Emma Stone, born Emily Jean Stone, is an American actress as well as one of the highest paid actresses of 2015. Her fame increased tenfold when she appeared in the superhero film 'Spiderman' in 2012 and she is the proud owner of many prestigious awards, such as an Academy Award, BAFTA, Golden Globe and three Screen Actors Guild Awards. She is best known for her role in the films, 'Easy A', 'La La Land' and 'Crazy Stupid Love'.
Emma Stone was born in Scottsdale, Arizona to mother, Krista Jean Stone and father, Jefferey Charles Stone – the founder and CEO of a contracting company. She has one younger brother, Spence. She attended Sequoya Elementary School followed by Cocopah Middle School. Stone says despite her dislike for school she was always awarded all A’s due to her controlling nature. She describes herself as being “loud and bossy” while growing up.
Throughout her childhood, Stone suffered from panic attacks which caused her to be slightly withdrawn socially. Later, she learned that the best way to control these attacks was to participate in local theatre plays. She says, The first time I had a panic attack I was sitting in my friend’s house, and I thought the house was burning down. I called my mom and she brought me home, and for the next three years it just would not stop. I would go to the nurse at lunch most days and just wring my hands. I would ask my mom to tell me exactly how the day was going to be, then ask again 30 seconds later. I just needed to know that no one was going to die and nothing was going to change.‘
At the ripe age of four, Stone showed an interest in acting. When she was 11, she made her debut on the stage for the production of The Wind in the Willows whereby she playing the part of Otter.
She continued to star in 16 more on-stage productions at Phoenix’s Valley Youth Theatre after sixth grade.
It was also around that time that Stone travelled to Los Angeles and auditioned for Nickelodeon’s All That but did not get the part. After that, she enrolled in private acting lessons with a local acting coach. The actress then attended the all-girl Catholic high school, Xavier College Preparatory, but dropped out after one semester after successfully convincing her parents to let her move to California to pursue her dream. Thus, in 2004, she moved with her mother to an apartment in Los Angeles. She talks about her experience by saying, ‘I went up for every single show on the Disney Channel and auditioned to play the daughter on every single sitcom. I ended up getting none.’ While attending auditions, she completed her high school studies online and worked part-time at a dog-treat bakery.
When Stone started to take her acting career seriously, she wanted to register with the Screen Actors Guild as Emily Stone but the name had already been taken. She originally went with the name Riley Stone but later, changed it to Emma.
Her first television appearance was in 2004 on the reality TV show In Search of the New Partridge Family where she played the role of Laurie. The show however never went further than the pilot and was never sold. She then went on to star in the HBO show Lucky Louie. In 2007, she auditioned for a role in Heroes but was not given the part. She recalls this rejection as, “rock bottom”. In April 2007, she was cast in the TV show Drive – but the show was cancelled after seven episodes.
Stone’s career in film began later in 2007 when she starred in the film Superbad alongside Michael Cera and Jonah Hill. This film was a great success and earned her the Young Hollywood Award of Exciting New Face. In 2008, Stone appeared in the film The Rocker. She took on the role of Amelia Stone – a bass guitarist in a band. For this role, she learned how to play the instrument. The film however, was declared unsuccessful. Her next film was, The House Bunny, which turned out to be a commercial success. TV Guide’s Ken Fox described her performance in this film by saying, ‘She’s positively incandescent, lighting up a movie that would be pretty dim without her.’
In 2009, Stone starred in three films namely Ghost of Girlfriend’s Past, A Christmas Carol and Zombieland. The latter was declared the most successful of that year, bringing in a gross of $102.2 million. In 2010, she was the voice of an Australian shepherd in the film Marmaduke.
Later that year, she had her breakthrough role in the teen comedy film Easy A. She played the role of Olive Penderghast, a high school student subject to a vicious rumour. The film received positive reviews and she was given the comment that she gave “a terrific performance”.
After Easy A, Stone’s career took off. She was seen on Saturday Night Live, briefly in Friends with Benefits, as well as in the film, Crazy, Stupid, Love alongside Ryan Gosling. The latter landed her the Choice Movie Actress Comedy Award. In 2011, Stone was cast in the film, The Help. For this role, she had to perfect the ability to speak in a Southern dialect. This film was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Picture and won Best Ensemble Cast.
In 2012, Stone starred in the films, 21 Jump Street, Spider-Man and voiced a role in the video game, Sleeping Dogs. Her role as Mary-Jane, Peter Parker’s love interest in the film Spider-Man allowed her to be nominated for three awards at the People’s Choice Awards. The film was also announced as the seventh highest-grossing film of 2012.
In 2013, Stone voiced a character in the animated film, The Croods. She then went on to star in the films, Movie 43 and Gangster Squad. In 2014, she was back on-set for the sequel of Spider-Man, which earned her the Favourite Movie Actress award at the 2015 Kids’ Choice awards. Later that year, she starred in a Woody Allen film, Magic in the Moonlight – a moderate commercial success. Her last performance of 2014 was in the film, Birdman – which was awarded the title of the Most Successful Film at the 87th Academy Awards. It was nominated nine times, winning four times. She was also nominated for an Academy, a BAFTA, a Golden Globe, a Screen Actors Guild, and a Critics’ Choice Movie for Best Supporting Actress.
From the end of 2014 to the beginning of 2015, Stone was in the broadway musical, Cabaret. In 2015, she starred in the film Aloha alongside Bradley Cooper as well as a second Woody Allen film, Irrational Man alongside Joaquin Phoenix.
Stone then reunited with Ryan Gosling to star in the musical, La La Land, which was the opening film at the 2016 Venice Film Festival. The film received a considerable amount of positive reviews, and Stone was awarded a number of awards such as the Volpi Cup for Best Actress and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress, as well as an Oscar. The film earned over $340 million.
Stone has been considered one of her generation’s most talented actresses by several media publications. She appeared in Celebrity 100 by Forbes in 2013 as one of the most powerful people in the world. The same year, Forbes also ranked her number one in the Top 10 Best Value Stars.
Stone is not only a fantastic actress however. She is also considered a style icon. Her trademarks are her hair, eyes and husky voice. Vogue magazine credits her for her “sophisticated, perfectly put-together looks”. In 2009, she was featured in FHM’s 100 Sexiest Women in the World and Maxim’s Hot 100.
And while Stone is relatively scandal-free she was featured on many websites, including Perez Hilton, in 2012 with regards to a supposed sex tape leak. An insider revealed, ‘Emma Stone has a sex tape and that’s a fact. She made it long before she started dating Andrew Garfield. The tape remains in the hands of the person she made it with. There’s no way she would organise the release of the tape; in fact, she would fight to stop it. She has no respect for women like Kim Kardashian and Paris Hilton who became famous because they released a sex tape.’ Later, in 2014, an alleged naked selfie of the star surfaced. When asked about the image, Stone denied that it was her in the viral photo.
Stone has managed to keep her personal life under wraps throughout her successful career. She notes that media coverage has little value and for that reason, refuses to engage in any social media. She has however admitted her adoration for actress Diane Keaton and says that she finds inspiration in singer-songwriter Marion Cotillard.
Stone has a close relationship with her family. Her mother was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer that was cured in 2008. The mother and daughter then got birds’ feet tattooed on them, designed by Paul McCarthy, to celebrate the news.
The tattoo represents the love they both share for The Beatle’s song ‘Blackbird’. Stone enjoys participating in a number of breast cancer awareness initiatives.
She has been in the spotlight numerous times for her relationship with Andrew Garfield. The pair met on the set of Spider-Man in 2010 and persisted to have an ‘on again, off again’ relationship. Now, it has been said that they pair are no longer together.
Written by: Helena Lorimer