Interviewed Emma Stone for Wonderland Magazine early in her career, before the release of Easy A. It was a very last minute type of thing, so they said just to do it as a Q&A, which they proceeded to butcher and otherwise anesthetize.
Stone was witty, inspired, very well researched/read and, most of all, driven—it was immediately clear she was going to be huge. She said one of her main heroes was Gilda Radner (and husband Gene Wilder), and when I then predicted she'd be hosting SNL in a year, she dismissed it as a dream. I ended up being off by two months.
It's the start of a story as old as the city itself: girl moves to Hollywood, girl gets discovered, girl becomes a star. Emma Stone's origin story is no different. Plucked from relative obscurity, Stone received her big mainstream break in Judd Apatow's 2007 Superbad, opposite Jonah Hill and Micahel Cera, and has spent the past few years on a slow but steady incline with roles in The rocker, The House Bunny, and last year's Zombieland. But she's not just another pretty face who can handle Apatowian improv and land both scripted jokes and a multitude of hair colors. Stone aims to prove this with the forthcoming film, Easy A (a sort of teen-movie satire crammed into a remake of The Scarlet Letter), where she finally gets to take the lead.
Tell us about your family history.
My mom's side comes from the East Coast. My dad's side is Swedish. When they came through Ellis Island they changed our name to Stone. My grandfather is 100 per cent Swedish, but we're from Dutch Pennsylvania. So my mother used to take us to our ancestor's tombstones to do grave rubbing. She would talk about it all the time, and got into some weird family secret stuff, like family history that nobody wants you to know. Like, pretty recent family history, which is kind of crazy. But obviously I'm not going to talk about family secrets.
How old were you when you moved away from home to pursue acting?
Fifteen. I moved to LA. Last September I moved to New York. I've wanted to act for so long and I've done a lot of theater. I was a singing, dancing, performing, obnoxious, pain-in-the-ass kid.
People say that comedic acting can be harder than dramatic acting—have you found that to be the case?
It probably depends on the individual person, and their understanding and upbringing. My "nurture" was only comedy, but I think my nature was pretty serious. I was a very serious kid, so I took comedy very seriously.
Which do you find more challenging now?
Like I said, being dry is not my natural sensibility, so playing a dry comedic character is really hard for me, which is why all my characters end up being total goofball loons.
Do you write at all?
I edit myself constantly: when speaking, when thinking, and writing is even worse. Oh my God, I'm so E E Cummings. Rip it out, tear it up, burn it, it's gone. So most of my journals are empty.
So we're talking poetry?
It's not poetry; to call it poetry would be an insult to the word poetry. But that's my thing for me. Because whenever I have a thought, I can't help but express it, to people, out loud, immediately. I don't think before I speak. Ever. So the only time that I do something that stays with me tends to be when I write in my journals.
How are you finding carrying Easy A as the lead actor?
I think when you're used to going to a set every once in a while an djust doing your part, the idea of being there every day, all day, was daunting to say the least. But it was also a fascinating thing to do. I fell in love with the character I play, I read the script, I think, a year before it was even picked up [for filming]. I was the first person to audition and then it ended up working out. It's been a terrifying and exciting experience.