Having enjoyed pretty much the definition of a meteoric rise to fame, you could maybe forgive Emma Stone for having lost the run of herself. But just as her big-screen persona is usually based on being the approachable, down-to-earth, girl-next-door type, in person she demonstrates many of those qualities too, along with an absolute refusal to take herself too seriously. It made for an entertaining interview at the Berlin Film Festival following the premiere of her animated film “The Croods” (our review here). And if some members of our small press group were not just eating out of her hand, but apparently longing to curl up in her lap and go to sleep there by the end of our time with her, in between the various "Why are you so awesome?"-style questions, Stone did fill us in quite a bit on her philosophy towards her career to date, her role models and what the future holds. And if she has been taught to be a little cagey in some areas, she admitted as much saying, “This is what ‘Spider-Man’ does to you I’m always like ‘I don’t know if I can tell you about that, you’ll have to wait and see.’ About everything. ‘Would you like some water?’ ‘I dunno, you’ll have to wait and see…’ ”
Here’s the interview more or less in full, which, professional reticence aside, was mostly candid and insightful, and anyway, girl gets our vote for namechecking Billy Wilder’s “The Apartment” in such a specific way.
The experience was a lot more like traditional acting than I expected. I thought I was just gonna be in a booth “doing a cartoon voice.” I mean, the first year of the project – because you only go in once every couple of months, it’s the easiest, most fun job in the world – I would go in and I was voicing Eep like [perky, high-pitched] “Hi! Ok! Great! Suuper” in this higher cartoonish register. And then once I saw the animation and I saw her build, you know, she just felt like she had a lower register, so I ended up having to make it a lot truer to life.
Do you think you can interpret “The Croods” as politically or ideologically standing against conservatism? [???!?]
I have literally no idea what you’re talking about. It’s...
Yes, very much so. I have a friend who says that roles choose you at the time that you need them most, and you have to believe, as an actor, if you didn’t get a part that you really, really wanted and it went to someone else, it was because it was theirs to begin with. Just like a relationship, if you don’t end up with that person that you thought was the love of your life and they fell in love with someone else, they weren’t yours, it wasn’t meant to be. So the roles that have come into my life have taught me – and in that time period maybe I didn’t even know it but whatever came up or whatever it is that you have to express at that time, has benefitted me in a particular way.
One of those parts that got away was the cheerleader in “Heroes,” right?
Yeah, I think maybe everyone, unless you’re like super-lucky and got a job your first time out, can relate to going and going and going and hearing no again and again and again and the reason “Heroes” was tough was because I could hear them through the wall telling Hayden Panettiere, “you got the part, you’re the best!” and then I went in right after her. And I was just, like “Fuck, man, is it always just gonna be no, no, no, it’s never gonna be the time?” And then two weeks later I got ”Superbad” and that changed my entire life. It was my first movie and it changed everything and that’s why I say that part was meant to be hers, and there were other roles I’ve auditioned for too that were not meant to be mine.
So does that mean you don't have any regrets?
When I look back I don’t have regrets. In the moment I am really, really hard on myself, I’m definitely my own worst critic and can be my own worst enemy, and I’m trying very hard not to be that. Because it’s so shitty to have a voice in your head that’s saying mean stuff to you. It’s not productive. But when I look back it’s funny, because even if in that moment I’m being hard on myself, I really don’t have any regrets because it got me here and I really am so grateful and appreciative to be where I am, and obviously it couldn’t have happened any other way because it didn’t happen any other way.