Autumn de Wilde wanted Emma to ‘heal’ audiences

Autumn de Wilde wanted her movie Emma to be a “cure” for those feeling depressed about the state of the world.The big-screen adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic novel stars Anya Taylor-Joy as the titular character, alongside Johnny Flynn, Mia Goth, Jos…

Autumn de Wilde wanted her movie Emma to be a “cure” for those feeling depressed about the state of the world.

The big-screen adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic novel stars Anya Taylor-Joy as the titular character, alongside Johnny Flynn, Mia Goth, Josh O’Connor, Miranda Hart, and Bill Nighy.

While the movie was recently bumped from cinemas amid the global coronavirus outbreak and moved to at-home video-on-demand services, de Wilde originally wanted the period romantic drama to serve as a cure for her “depression” over U.S. President Donald Trump’s policies.

“I’ve always really valued escape – things that transport you and take your mind off of something,” she told Variety, and said she was content with the film now being used to help audiences who are watching from home.

“There’s a lot of fun made of romantic comedies, but I think that it is a really healing place for people,” the 49-year-old filmmaker added.

De Wilde also teased the prospect of new projects in the pipeline, but admitted that their status is uncertain as movie releases are being postponed by film studios as the Covid-19 virus rages.

But she’s happy with her feature film debut and is enjoying the critical success of Emma after years of feeling overlooked.

“It was very exciting for this movie to come out and have people interested in talking to me about ideas. I wasn’t in a rush to commit to one of them, because there was a long period of my career where I felt often overlooked,” de Wilde explained. “And I’ve had some amazing experiences in my career — and a lot of times when I couldn’t pay my bills, mostly when I was a single mom. So it’s very exciting.”

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Autumn de Wilde pushed for Emma to get early digital release

Emma director Autumn de Wilde pushed for her film to be made available to those self-isolating at home amid the coronavirus outbreak.The adaptation of the Jane Austen novel, starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Johnny Flynn, Josh O’Connor and Bill Nighy, was rele…

Emma director Autumn de Wilde pushed for her film to be made available to those self-isolating at home amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The adaptation of the Jane Austen novel, starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Johnny Flynn, Josh O’Connor and Bill Nighy, was released in cinemas back in February, and had raked in more than $15 million (£13 million) at the worldwide box office.

As the Covid-19 pandemic sweeps across the U.S. and Europe, people have been urged to avoid social gatherings and self-isolate, with cinemas being forced to close in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus, which has infected more than 351,000 people so far.

Filmmaker de Wilde told Variety that after receiving an outpouring of messages from fans on social media, begging her to release Emma on at-home services, she sent screenshots of the Twitter posts to bosses at Focus Features and Working Title, who produced the film.

“They were all writing to me, begging me. ‘Please ask them to release it on demand! All I want to do when I’m stuck in my house is watch ‘Emma!'” she explained. “There’s someone who’s seen it seven times already in the theater, and wanted to see it again… A lot of the people asking had seen it three times in the theater – and it just was so amazing to have that support.”

And while she was pleased with how well Emma was doing in cinemas before the coronavirus outbreak, she is relieved that audiences get to watch her film from the comfort of their own homes.

“Of course, I would have loved to have seen how it was going to do (at the box office),” de Wilde stated. “I’m not thinking in terms of like, ‘Oh my movie got interrupted.’ I’m thinking, this is amazing! If I could even help those people with something I’ve made, that feels wonderful.”

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Anya Taylor-Joy’s corset helped her get into character for Emma

Anya Taylor-Joy relied upon her corset to help her get into the mindset of her character in Emma.The Split actress portrays upper-class wannabe matchmaker Emma Woodhouse in Autumn de Wilde’s new adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic novel Emma, which…

Anya Taylor-Joy relied upon her corset to help her get into the mindset of her character in Emma.

The Split actress portrays upper-class wannabe matchmaker Emma Woodhouse in Autumn de Wilde’s new adaptation of Jane Austen’s classic novel Emma, which is set in the Georgian Regency era.

The 23-year-old had to wear corsets underneath the elaborate period costumes, and she admitted to U.S. Harper’s Bazaar magazine that getting laced into the restrictive garment at the start of every shoot day helped her channel Emma.

“It was so important to me to get it right because I was so possessed by Emma,” she said. “About two weeks in, I actually started relying on my corset to help me get the work done. The second my corset was put on, I was like, ‘I know what I’m doing. I’ve got this. It’s all going to be fine.’ I just had to be laced in first.”

When asked if she would occasionally wear sneakers to give her feet a break during close-up shots, Taylor-Joy insists both her and de Wilde were strict about staying in costume for the whole shoot.

“Not ever. I would never, could never. Autumn and I are not those sorts of people,” the star continued. “I think the most lenient I ever got was allowing my corset to be loosened a little bit. If I was in severe pain, then we would loosen it. But it was all authentic.”

De Wilde flew to New York to meet with Taylor-Joy and the actress “instantly fell in love with her”. Yet, she also was daunted about appearing in Emma because the character is so tricky to define.

“I thought, ‘Here is a character that is so difficult to pin down. Her emotions are flitting around so quickly. You can’t decide whether she’s an entitled princess or she’s amazing,’” she shared. “The idea of getting to try and figure out how to play a character that changes on a switch really appealed to me.”

Emma is in cinemas now.

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Anya Taylor-Joy won’t be watching Gwyneth Paltrow’s Emma before new adaptation

Anya Taylor-Joy is avoiding watching Gwyneth Paltrow’s portrayal of Emma before she plays the character in a new movie adaptation.The Oscar winner played socialite Emma Woodhouse in the 1996 period comedy Emma – an adaptation of the Jane Austen novel …

Anya Taylor-Joy is avoiding watching Gwyneth Paltrow’s portrayal of Emma before she plays the character in a new movie adaptation.

The Oscar winner played socialite Emma Woodhouse in the 1996 period comedy Emma – an adaptation of the Jane Austen novel of the same name.

In October (18) it was revealed that Glass star Anya would be starring in the lead role in a fresh adaptation helmed by music video director Autumn de Wilde in her feature film debut.

In an interview with Britain’s Marie Claire magazine, Anya confessed that she hadn’t seen the ’90s version, which was released the year she was born, and would not be doing so because she doesn’t want it to affect her decisions about the character.

“I want my own Emma. I’m quite excited to bring a more eccentric version to the screen,” she said. “I’d like to create a very real person with very real insecurities. That’s not a comment on Gwyneth’s performance, because I haven’t seen the film. It says a lot about the character that Austen says (at the beginning of the book) that she’s written a character who nobody other than her will like. I love that.”

Filming for Emma, which also stars Bill Nighy, Johnny Flynn and Mia Goth, kicked off in March.

Anya, 22, found fame in horror films such as The Witch and Split, which she finds amusing considering she isn’t a fan of the genre.

“If you had told baby me that I would be known as a scream queen or as horror’s It girl, I would have laughed so hard. That is so not me; I’ve never even seen a horror movie. I’ve never actually looked at genres,” she said.

This year is shaping up to a busy one for Anya, who has the release of X-Men instalment The New Mutants, drama Here Are The Young Men, and children’s flick Playmobil: The Movie over the coming months.

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