Dame Emma Thompson has compared her underwear in 'Cruella' to a "ship's rigging".

The 62-year-old actress plays fashion designer Baroness von Hellman in the new flick – an origin story for the iconic '101 Dalmatians' villain Cruella de Vil – and struggled to cope with her extravagant undergarments.

Emma said: "My underwear was like a sort of ship's rigging. I mean, there were people hauling on ropes.

"It was a lot. So peeing was hard and involved a team of people."

The 'Nanny McPhee' star added that her dressing room routine was far more difficult than co-star Emma Stone, who portrays the title character.

Emma told The Sun newspaper: "The underwear was a big old deal. Not for la Stone, obviously, because she's slender as a lily and didn't need to wear a corset like a frigging whalebone aria."

Baroness von Hellman is a terrifying fashion designer in the movie and Emma relished the opportunity to play a "proper villain" and drew on her own life experiences for the character.

Thompson – who is married to actor Greg Wise – said: "I drew on life, obviously.

"I mean, I think if my husband were in the room, he'd say, 'And no acting required, really.'

"I had such fun doing her because I think I'd been asking for quite a number of years if I could be a villain, a proper villain. I've spent decades playing what my mother used to call 'good women in frocks'. And now I got to play a really evil woman in frocks."

'Cruella' is set in 1970s London and it sparked memories of Emma's teenage years, even featuring the same double-decker bus she used to catch.

She explained: "It was the same bus, the 159, and it was this little hop-on, hop-off bus.

"It was just like being little again and being a teenager going into London to maybe buy myself a top, which would have perhaps cost 50p or something, because we'd only just gone decimal."