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Why Emma Stone Decided To Do Her First Nude Scene In The Favourite

Emma Stone as Abigail in The Favourite
(Image credit: (Fox Searchlight))

Through her recent work, Emma Stone has proved to be quite a daring actress -- such as learning song and dance numbers for La La Land, playing a tennis legend for The Battle of the Sexes and being part of the masterful one-shot feel of Birdman. Her latest film, The Favourite shows an impressive act of brashness and comfort as an actress. The movie is an outrageous period-piece about a rivalry between two women hell-bent on gaining Queen Anne's affections. It also marks Stone's first nude scene, which she improvised on set. Here's how it happened in her words:

I had the sheet up around me, and as we were shooting it and we did a few takes, I said, 'Can I please just be [naked]?' I think it's going to give Sarah something to look at when she sees that I'm not just under the sheet covered up. Olivia was like, 'No, don't do it!' [director] Yorgos [Lanthimos] was like, 'Are you sure that's what you want to do?' And I was like, 'Absolutely.'

When actresses have decided to bare it all on screen, it's often pointed to a reflection of the director's cinematic choice. While it sometimes signifies a blemish on the objectification of women in Hollywood film, it can also be an act of liberation in service of one's role. Emma Stone wasn't asked to bare her breasts for the scene in The Favourite, she made a choice because it made sense to her and her character Abigail.

In the interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Stone said the scene perfectly gives the finger in a sense to Rachel Weisz's Lady Sarah, who discovers Abigail in bed with Queen Anne. So, she felt there was more power to the visual of Abigail being shown nude when she catches them over the character simply under sheets.

Emma Stone's choice shows confidence and dedication to The Favourite, an off-the-radar holiday release that's been receiving high praise from critics and tons of awards buzz. I'm sure there's something special about getting to say that she decided to do a nude scene on her own and because it felt right, instead of feeling like it was a chore she had to do for the role.

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The Favourite is by no means a typical period piece or awards contender, thanks to The Lobster director Yorgos Lanthimos. The director has always had a specific and quirky eye to bring to his work, and this is no exception. Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz play corset-wearing foul-mouthed females continually at odds so they can be favored best by Olivia Colman's Queen Anne.

The film lead the Critics' Choice Awards with 14 nominations and was recognized with four Golden Globe nods, including one for Emma Stone for supporting role. Ironically enough, with Rachel Weisz as one of her rivals in the category.

See Emma Stone as the clever and brash Abigail in The Favourite currently in theaters.

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