(L-R): Mark Strong as John the Valet and Emma Thompson as the Baroness in Disney’s live-action CRUELLA. Photo by Laurie Sparham. © 2021 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Cruella finally hit theaters this weekend! In this Disney feature film, we will see what happened to Estella, played by Emma Stone, to turn her into the dark and vicious Cruella de Vil. It would probably take something or someone just as dark and vile right? Enter Emma Thompson’s Baroness. She gives Meryl Streep’s Miranda Priestly a run for her money as the character on top of the fashion world at her time.
Personally, when I first saw that Thompson was playing such a devilish character, I rejoiced. As she usually takes on friendlier roles that make us feel good. Characters like Mrs. Potts in Beauty and the Beast. Professor Sybil Trelawney in Harry Potter, Agent O in Men in Black, Nanny McPhee to name a few. Interestingly enough, Thompson was also excited to get to play the Baroness in Cruella.
During a recent press event for Cruella, she was asked about the opportunity to play a character that is described as “fabulous and also a living nightmare”. Apparently, she has been looking for a role like this for quite a while, saying “I had such fun doing her, because I think I’ve been asking for quite a number of years if I could be a villain, a proper villain.”
Thompson then goes on to comment on why this part means so much to her and her experience. “I spent decades playing what my mother used to call, ‘good women in frocks.’ Now I got to play a really evil woman in frocks. But oh, boy, the frocks. I mean, they wore me, actually, really is what happened. I had just the best, best time. Every time Emma and I would come on set, we’d just look at each other and walk around each other, like we were sculptures or works of art or something, which we were. I mean, it was in a way, everyone created the Baroness. Then I sort of stepped in and just said the words.”
Despite the fact that Cruella is the origin of one of Disney’s most infamous villains, the film needed its own villain and Thompson delivered fabulously. Along with her strong performance, the film does a great job of developing her character at a good pace. It also doesn’t hurt that both Emma’s have very good chemistry together on screen. The past and present establishment of the Baroness. Versus the bold new future that Estella aka Cruella brings forth. Which of the two is worse? We’ll let you be the judge of that this weekend.
Get to know Emma Thompson’s Baroness in Cruella. This Friday, May 28th in theaters everywhere and on Disney+ with Premier Access.