Emma Stone felt ‘overwhelmed & terrified’ when she started to become famous


For whatever record, I don’t hate the fact that Emma Stone is likely edging out Natalie Portman in the Best Actress race. I don’t hate the fact that Emma is out there, campaigning like a madwoman. I don’t hate that she sees an opening and she’s taking advantage of it. She’s ambitious, smart and talented, and I do think we could all use more Emma Stones in the world. So what do I dislike? I don’t know. I kind of wish this major push for Emma was for a better role. I saw La La Land and I came away impressed with Ryan Gosling and Damien Chazelle’s directing with such a modest budget. The script has issues, and one of the big issues is that Emma’s character is so thinly drawn. She does what she can with the part, but I disliked the stereotypical “actress-y actress” character so much that it’s tainted her performance for me.

Anyway, Emma covers the new issue of The Hollywood Reporter. This piece is completely and totally by-the-books. Leonardo DiCaprio did a bunch of these “the struggle to make ~~” pieces last year. To be fair to Emma, she’s not trying to paint herself as the most struggling actress to ever struggle, but I dislike how it feels like every Oscar-campaigning actor and director feels the need to paint themselves as the ultimate underdog. You can read the full piece here. Some highlights:

She was interviewed before the Oscar noms came out: She was trying “not to think about the Oscars…I’m sure somebody will call me and let me know what happens in the morning. Probably my mom — it always tends to be my mom.” Then, she quickly adds, “not that I’m expecting to get nominated. It could easily go the other way. Anything can happen.”

The film is huge: “I’ve never been part of anything like it. I mean, we went to Venice with Birdman…but nothing like this. This is a new world. I’m not complaining because I love this film — it’s fun to talk about it — but I’ve been doing interviews about this movie for almost six months.”

On meeting with director Damien Chazelle: “I was very sick. My voice was gone, and I was struggling to get through the shows — I was still doing Cabaret — and the idea of doing another musical was like, ‘You’ve got to be out of your mind.’ After Cabaret, I wasn’t sure I would ever sing or dance again.”

She moved to New York just as she broke into Hollywood: “I started to feel overwhelmed by the energy of Hollywood,” she explains of her decision in 2009, at 21, to flee to the East Coast, where she still lives in an apartment downtown. “I would go places, and all anybody could talk about was the entertainment industry. I just felt too surrounded by that. Losing my anonymity after Easy A, it was like being 7 years old all over again. It terrified me.”

She gets crazy nervous before speaking to the press: “Before any interview, I have to sit with myself for five minutes and breathe and get centered because I get so nervous. Interviews are kind of like therapy, except all your answers are being written down and printed. I always want to be on the other side of it. I don’t want to be deconstructed for millions. I’d rather do the deconstructing.”

[From The Hollywood Reporter]

See, there’s nothing really to complain about with Emma’s interviews. She’s professional, confessional, unassuming, humble and kind. It’s great that she’s talking about her anxiety and panic attacks, but I feel like I’ve read those quotes about a million times in the last six months. Still, I wonder. I wonder if the La La Land backlash will come, or if it’s already here. I wonder if Emma is tired of campaigning while Ryan Gosling does next to nothing (to be fair, he’s working on another film right now). Anyway… what do you think? Does she have this in the bag?


Photos courtesy of The Hollywood Reporter.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

18 Responses to “Emma Stone felt ‘overwhelmed & terrified’ when she started to become famous”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. teacakes says:

    To be fair to her, the anxiety and panic attacks disclosure isn’t a new one pulled up especially for Oscar – she’s been talking about it since all the way back in 2012, circa Spider-man.

    Also I don’t mind the idea of her winning, she’s not nearly as obnoxious as Natalie Portman on the campaign trail (she went to Harvard! And wanted to be ‘smart’ and not a movie star! Did you know that?! Here, let someone remind you again!)

  2. JulP says:

    What’s annoying to me is how coy she is (like seriously girl, you knew you were gonna get an Oscar nomination, you’ve been campaigning harder than anyone and you’re clearly the frontrunner). And her SAG speech was ridiculous. Again, she knew she would probably win, so why wouldn’t she have a speech prepared? It seemed forced to me, to make her appear “relatable” or something.

    I, for one, am annoyed that she’s the frontunner, as she was out-acted by everyone in the category (even Natalie, although I wasn’t blown away by her performance). I also hate how she benefits from being thought of as everyone’s “best friend/harmless” actress, like JLaw, even though she has made some very questionable choices (such as working with Woody Allen twice). Actresses like Cate Blanchett get raked over the coals for working with Allen (and Cate worked with him before Dylan’s letter, unlike Emma), yet Emma gets a pass for some reason.

    • Alleycat says:

      I agree on all of this. I don’t dislike Emma, but I don’t like her either. I find her pretty disingenuous. I really hope she doesn’t win an oscar this year at least. La La Land is like Silver Linings Playbook, soooo overhyped and dramatic without the need to be.

      • SwanLake says:

        Alleycat, I’m with you on this. I’m trying to like her, but it hasn’t happened yet. I really don’t like watching her onscreen.

  3. perplexed says:

    I don’t think she’s untalented, but at the present moment it does weird to my ears to hear “Oscar Winner Emma Stone.” I can’t put my finger on why though.

    “Oscar Winner Natalie Portman” has sounded annoying to me since she won, but because she was always predicted from the age of 12 to join the elites of whatever, I guess it never struck me as odd to see her actually get one, even though I don’t think she’s extremely talented and find her fairly unlikable at times.

    Maybe Emma Stone still registers to me in the Rachel McAdams category of being talented, but not someone you automatically register in your mind as being able to win an Oscar. Again, I don’t know why, given Stone’s desire to succeed in the business (similar to J-Law’s ambition, I suppose).

    I don’t dislike Emma Stone either.

    • Steph says:

      I dont dislike her either but its weird that she gets all these roles. I like her in easy A and in most of her comedy roles but i never like her a this serious actress, shes just not that good.

      • perplexed says:

        I think there’s something about the way she speaks through her teeth that makes her good for comedy roles, but makes me not forget she’s Emma Stone when she does dramatic ones.

    • teacakes says:

      I suspect it has something to do with the fact that Stone made her name in comedies, which tends to translate to “not ‘serious actress’ Oscar-winning material”.

      I mean, Portman is awful when she tries to be funny in film and is at best a limited dramatic actress, but her credentials were never questioned. Meanwhile, Stone has to step up off a perception of being a comparative lightweight (because ‘comedy actress’) whose movie in contention is lightweight in genre (musical), and her turn to more dramatic roles is a recent-years thing.

      • frisbee says:

        Particularly as many, many actors (at least here in the UK) never tire of saying how comedy is much harder than straight acting, not all actors are born with comic timing

  4. Steph says:

    I hope isabelle huppert gets the oscar.

    • JulP says:

      Same, she was AMAZING in Elle! And Paul Verhoeven said he didn’t direct her *at all* in that movie. Everything you see was 100% her choice. If the Oscars were based on merit, she would definitely win.

    • teacakes says:

      I would live for that, omg.

  5. Neelyo says:

    I predict an upset in Best Actress. Don’t know who but i bet it won’t be Stone.

  6. Kdawg says:

    I generally find her to be as overrated as I find Jennifer Lawrence (with the exception of Lawrence in Winter’s Bone). They are beautiful young women, ingenues to be sure, but I search for and cannot find the talent that I often read about in some very earnest reviews. Jennifer Lawrence is compelling because she is so interesting looking, but her acting does not compel me to any real depth of response. Neither have I found Emma Stone’s performances to be terribly nuanced or moving. I don’t like this feeling, either, because I feel like I’m really wrong or hateful or something, but I just do not like her acting. At all. AT ALL.

  7. Lucy says:

    I did love La La Land, really enjoyed myself and was pleasantly surprised by (spoiler?) how realistic the story was, as I was expecting a fairy-tale type of story. As for the cast, Ryan was the standout to me. I liked Emma a lot as well, it’s just that I don’t think this will be the role she’ll be remembered for. I absolutely believe she’s deserving of being nominated and also winning, but I don’t know if for this particular movie (although, let’s be honest, the statue is pretty much hers by now).

  8. Bex says:

    She’s almost a lock for the Oscar now, JLaw charming ingenue style. I think Huppert is the only one who could pull an upset now but she’ll probably be the Emmanuelle Riva of this season unfortunately. That’s a great cover shot of Emma though, really striking.

  9. perplexed says:

    I wonder if her SAG speech might hurt her chances.

  10. Disco Dancer says:

    Emma stone has the career that Lindsay Lohan was once predicted to have.