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Emma Stone Responds to Criticism Over 'Poor Things' Sex Scenes

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Emma Stone has no problems with Bella Baxter’s “furious jumping.” In a new interview, the Academy Award winner defended her Poor Things character’s graphic sex scenes which have been the subject of recent controversy.

“[The sex] is obviously a huge part of her experience and her growth, as it is, I think, for most people in life,” Stone told BBC Radio 4, adding, “So for the camera to sort of shy away from that, or to say like, ‘Okay, well, we’ll just cut all of this out because our society functions in a particular way,’ it felt like a lack of being honest about who Bella is.”

In Poor Things, Stone plays the role of Bella Baxter—a woman brought back to life with the brain of her unborn child via a Frankenstein-like doctor, played by Willem Dafoe. Throughout the film, directed by Yorgos Lanthimos, Bella undergoes a series of transformational events—often from a naive, child-like perspective—as she embarks on a journey of self discovery. Much of Bella’s revelations about her womanhood are achieved through sex (both with Mark Ruffalo’s sleezy lawyer character Duncan Wedderburn and later at a Parisian brothel house) which she refers to as “Furious jumping.” While, yes, the scenes are explicit and graphic at times, Stone says that they’re integral to Bella’s narrational journey.

“I’m not a person that just wants to be naked all the time, but I am someone who wants to honor the character as fully as I possibly can. That’s part of her journey,” Stone later explained in the interview.

Stone added that sex is “just one aspect of many” ways in which Bella explored her womanhood throughout the film, adding that her story also included “her discovery of food, philosophy, travel and dance.”

A certain scene (spoiler ahead!) in which Bella performs sexual acts with a father (whose two young boys are watching on) spurred controversy in the UK and caused the film to be re-edited ahead of its release there. Despite that pushback, and some backlash from armchair TikTok critics, Stone’s performance has been widely praised and as already earned her a Golden Globe and Critics Choice victory this awards season. It’s also safe to say she’s well out in front of the very competitive Best Actress race that will take place at this year’s Oscars.

“Bella is completely free and without shame about her body,” the actress remarked. “She doesn’t know to be embarrassed by these things or to cover things up or not dive into the full experience when it comes to anything.”

Source: W Magazine

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