Yorgos Lanthimos discusses why Emma Stone was made to audition for ‘The Favourite’
Director Yorgos Lanthimos has been discussing his decision to ask Hollywood star Emma Stone audition for her eventual role in The Favourite.
Stone, who is at the height of her career following her Oscar-winning performance in La La Land, found landing a role in Lanthimos’ forthcoming 18th century English drama surprisingly tricky considering her status.
The Favourite synopsis
“In the early 18th century, England is at war with the French. Nevertheless, duck racing and pineapple eating are thriving. A frail Queen Anne occupies the throne, and her close friend Lady Sarah governs the country in her stead while tending to Anne’s ill health and mercurial temper. When a new servant, Abigail, arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah. Sarah takes Abigail under her wing, and Abigail sees a chance to return to her aristocratic roots.”
Stone, who eventually landed the role of Abigail Mashan in a love triangle between England’s Queen Anne – played by Olivia Colman – and Sarah Jennings Churchill, played by Rachel Weisz, became the only American actor on the set. Lanthimos with slight concerns about a potential accent issue, explained that the audition was purely a process to eliminate any potential issues: “It was making sure that we would be able to work creatively free without the accent being a hindrance in the way that we wanted to work,” Lanthimos told Business Insider.
“I just didn’t want her to feel uncomfortable while we were doing it or make a fool of herself,” he added before playing down the idea that the audition was a formal procedure.
However Stone, who admitted that she felt no insult having to read for the role, playfully refuted Lanthimos by saying: “It was taped and at a casting office.”
Detailing more seriously, Stone added: “If I do need to read something now it’s more of a chemistry thing,” she said. “I didn’t find it insulting. You learn too as an actor if the role fits and if you like the director.”