At the Venice Film Festival press conference for his hotly anticipated “Poor Things,” director Yorgos Lanthimos said he really wished Emma Stone could be on the Lido to talk about, among other things, the fact that Bella Baxter, the character she plays, has plenty of sex scenes in the film.
“It’s a shame that Emma could not be here to speak more about it, because it will be coming all from me,” the director said. “First of all sex is an intrinsic part of the novel itself, her freedom about everything including sexuality.”
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“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,” he continued. “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.”
“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 to much about things,” Lanthimos went on to explain. “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.”
Lanthimos also spoke about hiring Elle McAlpine as the film’s intimacy coordinator.
“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 realise you actually need them,” Lanthimos said. “She made everything much easier for everyone.”
Based on the novel of the same name by Alasdair Gray, “Poor Things” is a Frankenstein-inspired story and stars Emma Stone as a young woman who is brought back to life by a scientist (Willem Dafoe) through the use of a child’s brain. Mark Ruffalo, Ramy Youssef and Jerrod Carmichael also star in the film.
“Poor Things” is set to open in theaters Dec. 8 from Searchlight Pictures. The film will next screen at the 2023 New York Film Festival.
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