Emma Stone says Disney smoking ban meant she couldn't use Cruella de Vil's iconic cigarette holder

·Contributor
·2 min read
Emma Stone plays one of Disney's most notorious villains in '101 Dalmatians' prequel 'Cruella'. (Laurie Sparham/Disney)
Emma Stone plays one of Disney's most notorious villains in '101 Dalmatians' prequel 'Cruella'. (Laurie Sparham/Disney)

Emma Stone has revealed she was never going to be able to wield Cruella de Vil's famous cigarette holder in origin tale Cruella, because Disney won't show smoking on screen.

In the 1961 animated film and its 1996 live-action adaptation — in which Glenn Close portrays the puppy-killing villain — Cruella is seen with a long cigarette holder.

Read more: How Cruella was revamped and styled for the 1970s

But this time around, the new take on the character — rising through the punk-inspired fashion scene of 1970s London — presumably has a nicotine patch hidden somewhere.

"That [cigarette holder] is not allowed in 2021," Stone told the New York Times in a new interview to promote the film. 

Cruella de Vil has traditionally been depicted on screen wielding a long cigarette holder. (Disney/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)
Cruella de Vil has traditionally been depicted on screen wielding a long cigarette holder. (Disney/Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

She added: "We are not allowed to smoke onscreen in a Disney film. It was difficult to not have that cigarette holder.

"I was so excited to have that green plume of smoke in there, but it was not possible. 

"I don’t want to promote smoking, but I’m also not trying to promote skinning puppies."

Read more: Disney+ titles that have a disclaimer

Both the animated and live-action versions of 101 Dalmatians carry a content warning on Disney+, informing viewers that the movie "contains tobacco depictions".

Similar warnings have been added to numerous animated classics which feature characters smoking, most famously including the 1940 version of Pinocchio.

Watch: Disney warns of "outdated cultural depictions" in classic animations

In Cruella — directed by I, Tonya helmer Craig Gillespie — Stone portrays Estella, who secures a job working for Emma Thompson's tyrannical fashion boss.

As Estella rises through the fashion scene and becomes an agitating, innovative opponent for her boss, she is driven to embrace Cruella — her considerably darker alter ego.

Read more: Critics praise "wickedly fun" Cruella

"She’s not sort of wicked, she’s the most wicked," said Stone. 

"We don’t quite get to a place where this woman is skinning puppies, but there is an exploration of what it means to be 'bad' and what the difference is between that and being rebellious and thinking differently than everyone around you."

Cruella is showing in UK cinemas and on Disney+ via Premier Access.

Watch: Trailer for Emma Stone's performance in Cruella

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