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.”
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.