Emma Stone is Easy to Talk To
In the new, edgy high school comedy Easy A, loosely based on The Scarlet Letter, Emma Stone plays Olive, a good student/good girl who agrees to help out a male pal by pretending to hook up with him to build his rep with his buds. It works great but the word spreads that Olive is easy and more. How does she beat the rep and get the guy of her dreams? Check out the film opening September 17.
Emma Stone in Easy A
Kidzworld is at the 4 Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills for a sit down with Emma who is always friendly and ready to spill all! With her red hair up and wearing a dark, flower-patterned dress by McQ, the star looks very Hollywood glam. We like her mauve nail polish and big, gold, filigree disc earrings.
As Emma comes in for our chat about her role and more, we notice that the petite girl is suddenly at least as tall as we are. It's her six-inch (at least) beige platform stilettos by Valentino! She puts down her coffee and models them for us.
Emma: Tallest shoes I've ever worn in my life! Wanna know how tall I really am? This is messed up. Check this out [she takes off the shoes and sinks about a foot. We laugh].
Kidzworld: So, did you read Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter to prep for this role?
Emma: No. It's embarrassing to say but I cannot tell a lie. I did not. Here's how I'll justify it. Once I got the part, it was go time. We were starting about two weeks after I wrapped Zombieland so, to me, it was so important to have the script completely memorized before we started like you would a play or something so I was so obsessed with reading the script over and over and getting those words down that there were no other books I was reading at the time.
Kidzworld: Did books effect you a lot as a tween or teen?
Emma: When you're a teenager or when you're young, do you remember when you read books or watched movies or listened to music and you made it apply to your life no matter what it was? You're like, “Oh, this book really gets me.” Or, “The Beatles really understand me, specifically” [we laugh]. You made it your own.
Kidzworld: When you were a teen, were you in the "let's not and say we did" group of girls?
Emma: Well, I didn't have that traditional high-school experience and I was kind of on my own. I was in L.A. and most of my friends from theater were a bit older than me and in college or whatever. When I was 16 I was friends with some of the people I'm friends with now, and it was a different thing. I talked to my mom more about stuff like that than I did my friends because I wasn't really hanging out with girls my age. So, that [doing it or not] was really more a conversation between my mom and I so you can probably tell where I fell in what category [laughter].
Kidzworld: Did you do anything when you were a teen to get attention, because Olive likes the attention she is getting for a while?
Emma: Only theater and what I do now [laughs]. I was such a ham...such a ham [she rolls her eyes]. I was awful! Oh my God, always loud. I was that kid.
Kidzworld: With friends or out in public? Would you be at the mall and suddenly just break into song?
Emma: Oh no, no, definitely not that. That would be embarrassing but it was with friends. I was pretty hammy. But, this hopefully, has curbed. When I was a kid I was also bossy and that's a bad combination; a hammy, bossy kid. So, my mom tried to get that out of me pretty quickly.
Kidzworld: Are you the oldest child?
Emma: Yeah and my brother is just so sweet. He's great and quiet and I've always wanted to be more like him; only speak when you have something really important to say. I'm just like, “Wa, wa, wa, wa, wa,” and none of it matters.
Kidzworld: We've talked before and I think you were home-schooled. Did you ever have the chance to be the "cool girl," the "drama girl" or anything?
Emma: Yes, I was home-schooled so all of the above. I didn't really have a traditional high-school experience. I did go to a high school for a semester of my freshman year but it wasn't really long enough to be able to gage all that.
Kidzworld: So then was it difficult to get into this character not having a high-school experience?
Emma: Not really because I didn't feel it was a high-school movie per se. We're not really dealing with any of the traditional things; [kwlink 23911]graduation or prom[/kwlink] or any of the rights of passage of high school. It was more a story about reputation and technology [fast rumor spreading] and judgment and it just happened to be through the eyes of a 17-year-old girl but you don't really see us doing too much “school-ish” stuff even though we're in the hallways a lot.
Kidzworld: That's true. But, as a young actor, you go through a similar thing; you're always being scrutinized by the media and your reputation is kind of out there for better or worse. Can you relate to it on that level?
Emma: Probably. There's definitely an element of that. I wouldn't say as much personally because my life is a pretty standard, livable life. There's a lot of other actresses my age that wouldn't be able to say that so I'm lucky but I've seen that happen.
Kidzworld: This is really your film. Did you feel extra pressure or go about it like any acting role?
Emma: For me it was less about the size of the role and trying to bring Olive to life in the most accurate way I could to the script. That pressure was what I was thinking about. It wasn't how many lines there were or how many scenes I was in, it was more playing her accurately and making sure that she stayed how she was on the page because she was so fleshed out and fantastic in writing. I don't know if I did her justice but I tried. [we tell her she did].
Kidzworld: Was the family dog in the film as lovable as he looked?
Emma: Yes. It had halitosis, so incredibly lovable...but smelly!
Kidzworld: We understand that you went home after your audition for the part and made a webcam video? Was that just on your own?
Emma: No. [Director] Will [Gluck] asked me to do that.
Kidzworld: It worked great. You're a computer person, right?
Emma: Big time, yeah. But I was horrified when he asked me, “Can you go home after you've been working on this audition and memorizing these things, can you go home and send me a webcam of you?” I was like, “Oh God.” Because it's one thing in the audition room when you're like, “Oh, I wish I hadn't done that but they're making me leave.” When you go home and you have to record yourself and have so many opportunities to watch it again and beat yourself up and delete it and do it again and again and again before you finally send it in, it feel like you put a stamp on it, “This is what I think is the best thing I could do.” It was the first monologue of the movie. It was like a minute long.
Kidzworld: Are you on Facebook and do you tweet?
Emma: No. I love it. I completely understand it. I was into websites when I was a kid, making them and I thought that was what I wanted to do but that was 1999 and 2000 and there weren't blogs yet. It was the age of e-zines; you would sign up and get them in your email. It was just when Flash had come around and I was dabbling in Flash but it's such a complicated program so I kind of faded out.
Kidzworld: So, you love computers and the Internet but no Facebook or tweeting? I'm confused.
Emma: Social networking and blogs are so fascinating to me but I have an addictive personality and the second I get involved in something like that it will consume me. I didn't want to be consumed by Twitter. I didn't want to be a slave to Twitter so I've had to limit myself and have a little phone detox time and take a little hit of IM once in a while.
Kidzworld: In Easy A, you have an amazing musical number, dancing and singing in a bustier and black hose. How hard was that to shoot for you? Was it kind of embarrassing?
Emma: It was a little interesting being dressed like that and singing and dancing in front of your peers but I must admit it was actually pretty fun because I grew up doing musical theater so, even though I'm not really a big singer or dancer anymore, it was fun to get to do that. My "hammy' side is coming back in.
Kidzworld: What interested you about the character of Olive?
Emma: Everything. I thought she was just layered and realistic and funny, clever and confused and, the story that she goes through was very interesting to me thematically and her relationship with her parents and her friends and how she takes the matter into her own hands [was great]. Usually a false rumor gets started about you and all you want to do is deny it and she decides to take it to the next level and see what it's like to go for it full-throttle because she knows the truth. And, I like that she was bold enough to know that if it's not hurting anybody, then why does it matter? When it starts to hurt people, that's when things start to spiral out of control but, when it's only her dealing with it, she just has fun with it and is a confident girl that knows herself well enough to know the truth and be comfortable with that.
Lynn Barker, an editor and entertainment journalist for several websites, magazines and newspapers, has been active in the entertainment industry for many years.