If you haven’t heard of actress Emma Stone, you’ve missed some great movies over the last ten years. From gross out comedy Superbad to mega blockbuster The Amazing Spiderman, sassy satire Easy A and apocalypse romp Zombieland, she’s given film fans some iconic moments. And her star continues to rise. At the moment, Hollywood’s favorite redhead is acting her socks off in Cary Fukunaga’s dystopian drama Maniac. As Annie Landsberg - a woman who turns to experimental drugs to help her cope with family trauma – Stone is electric. At turns surly, whip smart and intensely vulnerable, she speaks volumes with a curl of the lip or raise of a brow. Emma Stone is one of the most recognizable actresses on the planet. However, there’s plenty still to learn about this most unique of movie stars:
1. Her Name Isn’t Emma
Say it ain’t so! The Emma we’ve come to know and love…isn’t really an Emma at all? Luckily, the actress stayed close to home with her ‘showbiz’ name. She’s actually Emily Jean Stone, rather than Emma Stone. When joining the Screen Actors Guild, she found out her name was already taken. As per the rules of Hollywood, there can only be one. So, the name Emma Stone was born. For a while, she tried to go by ‘Riley Stone’ but found it too distracting on set. During a bit part on Malcolm of the Middle, she kept missing her cues after forgetting to answer to the name. At home, among friends and family, she’s known as Emily and admits to missing her real moniker.
2. She’s Not from a Showbiz Family
Many actors are from showbiz dynasties, with parents, siblings and grandparents all performers or artists of some kind. Not Emma Stone though. She’s the first of her family to find fame or work as a performer. Her parents are both blue collar workers.
3. She’s Got Swedish Ancestry
One thing Emma has in common with lots of other celebs is a diverse ancestry. Like Taylor Swift, Julia Roberts and Matt Damon, her family has ties to Sweden. In fact, her paternal grandfather was one of millions of immigrants to enter the United States through Ellis Island, the country’s infamous visitor processing center. Stone is not her family’s original name. As was common on Ellis Island, her grandfather’s surname was anglicized. Emma also has Scottish, Irish, English and German blood from the maternal side of the family.
4. She Has Damaged Vocal Chords
Aside from being exquisitely beautiful, Emma is also admired for her trademark husky voice. She claims it’s the result of chronic colic as a baby. According to the actress, she would cry intensely for hours at a time and, eventually, this caused nodules to develop in her throat. It still causes her problems to this day, especially when filming scenes which require screaming. She says she loses her voice on a regular basis due to the fact her vocal chords have been calloused since childhood. Not to worry Emma, it’s one of your most intriguing and alluring features!
5. She’s Not a Natural Redhead (No, Really)
Lots of people were very surprised (and a bit disappointed) to find out Emma Stone is not a natural redhead. Though she suits the color like no other, her real shade is blonde. The director of Superbad, Judd Apatow, takes credit for persuading Stone to go red. It turned out to be an inspired move. Stone is mesmerizing onscreen and such a convincing redhead that it took years for fans to realize she was faking it.
6. She Moved to LA with Her Mother
Emma moved from Arizona to Los Angeles in 2004, after dropping out of Catholic school to pursue a career in acting. Her mother accompanied her, having been won over by a presentation her daughter made titled ‘Project Hollywood.’ It detailed all the reasons her parents should let her move to California. Though the actress’s parents have no real experience of show business, they have always been remarkably supportive of their little girl.
7. She Worked in a Dog Food Factory
Success took it’s time for Emma. She may be a big star now, but she had to do a lot of hard work to make it happen. After moving to Los Angeles, the actress worked a slew of odd jobs to fund her fledgling career. One such job was a part time role at a dog bakery. Rather hilariously, Stone lost the position after started to complain. They called the taste of her dog treats ‘horrid’ and said their pets refused to eat them.
8. It Took 8 Months In Los Angeles to Get a Role
Emma spent eight months auditioning for as many roles as possible. She suffered a lot of rejection and, at several points, doubted whether she’d ever make it in Hollywood. After a long line of failed attempts, however, she landed a job on The New Partridge Family. The show is a rough remake of seventies hit The Partridge Family. Stone plays Laurie Partridge, a talented piano player who juggles performing with the challenges of growing up in a musical family.
9. She was Rejected for NBC Show Heroes
The actress says one of the toughest moments of her early career was being rejected for the role of Claire Bennet in Heroes. The show would go on to be a massive hit, with Hayden Panettiere cast in the part. Emma says, after her audition, she heard executives telling Panettiere she was their first choice to play Claire. She was so upset she went home and cried. Thankfully, it wouldn’t be long before she met Judd Apatow and got her first big break.
10. She Has No High School Experiences
Ironically, considering she’s starred in several iconic teen movies, Stone has no real experience of high school. She was home schooled from the age of twelve onwards, so she never even went to one. It makes her acting skills seem even more impressive.
11. She Won’t Call Easy A a ‘Teen Movie’
Perhaps unsurprisingly then, Stone doesn’t like to label her earlier films as simply ‘teen dramas.’ When it comes to Easy A – a whip smart comedy about a girl who tells a little lie – she prefers to call it a story of reputation and miscommunication.
12. Roger Ebert Expected Emma To Be a Star
She could be right about Easy A having more depth than your average teen drama. Lauded critic Robert Ebert praised the movie and, in particular, Stone’s witty turn as Olive Penderghast. He called Stone ‘underrated’ and predicted the movie would make her a household name. He wasn’t wrong. She would win a Golden Globe and legions of new fans.
13. She Won’t Fall Back On Her Good Looks
Despite having a tough start, Emma says she turned down multiple roles because they cast her as nothing more than a pretty face. She has always wanted a career in comedies and has fought hard to be taken seriously as a comedic actress. It’s nice to see all that hard work paying off! Stone received an MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Actress and a Teen Choice Award for Movie Actress in a Romantic Comedy. Not only that, but she was nominated for five more major awards, one of which was a Golden Globe for Best Actress in a Comedy.
14. She Didn’t Know She Had Asthma
While filming Easy A in 2010, Emma suffered a small asthma attack. Thankfully, the cast and crew were on hand to help the actress recover. It gave her a real fight though, because she wasn’t aware she had the condition. According to Stone, it happened on the second day of shooting. She was instructed to jump, yell and scream take after take. The demanding scene took its toll on her lungs and filming had to be stopped. She describes the incident as humiliating, but we reckon she’s being too hard on herself. When you’ve got to wheeze, you’ve got to wheeze.
15. She Has a Beatles Themed Tattoo
Emma has a tattoo on the inside of one wrist. It’s a simple line drawing of two birds’ feet. They’re actually blackbirds and a reference to her mother’s favourite song, Blackbird by the Beatles. Her mother has the exact same tattoo. As if this story couldn’t get any more adorable, wait until you hear what Stone did to get the perfect tattoo for her mom. She wrote to Paul McCartney and asked him to draw the birds’ feet. He sent back a sketch and the rest is, as they say, inky history.
16. She Stayed Close Pals with Jonah Hill
In 2007, Emma Stone starred alongside Jonah Hill in riotous teen comedy Superbad. At the time of release, both actors were unknown in Hollywood. The movie would propel them into the spotlight and spark an enduring friendship. It’s been twelve years since that first meeting, but Stone and Hill remain staunch friends. In fact, they can’t stop gushing about how good it is to reunite onscreen in Maniac. Hill describes Emma Stone as ‘so good’ and ‘so brilliant.’
17. She Has a Pretty Weird Phobia
During filming of Crazy, Stupid Love, Emma performed a scene in which she was lifted high over Ryan Gosling’s head (a la Dirty Dancing). Unfortunately, she had an unexpected meltdown after experiencing flashbacks to the time she broke both arms as a child. She said she didn’t know she was afraid of being lifted until it was happening. It was no fun for Gosling either. The actress panicked and began to claw at his eyes until he let go. He likened her to ‘a possum falling out of a tree,’ but forgave her freak out.
18. She Was One Half of a Power Couple
When Emma Stone started dating Spiderman star Andrew Garfield, the world let out a collective sigh. Two beautiful people, with beautiful careers, just living their best lives in Tinseltown – what could be more adorable? Sadly, the fairy tale didn’t last. Stone and Garfield split in 2015, after more than four years together. Despite their break up, they’re still giving the world serious ‘couples goal’ vibes. When they meet at showbiz events, the pair are friendlier than ever. They describe each other as very special and continue to be close friends. At the Golden Globes, Garfield leapt to his feet to give his former love a standing ovation.
19. She Has a Passion for Journalism
When asked what she’d be doing if she weren’t acting, Stone replied that she’d like to be a journalist. According to the clever clogs star, the worlds of drama and journalism are more similar than people think. She says ‘it’s the same kind of idea, because you’re analyzing people and figuring out how they work.’
20. She Believes in Being True to the Real You
Emma Stone says the best piece of advice she has received is to ‘stay irrepressibly true to yourself and be tenacious about finding ways to manifest the real you.’ We think she’s doing a truly wonderful job. There’s nobody quite like Emma around right now. Whether she’s cracking us up in The House Bunny, inspiring us to look deeper in The Help or taking us on a gory adventure in Zombieland, Emma Stone is one of a kind. We hope to see her on the big (and small) screen for a long time to come.
So, now you know more about the wonderful Emma Stone than you ever thought possible! We bet you’re still entranced. Although her hair color and first name are too good to be true, her acting ability certainly is not. Just check out her filmography for a little inspiration. Anybody fancy a night on the sofa with La La Land? We’ll grab the popcorn.
Written by Garrett Parker
Read more posts by Garrett Parker