Emma Stone is now a two-time Oscar winner.

The “Poor Things” actress took home the top title for her latest collaboration with auteur Yorgos Lanthimos. Stone previously won Best Actress in 2017 for Damien Chazelle’s “La La Land.” Stone was formerly nominated for Oscars for “Birdman” and Lanthimos’ “The Favourite.”

“Poor Things” marks Stone’s third collaboration with Lanthimos. The duo are set to work together on upcoming films “Kinds of Kindness” and “Save the Green Planet,” a remake of Jang Joon-hwan’s 2005 sci-fi satire.

Stone plays Bella Baxter in “Poor Things.” Bella is a reanimated (and renamed) woman who, after committing suicide while pregnant, is brought back to life with the brain of her unborn child. Bella explores her turn-of-the-century world and voyages across 1800s Europe. The film is inspired by Scottish author Alasdair Gray’s 1992 novel about a woman who drowns herself to escape her abusive husband. The novel was adapted by “The Favourite” scribe Tony McNamara.

“Poor Things” debuted at the 2024 Venice Film Festival, where it won the Golden Lion. Stone previously took home a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy for her turn as Bella.

Along with Christopher Nolan’s “Oppenheimer,” “Poor Things” topped the 2024 Academy Awards with the most nominations. Stone also produced “Poor Things,” making her eligible for a third Oscar if the feature wins Best Picture.

Director Lanthimos said during the Venice Film Festival that Stone’s performance was completely unencumbered by modern social norms, mirroring character Bella’s mental state. Thus, Stone had “no shame” baring all while in character.

“It was a very intrinsic part of the novel itself, her freedom about everything, including sexuality,” Lanthimos said. “And secondly, it was very important for me to not make a film which was gonna be prude because that would be completely betraying the main character. We had to be confident and again, like the character, have no shame.”

According to Lanthimos, Stone “had to have no shame about her body, nudity, engaging in those scenes, and she understood that right away. The great thing about myself and Emma is that now we’ve completed like four films together. There’s a shorthand. As soon as I started saying something like I just said, she said, ‘Yes, of course, I understand, it’s Bella. We’ll do what we need to do.’”

Lanthimos later told IndieWire, “It was very important that we were true to the character of Bella, and it is very important that she has no shame about anything, not just sex, but her interactions and relationships and the way she perceives the world, the way she wants to experience the world, all of that. The sex aspect of it was the same. We had to deal with it the same way we dealt with everything else. Otherwise, it would be very disingenuous to the character. And that’s how Emma felt as well, and that’s what we did. You can only go by your own perception around what’s right, [whether] it’s violence or sex or comedy or drama or music.”

Meanwhile, Stone said that the sex scenes were the “easiest part” of filming “Poor Things.” The actress said during a panel talk for the Celebration of the Nominees for Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures in Los Angeles (via People magazine) that “we knew exactly what we were doing” due to the choreography of each R-rated sequence.

Instead, it was the physical comedy that proved to be a tougher feat for Stone.

“Figuring out how to walk or eat 60 Portuguese tarts, which the first bite is delicious, but by the end you really want to puke,” Stone said. “Or her seeing death and decay for the first time, much more challenging than the nudity, which is the only thing people want to seem to ask me about.”

Stone further told Variety that she was “panicking” at first over how to portray Bella.

“I had lived with her in my mind for so long and I was so deeply in love with Bella, it terrified me not to live up to her as a character,” Stone said. “I felt like I was failing her in the first week, and failing Yorgos. It was just difficult. I could talk to him about it, but I couldn’t talk to her about it.”

She continued, “It was just a gradual comfort with it. I could talk to Yorgos about it, and we were able to discover as we went. And because it’s a safe environment, it doesn’t feel rushed. His sets don’t feel like, ‘Oh, we have to get this, and we’ve got to move on, even though I don’t want to.’ Or at least he doesn’t communicate that to us.”

Stone called Bella her favorite character to date due to the fully freeing nature of the role.

“I was so crazy about her. It’s the idea of not living with that self-judgment or shame or the social contracts that you make as a child growing up. And part of the nature of anxiety is that you’re always watching yourself,” Stone summed up. “In some ways — this is horrible to say — it’s a very selfish condition to have. Not to insult other people with anxiety — I still have it — but it’s because you’re thinking about yourself a lot. You’re thinking about, ‘What’s going to happen to me? What have I said? What have I done?’ Whereas Bella’s way of approaching the world, it’s just about experience. It’s just about how she feels about things.”

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