The Big Picture
- Emma Stone’s transformation in Poor Things is almost unrecognisable, with her vibrant red hair drowned out by black, giving her a striking new look.
- The decision to darken Stone’s hair was intended to make her character resemble a child, almost like a porcelain doll, but the actor went a bit too far, resulting in a striking and stunning look.
- Poor Things is a complex film with detailed design and unexpected accidents, creating a unique and twisted story. The movie, directed by Lanthimos, stars Stone, Willem Dafoe, and Mark Ruffalo and will be released in theaters in the United States on December 8, 2023.
The build up to Yorgos Lanthimos’ latest movie, the eagerly anticipated Poor Things starring Emma Stone, has been slowly ramping up as we’ve been drip fed images and footage over the last few weeks, teasing a bizarre, beautiful and twisted story. The film sees Lanthimos and Stone reunited after combining so successfully for the director’s previous film, The Favourite, from 2018, which was universally acclaimed.
Stone is almost unrecognisable in the role of Bella, who is brought back to life by Dr. Godwin Baxter (Willem Dafoe), with her typically striking and trademark red hair absolutely drowned out by a sea of black. Combined with her dyed black eyebrows, it’s almost unsettling to see someone so familiar look so alien, and that’s by design. It just so happens that the design wasn’t meant to be quite as distinctive as it turned out, as you can see in these new images released by Total Film.
Lanthimos and Stone elaborated on how they ended up with the look they went with, revealing that the thinking behind the character’s identity was that of a child, almost like a porcelain doll, and to make her seem more like that, the team took the decision to darken her hair—only for Stone to go slightly too far!
« We Had to Go With Black »
« Well, I remember I dyed my hair too dark and we had to kind of go with that. It just kept going and going and it was like, ‘Goddamn it. Alright.’ Black, » said Stone, with a laugh, while Lanthimos went into more detail.
« That was an idea, that she’d be almost ahead of her time – a reactionary of sorts. But childlike and natural, and all these things. So we felt like, ‘It’d be a great idea to dye her hair dark.’ But then Emma went ahead and became jet black. And I was like, ‘Alright.’ It looked stunning with her very white skin. There’s all these accidents, to the very detailed design of certain costumes, and then, I don’t know, they break apart, and then we build something else. So it’s a very complex process, I think. »
Poor Things was directed by Lanthimos, based on a screenplay by Tony McNamara. It stars Stone, Dafoe and Mark Ruffalo, who runs away with Stone’s Bella. The film is based on a 1992 novel of the same name by Alasdair Gray. Poor Things will be released in theaters in the United States on December 8, 2023.