Emma Stone is one of the best rising young actresses working today. She really hit a breakthrough role with last year’s Easy A and she shows no sign of slowing down. This summer she’s co-starring in Crazy, Stupid, Love., she has a cameo in Friends with Benefits, and then she’ll be starring in an adaptation The Help, which I think will be the sleeper hit of the summer based on how many people I see carrying around the book. And next summer she’s playing the female lead in The Amazing Spider-Man, so she’s not just on the rise but has arguably arrived.
No matter where you place her in her career, the 21-year-old actresses burst in the roundtable interview at the Crazy, Stupid, Love. press junket filled with humor and energy. After commenting on the scented candles in the room (our roundtable room was apparently the only one that had them), we talked about female-led comedies, her fear of being re-enacting Dirty Dancing with co-star Ryan Gosling, why she hates and loves her East A director Will Gluck, and much more. Hit the jump to check out the interview. Crazy, Stupid, Love. opens this Friday.
In your personal life have you ever had to deal with lotharios that come up to you and run their game?
STONE: Heck Yes. Every single day. No, I’ve had maybe a little bit of a different experience because I don’t think I’ve ever— I don’t know. Maybe I have and I blocked it out ‘cause it doesn’t really ring a bell in that sense like sitting in a bar and having someone come up and use that kind of game. Not so much. I’ve only been able to legally go to bars for a year now. So, maybe I’ll have more stories in the future.
Being so young, do you think there is really only one soul mate?
STONE: I think there are plenty of soulmates out there. That’s what I choose to believe.
Can you relate to your character in the movie?
STONE: Yeah, absolutely. I think that there’s, well she’s nuts when she has a couple of drinks in her. So there’s that. And she, I think she responds to th— Maybe she doesn’t know that she’s not necessarily fully happy in her life until someone kind of shakes her out of it a little bit. That’s happened to me. And, yeah, just a few things that, you know, I don’t know that I have enough wherewithal—I was going to use the word talent but I didn’t want to hear anybody go, ‘Ahh, stop it’—to play a character that I can’t relate to in some way, you know. There’s gotta be at least pieces.
Could you talk about how you and Hanna, your similarities that you have together?
STONE: Umm, ok, well we’re both lawyers and I passed the bar [laughs]. My life is PG-13 sometimes and I really want Josh Grogan to propose to me and he just won’t do it. And we both think Ryan is a hell of a guy.
How many times did it take to shoot the Dirty Dancing scene?
STONE: I wish I had a better answer to this but I had a little panic when we were trying to shoot that scene.
STONE: Yeah, we had practiced it a couple of times but for some reason on the day—[she whistles]. I broke both my arms when I was seven, falling forward off the parallel bars in gymnastics and I didn’t realize that I had a dormant primal fear until Ryan lifted me over his head and when I was over—I was like, ‘I can’t do this, I can’t do this’ and my body just completely collapsed into him and kicked him in the throat—my bad [laughs]—but the screams of my panic are the screams they used in ADR overlaying the stunt double that he lifted. So I’m very, very grateful and to directors [Glenn Ficarra and John Requa] for making use of that terrible, terrible panic.
Apparently, Ryan does that a lot and supposedly he came up with the idea to do that?
STONE: Yeah, he did.
He does that all the time?
STONE: Yeah, that’s his big move.
How do you rate to other women he’s done that too?
STONE: Oh, no, he’s a gentleman, he wouldn’t tell me. No, no. But I’m assuming not very well as I kicked him straight in the throat. I literally wrapped myself around his head, legs like a spider monkey.
There seemed to be a lot of room for ad libbing. Were you able to do that in your scene with Ryan?
STONE: Absolutely. Yeah, oh they were so great about it. Yeah, they were so great about it. I mean, obviously those guys are brilliant directors but they’re brilliant writers, too. I mean the movie is amazing. So, and two of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen,both of them. So I think they really understood that comedy can’t always be, you know, right there on the page that sometimes that keeping it fresh is what can really make it funny so they, yeah, they were really open to it and let us do a lot and actually kept a lot in the movie, which was really nice of them. Yeah.
You mentioned you were a big fan of John and Glenn’s movies and they mentioned I Love You Philip Morris. Was it seen in the Hollywood community?
STONE: I think L.A. and New York is kinda like that whole like the way you talk to people that were born and raised in L.A. or born and raised in New York and they have this like weird like these political view points where you’re like clearly, you know like ‘This is just how it should be done,’ When you live in L.A. like you don’t really like in the middle of America like you don’t know, so it’s I think in Hollywood everyone’s like ‘I love you Philip Morris,’ you’ve seen it, you’ve seen it. This person’s seen it, so they talk about it like everybody’s seen but that movie should’ve been everywhere. Jim Carrey should’ve been nominated for everything. He was unreal in that movie. I thought it was such a good movie. And Bad Santa that they wrote was one of the funniest movies of all time.
STONE: I do now.
STONE: Growing up I was like—
I used to paint freckles on me. I wanted more.
STONE: Are you serious? I used to do anything I could to cover them up and I always wanted them to go away and now I just want more. Now I sit an inappropriate amount of time in the sunlight trying to get more freckles, which is not good for you. Sunlight. Julianne would kill me. She’s always telling me to use sunscreen, you know. She’s the best.
You have three movies coming out this summer. What’s happening with all of these movies happening all at once?
STONE: It must be a summer movie thing. I mean I don’t know if I, maybe one or two movies that have come out any time but summer. It’s always been kind of comedy centric so I think a lot of comedies, it’s like the summer is the time for comedies. Yeah, it’s pretty funny. Although Crazy Stupid Love was shot back to back and Friends with Benefits, I mean I’m in one scene. I flew in to do Easy A press with Will Gluck and he wrote me a little scene in that movie and I just did it in August when I was shooting The Help so it was all kinda at the same time so I guess coming out at the same time.
There are so many R-rated comedy coming out. Do you feel bad that you don’t get to be all raunchy like everyone else and swear all the time?
STONE: Yeah, I’m really being myself.
Are you excited that Bridesmaids became the highest-grossing female-lead R-rated comedy of all-time?
STONE: Oh, my God. Of course, of course.
How do you see that in terms of the projects you’re cultivating?
STONE: I just think it’s probably any woman that’s been a part of comedies in terms of writing or producing or acting in them would say that it’s so nice when that happens just because for a little while I think everyone at studios, their minds always expand a little bit because there’s been, I’m not gonna say what it is, but there was a movie that came out a couple of years ago that was R-rated that starred females that did not do well at all and in these past couple of years every movie has been compared to that like, ‘remember what happened with dah, dah, dah?’ whenever you talk to studio people. So now, there are saying, ‘look what happened with ‘Bridesmaids.’ So there’s that instant like doors are opened. So that a [great release] but also what’s so great about it is that is a great movie. It’s a great movie. It’s not just like, ‘oh it did really well. It was a female-led movie but it did really well. That’s cool.’ It’s like that is a great movie that well, see! Great movies do well. That’s what I don’t understand. Why keep writing the same formulaic comedy over and over and over and think that people are gonna— People aren’t stupid. People wanna see good movies, especially comedies. Those by the books comedies, I don’t get it. Who likes those? Nobody likes those.
STONE: Maybe subconsciously. I don’t think it’s ever like, ‘you gotta make sure this girl is really independent, playing by her own rules, umm. I think it’s definitely vulnerability gets a lot of points in these women, but yeah, I don’t think that I ever real a script where the girl is female, suffering for the guy somewhere, doesn’t have her own kind of strength. I just wouldn’t be able to relate to that.
Of these three movies you have coming out this summer, how you learned anything from them and if so, what?
STONE: Well, Friends with Benefits I learned not to trust Will Gluck. I had already learned that almost every day on Easy A and I learned it on this one because the guy decides to, this is the sort of thing I talked to Bill Murray about because he was saying that when he came in for that cameo in Zombieland you’re going in for a cameo you haven’t been there for the whole shoot so you don’t really know the tone. You’re at a totally different rhythm than everyone one else in movie and don’t know it. So I go in and she’s written this, it’s all so crazy. So I go in and I’m like, Alright so I understand you just go ballistics like I was screaming my head off all night. So I lose my voice. I’m screaming, screaming, screaming and I lose my voice. We’ve done so many takes and he goes, ‘Em, why are you screaming so much?’ What do you mean? We’ve done so many takes—” That’s a little bit too heightened for the tone of the movie. I’m like, you’re such an asshole. You get to the point where I lose my voice and then you decide to tell me that I’m not doing it right even though I’m working as hard as I can? God, he’s the worse. I love Will. He’s like my brother that I wanna strangle him and he also makes me laugh so much. That’s one, don’t trust Bill Gluck. Two, for Crazy, Stupid Love I learned that you can meet people that you want to literally do every movie with and I met Ryan I just think that he is amazing and I’d gladly do as many movies as they will let me with him. So it’s really fun to find a teammate in an actor, you know like a Hepburn-Tracy kind of thing. I wish [laughs]
STONE: Yeah, about 20 more so that’s the goal and also that these guys were so great and that you can have this like relaxed fun time on set and I had learned that before obviously but and also that some directors will bring you caramel cupcakes everyday because they’re sweet as hell, the cupcake directors and The Help, oh my God. That would take the rest of our lives to tell you what I learned. I learned so much about parts of history that I had never been educated on in public school. I had learned the story of Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King, Jr. and that was about it. And I think that’s insane. I think it’s absolutely insane that I knew so much about European history but I had no idea what happened 50 years ago in our country and still informs so much of our lives today and how far we’ve come and how far we still need to go and so I learned so much and I lived in the south and I met a lot of people that I probably would’ve never met and learned a bunch of stuff– that was, I mean to be honest in a formative sense that movie taught me the most because it was incredibly important for everyone to learn and I’m so glad that I have that knowledge now.
Are you going to Comic-Con?
STONE: Yahoo! Can’t even wait. I love Comic Con. I’m really excited. I’m excited to see you know the reactions and the questions. I find that place so much fun.
The Amazing Spider-Man is said to have a more “realistic” take than the previous movies. What was it like working on a realistic superhero movie?
STONE: It was great. It made it possible for me to do. I don’t think I’d be able to function in a world I didn’t understand. And this was just Andrew and I doing a scene. There wasn’t anything…it was just like making any other movie where you’re just two human beings connecting. It was like that. It just happened to be set in a New York City where a guy runs around in a spandex suit and he just saves lives! He got bitten by a radioactive spider!