(AFP) – “Cruella”, which pits an infamous villain against an even more appalling enemy in the London punk effervescence of the 1970s, is one of the darkest works ever made for Disney, believes Emma Stone , who holds the title role.
The feature film in real shots, a prelude to the famous “101 Dalmatians”, is released on Friday in the United States (June 23 in France) with Emma Stone as a young Cruella d’Enfer, already rebellious but not yet a sociopath. wanting to skin dogs with polka dots to satisfy his whims in haute couture.
Because fashion is at the heart of “Cruella”, with its atmosphere worthy of Vivienne Westwood, its rock soundtrack and all the wardrobe of the 1970s, between Afghan coats, ultra long skirts and patent boots.
Ambitious and successful stylist, Cruella d’Enfer quickly came up against Baroness von Hellman, played by the always surprising Emma Thompson, quick to use her influence and even violence to crush the competition.
“I spent decades playing what my mother called + good ladies in dress +. Now I can play an evil woman… in dress. But my god, what dresses!”, The actress joked during a virtual press conference.
Sumptuous costumes follow one another in the film, highlighting the transformation undergone by Cruella throughout the plot, first a rebellious schoolgirl then a bitter rival who tries to sabotage the baroness’ creations.
Among the most breathtaking outfits is a punk-inspired dress with a train nearly twenty meters long floating behind a dumpster in the heart of London. “It was just phenomenal. You can’t even consider wearing this in real life,” says Emma Stone.
“This is the moment when you say to yourself + I’m in the middle of a movie … it can’t be like that in reality +”, explains the actress.
Despite her two Oscars and the wide range of roles to her credit, from the romantic heroine in “Reason and Feelings” to the wacky medium of the “Harry Potter” saga, Emma Thompson was impatiently waiting to be able to play a villainous of like the baroness.
“I’m very interested in the dark side of female characters because they are rarely allowed to be dark. We’re all supposed to be good and kind, aren’t we?” She said.
“It’s really very dark for a Disney movie. It’s the darkest Disney I’ve seen in a long time,” assures the actress, who is also an executive producer alongside fellow Cruella, Glenn Close.
– “Wicked and narcissistic” –
Asked about her sources of inspiration for her character as Baroness von Hellman, Emma Thompson explained that while she “didn’t have a lot of personal experience dealing with really mean, hardened and narcissistic people,” “there are quite a few of them in the entertainment world. “
“I am not quoting a name but … some of these people have been exposed recently,” added the actress, engaged in a large number of subjects including the #MeToo movement which periodically continues to shake up the entertainment industry. .
Emma Thompson had spoken at the start of the movement to publicly denounce the sexual assaults committed by the fallen Hollywood magnate Harvey Weinstein, linked according to them to “the crisis of extreme masculinity”.
The actress also withdrew with a bang from the animated film “Luck” when the producers appealed to former Pixar studio boss John Lasseter, accused of sexual harassment.
“Cruella” does not tackle such subjects and rather plays on humor, thanks in particular to its clumsy henchman duo played by Paul Walter Hauser and Joel Fry.
However, the film does not balk at scenes likely to worry the youngest and even the famous Dalmatians sometimes take on a threatening character.
On the set, the doggies were “very sweet”, notes Emma Thompson, and it took computer tricks to make them look “a little mean”.