Emma Stone on ‘Poor Things’ and Her Quest to Be a Jeopardy Contestant

Emma Stone has a dream, and not one you’d expect. The “Poor Things” star, coming off a Golden Globe win this week, tells Variety‘s Awards Circuit Podcast that she wants to be a contestant on the classic game show “Jeopardy” — and no, not the “Celebrity” edition.

“I apply every June,” she says. “I don’t want to go on ‘Celebrity Jeopardy.’ I want to earn my stripes. You can only take the test once a year with your email address, and I’ve never gotten on the show. I watch it every single night and I mark down how many answers I get right. I swear, I could go on ‘Jeopardy.’”

Stone could be the second woman nominated for producing and acting in the same year following Frances McDormand for “Nomadland” (2020), who won both. In addition, she could be the second actress to receive Oscar nods for three comedic performances (pending how you define certain performances) following Meryl Streep (“Adaptation,” “Julie and Julia” and “Florence Foster Jenkins”).

On this episode of the award-winning Variety Awards Circuit Podcast, Stone sits down to discuss the process of creating her iconic character in “Poor Things” and working with her frequent collaborator Yorgos Lanthimos. She also discusses what to expect from their next collaboration due out in 2024, “Kinds of Kindness.” Listen below.

Read: Variety’s Awards Circuit for the latest Oscars predictions in all categories.

Searchlight Pictures

Based on the novel by Scottish writer Alasdair Gray and written by Tony McNamara, “Poor Things” tells the story of a young woman named Bella Baxter, who is brought back to life by a scientist Dr. Godwin Baxter. She chooses to explore the world when she falls for a slick lawyer Duncan Wedderburn, and begins to explore the continents, seeking sexual liberation and equality. In addition to Stone, the film stars Oscar nominees Willem Dafoe and Mark Ruffalo.

Stone, an Oscar winner for “La La Land” (2016), is popular with the actors branch, with two previous acting noms — best picture winner “Birdman” (2014) and her previous collaboration with Lanthimos on “The Favourite” (2018). She’s in the best position to nab both of her bids, following winning the Golden Globe comedy film and lead comedy actress prize (the first woman to win both of those awards for the same film). Under her production company Fruit Tree, which she founded with her husband Dave McCary in 2020, she’s credited with the official Producers Guild of America mark, along with Lanthimos, Oscar nominee Ed Guiney (“Room” and “The Favourite”) and Andrew Lowe. She won’t have to worry about hearing her name at least once on Oscar nomination morning on Jan. 23.

The film will likely run the gauntlet in the artisan categories such as production design, costumes, makeup and more. All of it on perfect display during the satisfying finale, which she shares with co-star Christopher Abbott. However, Stone reveals the difficulty of shooting that scene due to having a “negative 1,000″ prescription,” which she describes as “four times legally not able to see.”

“I took out my contacts to try that scene with Chris who is at the end of an extremely long tables,” she recalls. “So during that scenes, I actually couldn’t see him a lot of the time, which is kind of amazing. I felt like I was in a sort of hallucination fever dream where there was a blob speaking to me at the end of the table. It was pretty effective.”

Stone’s next movie will be in another Lanthimos joint, “Kinds of Kindness,” which also stars Dafoe, Jesse Plemons, Margaret Qualley and Hong Chau. “It’s kind of a triptych film,” she says. “It’s an anthology, with three short films, with a core seven actors and we’re each playing a different character in each story.”

When Variety jokingly (ish) asks for her to describe the full plot of the entire movie, including the ending, Stone responds in the way that only she can: “You’ve seen ‘Jurassic Park?’ she quips. “It’s a remake. The dinosaurs take over everything. And the end? Rosebud was his sled.”

Emma forever.

Variety’s “Awards Circuit” podcast, hosted by Clayton Davis, Jenelle Riley, Jazz Tangcay, Emily Longeretta and Michael Schneider, who also produces, is your one-stop source for lively conversations about the best in film and television. Each week, “Awards Circuit” features interviews with top film and TV talent and creatives, discussions and debates about awards races and industry headlines, and much more. Subscribe via Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Spotify or anywhere you download podcasts. New episodes post weekly.

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