In less than a decade, Emma Stone has risen from a familiar face in romantic comedies like Ghosts of Girlfriends Past and Crazy, Stupid, Love and a superhero’s girlfriend in The Amazing Spider-Man, to a two-time Oscar-nominated star, for Birdman and this year’s La La Land. With her tantalizing beauty, the gifted actress burns the screen with emotional intensity and easily commandeers the camera and the audience’s attention away from more experienced co-stars; they are no match.
Watch the video and say whether the statements below are true or false.
1. Emma and her friends met at college.
2. The Amazing Spider-Man won Emma an Oscar nomination.
3. Emma and her brother Spencer didn’t get on well when they were children.
4. Emma started training to become an actress at the age of 11.
5. She had appeared in over 20 productions at the age of 15.
6. Emma’s mum was reluctant to grant her permission to move to L. A.
7. She got a degree at about the same time as she was cast in her first movie, Superbad.
8. Emma had to turn down her first leading role to look after her ailing mom.
9. Emma feels intimidated when she is around other movie stars and entertainers.
Emma Stone may be the toast of Hollywood, but she rarely hogs the spotlight. You’ll often see her sharing the red carpet with her younger brother, Spencer.
Guys, you used to have some darkness.
We some stuff.
We’ve all seen some, yeah.
And to our interview, she brought along her two best friends.
We just met last week. I hired them to do this.
She needed friends for an interview so we said like okay
I need friends, because that’s more relatable, right?
Years ago the three were roommates, struggling actors, sometimes auditioning for the very same parts.
How’d that go?
We would fist fight to the death, and then she would get all of them and we’d call it a day.
Even in their mac-and-cheese days, both Macisac and Sugar Lyn Beard had a sense that Emily, as they call her, might just own this town someday.
She’s always known exactly where she wants to go in her career, and who she wants to work with.
But she was that focused?
I think if anything ever did go a little bit south or it didn’t go as well as she wanted it to, I feel like you would come home with more fire for the next one.
If you’ve seen La La Land, you know it could almost be Emma Stone’s own story, put to music.
She plays Mia, a wanna-be actress who comes to Hollywood with stars in her eyes; toils for fame and fortune; and finds love along the way. Arm-in-arm with frequent co-star Ryan Gosling, they are a chemically-proven formula.
Did you watch a lot of Fred Astaire-Ginger Rogers kinds of movies as you went through this process just to figure out how…
I mean Top Hat was… Top Hat was huge for us, yeah. The energy between them, emotionally, was something we were inspired by.
The film is a love letter to Hollywood, and Hollywood loves it back. Stone has already sung and danced her way to a Golden Globe and a SAG Award, which has a lot of people guessing she’ll have a good shot at the Oscar, too. But until a few years ago, Emma Stone was happiest with just a simple plastic blimp, the Kids Choice Award she swooped in to snag for her role in The Amazing Spider-Man.
I grew up watching the Kid’s Choice Awards and people getting slimed, and I was just like, can you imagine having a Blimp? And then, I got a Blimp, and I was like, well, that’s it for me. I’m signing off. Back to Arizona I go!
Born in Scottsdale, Stone had a passion for acting that she put before almost everything else. Which is why perhaps she takes her younger brother Spencer to all those red carpets, she owes him, big.
Like when I was little, we did our own little shows, and she was the director and bossed me around, tremendously.
He went through so much, you have no idea.
And she would be the star of the show, and I would be everyone else.
Makes me sounds like a crazy person.
To assure us she isn’t crazy…
This was like… this your home away from home.
…she brought us to the place that she says made her sane…
It looks exactly the same.
…the Valley Youth Theatre in downtown Phoenix.
Bobb Cooper has been the artistic director here for years. He first met her at age 11 and even then saw a sparkle, and not just because of her braces.
She could project very well.
Why are you laughing?
Because I was loud beyond belief. That means that I always talked over Bobb and got in trouble.
She was willing to take any part; it didn’t matter what the character was, how big the character was, she was willing to take the part.
She was an acting machine, appearing in almost 20 productions before she was 15. At that point, she convinced her parents, using an admittedly geeky Power Point presentation, that it was time to move to Los Angeles.
Did it feel like it was a tough sell?
My dad instantly said yes and my mom was like, Whoa whoa whoa whoa, We’re going to go in another room and have a discussion and we’re probably not going to get back to you for a couple of weeks, because why and my dad was like, Sure, yep, yes.
Her mom, Krista, finally relented, and actually moved to L.A. with her, guiding her through the sometimes crushing auditions.
It’s a strange sort of combination of a job interview and a first date and a break-up, on a daily basis, like you walk into a room, and this could be the next seven years of your life, and you can buy a house and you can travel, and you can, you know, you, you just gonna be, then, wait, oh never mind, break-up, it’s over, it’s never happening. Okay, well, I shouldn’t have built that up. Next day, are you the one? Are you the one? No? God, wow, no, you really weren’t the one … and you yelled at me.
To focus herself entirely on acting, Stone was home-schooled, getting her GED right about the time she was cast in her first movie, Superbad.
Was there a part of you that missed some of those experiences in school?
I didn’t think I did until I turned 22. And then all of a sudden, everybody that I’d grown up with graduated from college, and I was really hard on myself for like I’m not an educated person, I didn’t take that path. And then I realized I took my path. This was my story, this was how my story went.
A story that really took off after landing her first leading role, in Easy A. Stone’s portrayal of a snarky virgin who invents a bad reputation was met with rave reviews.
And yet, behind the scenes Stone was struggling. Her mom had been diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer. It looked so bad Stone almost bailed on the part altogether.
I wanted to not do it, and she said, she was very dramatic about it, she was like, Well, you know, if you’re not doing your thing, then I’m not doing my thing. And I was like, Oh you know how to get me, wow, what a rascal. So I did.
And she did?
And she did. And…
And you succeeded, and so did she.
Her mom is now celebrating six years cancer-free and in that time she’s watched her daughter become the darling of Hollywood: From the society girl-turned-journalist in The Help, to the Hollywood brat in Birdman, the role that got Stone her first Oscar nod.
Despite all the success, she still gets star-struck, especially by anyone from Saturday Night Live, a totem of her youth.
I really just show up, and then they tell me where to go and what to do.
When we met up just before she hosted SNL for the third time last December, she was still positively giddy about just being given the chance.
Do you sort of pinch yourself?
Yeah, I don’t think it ever gets normal to be here.
She may have captured that timeless Hollywood dream, and yet Emma Stone hardly lives with her head in the clouds.
I think maybe there is that notion that if you have a dream and then it comes true, everything will just be great now and you’ll just be coasting, but that’s not how it goes. If anything, it just makes we more and more want to get closer and closer to those I love, and get closer and closer to the Earth, you know, like staying as firmly-planted on Earth as possible because that’s really it. That’s it, you know? That’s the real stuff.
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