The Favourite will hit theaters November 23.

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– Public Appearances > 2018 > November 09 – SAG-AFTRA Foundation Conversations: ‘The Favourite’ at The Robin Williams Center in New York City

November 9, 2018
Emma visits The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon
Appearances Interviews News Photos

Emma Stone made an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Thursday (November 8) and talked all about her love for the Spice Girls – particularly her interest in Baby Spice, a.k.a. Emma Bunton!

I was super blonde, and my real name is Emily, but I wanted to be called Emma because of Baby Spice and guess what, now I am,” the 30-year-old Oscar-winning actress shared. “So, that’s pretty messed up.

It wasn’t necessarily because of her, but yes, in second grade, did I go up to the teacher and ask her to call me Emma, yes I did. And was it because of Emma Lee Bunton from the Spice Girls? Yes it was,” Emma admitted.

Emma said she can’t wait to see the Spice Girls during their 2019 UK reunion tour: “I saw them in concert in the ’90s. I saw them at O2 Arena in 2008, and they recently announced a new tour and I will be going to that somehow. I don’t think tickets are on sale yet, but I’m gonna figure it out.

The actress candidly addressed her 2017 Academy Awards win on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, and her sentiments? Well, same. While an Academy Award may be the highest of honors in the acting world, there is one experience that could rival it. “What was really nuts to me, in my experience, was that it was Leonardo DiCaprio who is Jack from Titanic,Emma stated, fondly noting the actor who awarded her with the title of best actress.

Emma later admitted to growing up with a signed photograph of the actor, adding “getting to be near him was really exciting.” Watch the adorable video above, then relive the very special photographs of her experience with Leo.

Stone also talked about turning 30, her brand new film The Favourite and the challenges of being the only actor with an American accent on set.

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November 2, 2018
Emma Stone opens up about ongoing battle with anxiety
Articles Emma Interviews News Photos Public Events

(CNN) Emma Stone was just seven years old when she had her first panic attack.

She was over at a friend’s house when “all of a sudden I was absolutely convinced that the house was on fire and it was burning down,” the actress told Dr. Harold Koplewicz from the Child Mind Institute, as part of an Advertising Week 2018 panel in New York.

There was nothing in me that didn’t think we were going to die,” she said. “It was panic but I, of course, didn’t know that. And it just kept going for the next two years.

Therapy — and later improv and acting — eventually helped Stone manage her anxiety in the years after her disorder first emerged. But she admitted that she still struggles.
I panicked this morning, y’all,” she said, with a nervous laugh. “I wasn’t expecting to, but I definitely did.”

Stone, who recently starred in Netflix’s “Maniac,” first opened up about her anxiety to friend Jennifer Lawrence in a cover story for Elle magazine.

Stone told Koplewicz, president of the Child Mind Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to helping children and families struggling with mental health and learning disorders, that her motivation for speaking in detail about her struggle was a desire to help others.

According to Koplewicz, one in five American children have a mental health disorder, anxiety being the most common.

“If I can do anything to say, ‘Hey, I get it and I’m there with you and you can still get out there and achieve dreams and form really great relationships and connections,’ I hope I’m able to do that,” said Stone, who manages her disorder with therapy and meditation.

Stone believes she also benefits from the open conversation, which she admitted “is really scary for me but very healing.

Talking about her anxiety helps her “own it and realize that this is something that is part of me but it’s not who I am,” she added.

November 2, 2018
Emma at ‘The Graham Norton Show’
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On October 18, Emma Stone stopped by the Graham Norton Show in London for and interview to promote “The Favorite” . The show aired on October 26.

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November 2, 2018
Emma Stone attends ‘The Favourire’ UK Premiere
Movies Photos Public Events The Favourite

Emma Stone attended the UK Premiere of ‘The Favourite’ & American Express Gala at the 62nd BFI London Film Festival on October 18, 2018 in London, England.

She was wearing a metallic gown by  Louis Vuitton.

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– Public Appearances > 2018 > October 18 – UK Premiere of ‘The Favourite’ & American Express Gala in London

November 2, 2018
Great Minds Think Unalike: A Conversation With Emma Stone And Dr. Harold S. Koplewicz
Emma Photos Public Events

Emma Stone attended the Great Minds Think Unalike: A Conversation With Emma Stone And Dr. Harold S. Koplewicz for the Child Mind Institute at AMC Lincoln Square Theater on October 1, 2018 in New York City.

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Public Appearances > 2018 > October 01 – Great Minds Think Unalike: A Conversation With Emma Stone And Dr. Harold S. Koplewicz