Emma Stone gets physical in Cannes

Lanthimos’ 'muse' on body language, equality and telling stories

by Richard Mowe

Jesse Plemons, Yorgos Lanthimos, Emma Stone and Willem Dafoe
Jesse Plemons, Yorgos Lanthimos, Emma Stone and Willem Dafoe Photo: Richard Mowe
There was a lot of “musing” going on when Kinds Of Kindness director Yorgos Lanthimos and star Emma Stone who has previously appeared under his guidance in three films (Poor Things, The Favourite and the short Bleat), met at a media gathering at the Cannes Film Festival with fellow cast members Willem Dafoe and Margaret Qualley, Jesse Plemons, Mamoudou Athie, Hunter Schafer and Hong Chau.

Neither Lanthimos or Stone could decide who was the other’s muse - and finally both agreed that they inspired each other and she would sign up for anything he wants her to do.

The Greek film provocateur said: “I certainly don’t mistreat the body, at least practically. I’m observing life, and a lot of it is dark, and harm and ridiculousness and awkwardness. We try to incorporate all that, and it starts from physicality.”

Emma Stone on the red carpet
Emma Stone on the red carpet Photo: Courtesy of Cannes Film Festival
Stone noted that the director declines to discuss what is going on “intellectually.” She added: “He’s very physically oriented and he really loves dance, obviously. In doing Poor Things, we really discussed the way Bella Baxter walked and moved. My relationship to body and movement in his films is interiorising that physicality. It’s showing it, not saying it.”

Asked about her feminist credentials Stone replied that feminism as such did not influence her choice of roles. “These stories are just stories that feel interesting to me as an actor. I don’t know that I’m really the type of actor that’s like, ’I need to do this film because it has this particular message’. I just find the characters interesting. The world is interesting, and it’s something that I want to explore. I’m a feminist and I like working with Yorgos Lanthimos,” she asserted as the director smiled on benevolently.

“It’s not just up to me. I think there’s a lot of people who are doing their best to change things and move things forward so that women feel an equal sense of equality in cinema.”

Although it is early days in the Festival the film has grabbed the top spot in one poll of critics in Screen. Lanthimos, of course, has form in Cannes winning the Jury Prize with Dogtooth, Jury Prize and a Queer Palm for The Lobster and a Best Screenplay award for Killing Of A Sacred Deer.

Whether Greta Gerwig and her jury fall under the “charm” of Kinds Of Kindness will be revealed at the closing ceremony on 25 May.

Yorgos Lanthimos and Emma Stone
Yorgos Lanthimos and Emma Stone Photo: Richard Mowe

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