She plays the temptress maid who vies for Queen Anne's affections in critically acclaimed film, The Favourite.

And Emma Stone discussed the perils of transforming into the feisty Abigail Masham in the 18th century drama in an interview on this week's Graham Norton Show.

For the classic period drama look, the Oscar-winning actress, 29, had to wear a corset for the film's shoot and discussed the perils of sporting the restrictive garment.

She said: "Women existed like that for such a long time, which gives you a lot of sympathy for that time period and what they were going through.

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"For the first month I couldn't breathe and I would smell menthol and it would make me think I was in a wide-open space and could breathe for a moment in time. After a month, all my organs shifted - it was gross and if you don't have to, don't do it."

Despite her stellar pedigree of work - she won an Oscar in 2017 for her role in La La Land and was nominated for 2015's Birdman - the American star said she was nervous about mastering the English accent.

She said: "Being the only American I thought if I messed it up it would stick out like the sorest thumb. It would maybe ruin the entire movie so I tried to work hard on it."

Actoress Emma Stone at the party of the film The Favourite in London during the London Film Festival. Photo / AP
Actoress Emma Stone at the party of the film The Favourite in London during the London Film Festival. Photo / AP

Talking about working with Olivia Colman, who plays the monarch and Rachel Weisz, who plays the queen's advisor Sarah Churchill, she said: "I had so, so much fun. It was amazing to find one part that is really hilarious, layered and complex, particularly for a female, but there were three.

"Reading through the script it was insane that these women are so full bodied and fantastic, it was so exciting."

The film is directed by Yorgos Lanthimos and is "a bawdy, acerbic tale of royal intrigue, passion, envy and betrayal" set in the court of Queen Anne in early 18th century England, according to Fox Searchlight Pictures.

The eight-week shoot took place last year in various locations in southern England including Hatfield House in Hertfordshire, a country mansion that has been the backdrop for features including My Week With Marilyn and Sherlock Holmes.

The Favourite - which also stars Nicholas Hoult and Joe Alwyn - is released in NZ cinemas on December 26.

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