The actress (who won an Oscar for 2016's 'La La Land) plays the devious Abigail Masham

On Feb. 24, winners will be crowned at the 91st Academy Awards. But before the red carpet is rolled out and envelopes are opened, Entertainment Weekly has inside intel on the 2019 nominees. Keep checking back at this week for spotlights on contenders in all the major categories.

Emma Stone
Starring in:
The Favourite
Age: 30
Oscar Past: 2 Noms, 1 Win
Role Call: Downtrodden Abigail, a former member of the royal court who arrives at the palace seeking a job but quickly engages in a power battle with Lady Sarah (Rachel Weisz) over the attention of Queen Anne (Olivia Colman)

Toward the end of The Favourite, (newly-minted best-supporting actress nominee) Emma Stone’s deviously manipulative Abigail admits: “As it turns out, I am capable of much unpleasantness.” And, as it turns out, the always likable Stone is more than capable of playing a villain. Abigail begins the film seemingly innocent but quickly morphs into a manipulative mean girl in a corset. It’s a transformation that both plays upon and subverts Stone’s good-girl image. “It’s important in life to be kind, but it’s not very interesting for drama,” quips the actress best known for her nice-girl roles in films like La La Land and The Help. “We’ve seen a lot of male characters that are complex, and women are equally complex but don’t really get the chance that often.” No one is safe from Abigail’s ruthlessly ambitious quest to gain the trust of Queen Anne, even an innocent bunny.

“Working on The Favourite alongside my brilliant friends Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz and the whole cast was nothing short of incredible,” Stone said in a statement Tuesday after nominations were announced. “I was grateful every day and am honored by this nomination. [Director Yorgos Lanthimos] created a palace for us all to play in. I am forever indebted to him and the whole team that brought this insane vision to life. Thank you to Fox Searchlight for their invaluable support and thank you to the Academy for recognizing our work.”

Related content:

The Favourite
  • Movie
  • Yorgos Lanthimos