In the new period film, “The Favourite,” Rachel Weisz and Emma Stone’s characters duke it out for the attention and romantic affection of an ailing and depressed Queen Anne — and consequently the power of the monarchy. Lady Sarah Churchill’s (Weisz) hold on the queen is threatened by the arrival of her disgraced cousin Abigail Masham (Stone) whom she wildly underestimates.
“I think, oh here’s the beautiful, young, ingénue or protégé and I totally, totally don’t realize how powerful she is. She’s no ingénue, this one,” Weisz said of her co-star Stone on “CBS This Morning.”
“All the characters are interesting and complicated…. there are lots of females in the leading roles and they’re not always kind to each other. But the difference in this is it’s not about becoming the most popular girl in the class, it’s about running England. So at the beginning of the film I’m running England. The queen thinks she’s in charge but she’s not a…It’s a very high stakes ‘Mean Girls’ I would say,” Weisz said.
“The Favourite” is directed by Academy Award winner Yorgos Lanthimos who’s known for his surreal and absurdist tales like “The Lobster,” which imagines a world in which single people are turned into animals. Stone said she was in love with the role from the first time she read the script.
“It was heaven to read. You know, a story like that and especially those types of parts, those beautiful, rich, layered, complex parts for three women was a dream,” Stone said.
But acting it out wasn’t quite as dreamy. Stone’s character gets, almost literally, dragged through the mud regularly.
“Abigail, my character, goes through a lot of being slapped, pushed over, rolls down a hill, falls in mud, get’s tackled. It was pretty much a daily sort of falling down stairs,” Stone said, who also promised it was “physically fun” too.
“The Favourite” opens nationwide on November 23
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