What It Was Like To Work With Emma Stone On Disney’s Cruella de Vil Movie, Per Shazam’s Mark Strong

Emma Stone as Cruella de Vil

Disney’s been on a roll in recent years with its live-action adaptations of classic animated movies, most of which have been straightforward remakes. But some of these movies have chose a different creative route. For instance, rather than give fans a live-action remake of 101 Dalmatians (which was already done in 1996), the Mouse House instead pushed ahead with Cruella, a prequel starring Emma Stone as the title villainous fashion designer. Apparently, these sets can be fun too, as Mark Strong revealed in a recent interview.

Mark Strong, who starred as Dr. Thaddeus Sivana in last year’s Shazam! (and will be back for the sequel), is among the members of Cruella’s supporting cast, playing the character Boris. While recently plugging his TV show Temple, Strong talked about his experience on Cruella, explaining how much he enjoyed working with Emma Stone and director Craig Gillespie with the following words:

Well, I had a great time. Craig Gillespie, who directed it, I was a big fan of. I loved I, Tonya and I loved Lars and the Real Girl, the films that he made before I got to know him. Just liking the stuff he’d made meant that we wanted to work together, and he asked me to play this part in Cruella. It was fantastic being on set. It’s such a massive production. There are huge fashion and ballroom sequences in it, which are just so impressive. I got to be on set during those days and spend most of my time with the two Emmas – Emma Stone and Emma Thompson. It was just great being able to shoot the breeze with those guys during the downtime, and then play with them, telling this fantastical story that I think people are thoroughly going to enjoy, when the cameras were rolling.

It’s nice to hear when an actor had a pleasant experience not just making a movie overall, but got along splendidly with his co-stars too. Strong’s presence in Cruella was revealed around the time the movie began filming in September 2019, with principal photography wrapping the following November. Clearly Emma Stone and Emma Thompson left a positive impression on Strong, so maybe there will be an opportunity for him to work with one or both again down the line.

Cruella is the second live-action Disney movie Mark Strong has worked on, the first being 2012’s John Carter, where he played Matai Shang. While Strong didn’t delve deeply into what we can expect to see in Cruella during his interview with Collider, he did tease how the movie explores Cruella de Vil’s origins, saying:

What the film does, which is brilliant, is try to throw a light on where the Cruella that we think we know has come from. It’s a development story, as you see Cruella grow into the Cruella de Vil that we know and love to hate.

Set in 1970s London, Cruella follows the eponymous character as she rises through the fashion industry and becomes increasingly obsessed with dog skins, especially from Dalmatians. Along with the aforementioned actors, the cast includes Paul Walter Hauser, Joel Fry, Emily Beecham, Kirby Howell-Baptiste and Jamie Demetriou. Tony McNamara and Dana Fox penned the most recent version of the screenplay.

Those of you who are fans of the original 101 Dalmatians will know that there isn’t a character named Boris in that movie. So while we already know what Paul Walter Hauser’s Horace and Joel Fry’s Jasper will go on to become Cruella de Vil’s henchmen, it’s difficult to say how Mark Strong’s Boris fits into the picture. Perhaps he’s the right-hand man of Emma Thompson’s character, The Baroness.

Having originally been slated for next month, Cruella will now arrive on May 28, 2021, although we’ll be sure to let you know if the movie is delayed again. You can learn what other movies are being primed for next year with our 2021 release schedule.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.