Because she’s a spunky, pretty redhead in a high school comedy, Emma’s breakthrough performance in Easy A is naturally being compared to Lindsay’s own star-making turn in Mean Girls — but she’s already twice the actress that Lindsay ever was!
I’ve got some serious advice for you, HollywoodLifers, so listen closely. GO SEE EASY A NOW. You won’t regret it. In fact, you’ll probably thank me for pushing you into the movie theatre on a beautiful fall day as soon as you realize how utterly fantastic breakout star Emma Stone is; she is THE reason to see this film and, in my opinion, Hollywood’s newest “It” girl!
Before I continue, I have to clear one thing: Emma is no Lindsay Lohan. Yes, both girls are redheaded, freckled, funny and have starred in high school comedies, but the similarities end there. Sure, Lindsay — who was arrested for the umpteenth time today after failing yet another drug test – did have talent once upon a time, but she couldn’t carry the 2004 comedy Mean Girls the way that Emma, 21, rules Easy A. Tina Fey wrote Mean Girls‘ hilarious script and a slew of Saturday Night Live stars like Ana Gasteyer, Amy Poehler and Tim Meadows helped to give her credibility as a comedienne. All she had to do as formerly home-schooled teenager Cady Heron was sit there, look pretty and say “shut up” — a lot.
But Emma is a different story entirely. Easy A is amazing BECAUSE of her, not because it’s such such a fabulous film by itself. She is equal parts funny, fabulous, touching and REAL — I got a sense that this whole semi-ridiculous story about a high school student that pretends to have sex with losers to amp their street cred (she’s like Rob Hood, if Robin was a fake de-virginizer) could have actually happened in reality. She brings real warmth and originality to Olive Penderghast, a senior who gets branded a slut after accidentally telling her best friend (Aly Michalka) she had lost her V card to a random guy. After being a branded a harlot by the student body, Olive has no problem helping gay schoolmate Brandon (Cougar Town’s Dan Byrd) by pretending to deflower him. However, things soon escalate beyond her control and she realizes that, like the boy who cried wolf, no one believes her when she insists she isn’t the slew-bag she pretended to be…especially after she starts accepting gift cards from Home Depot for “services rendered.” To further alienate herself, she starts wearing corsets to school and sewing a red “A” on her clothing to ape The Scarlet Letter’s wrongfully accused protagonist, Hester Prynne (not-so-coincidentally she happens to be ready Nathaniel Hawthorne’s classic while her situation occurs).
The plot sounds kind of funny, but also kind of silly, right? Trust me, Emma makes the movie magic. But if you need other reasons to shell out the big bucks at the theatre this weekend, here they are!
* Easy A is one big, old love letters to John Hughes movies! If you love the ’80s, this is the film for you! There are nods to The Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Sixteen Candles and Say Anything – including Penn Badgley’s adorable boombox-holding window scene (you’ll know what I mean when you see the film)!
* Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson are LOL-funny as Olive’s parents, Dill and Rosemary. Seriously, you can only dream about having parents this cool and funny. Spoiler alert: Rosemary was a pretty loose lady in high school herself!
* Penn Badlgey. After years of appearing as annoying, arty Brooklynite Dan Humphrey on Gossip Girl, only now do I get Penn’s sex appeal. He’s utterly endearing as Olive’s sweet, cool love interest, Woodchuck Todd, a guy who refuses there’s anything less than awesome about his dream girl. Plus, I kind of enjoyed the indignity of seeing him in a woodchuck costume instead of skinny jeans.
* Emma Stone, Emma Stone, Emma Stone. Sorry, guys, I couldn’t resist.
This film certainly isn’t as flawless as it’s star. Aly Michalka is deeply annoying as Olive’s BFF Rihannon and there was absolutely NO need to have such a dumb subplot about a religious freak (Amanda Bynes) who tries to save Olive from herself. Still, I’ll be seeing this movie again – and again and again and again. I literally can’t wait to see what the sensational Ms. Stone does next. Trust me, she’s no flash in the proverbial pan a la Lindsay Lohan.
I have just added 5 photos of Emma Stone from two different photo sessions! She looks so amazing in them!
The kids at Ojai North High School don’t know a good thing when they see one. Why else would they treat Olive Penderghast, the adorable and self-aware 17-year-old at the center of the morality farce Easy A, as if she barely exists?
Or, as Olive says in her Gen Facebook jargon, “If Google Earth were a guy, he couldn’t find me if I was dressed up as a 10-story building.”
But all it takes is one little white lie about sleeping with a community-college boy and, as quick as you can text “OMG,” she has been declared the school slut — which she cleverly uses to her own advantage.
Turning Hollywood heads
As for the 21-year-old who plays her, the bewitching Emma Stone had only to snag the right lead role to catch Hollywood’s attention after stand-out supporting parts in such humorous fare as Superbad, The House Bunny and Zombieland.
Perfect crimson-coated smile, blue-green saucer eyes, red mermaid hair, slim body and a throaty laugh — little wonder such lad mags as Maxim and FHM put her on hot lists.
Holding court on an outdoor terrace, Stone is like a queen accepting suitors instead of a rising starlet being grilled by the press. Platters of fresh fruit and gourmet cookies come and go, but not before she indulges in each with gusto as she charms her steady stream of visitors.
Turns out Stone’s plane landed at 5 a.m. and she’ll have to take off right after Easy A’s world premiere that night so she can appear on MTV’s Video Music Awards with close friend Taylor Swift the next day. That’ll be followed by Easy A’s L.A. premiere. (Her hard work paid off as the teen comedy held in there against crime drama The Town, coming in at No. 2.)
“I can see how tired I am for sure,” says the actress, waving away remarks to the contrary. But when your dreams are coming true, who needs sleep?
The Scottsdale, Ariz., native knew she wanted to be an actress even as a child. For two years starting in sixth grade, Stone was home-schooled while performing in local productions of Cinderella, The Wizand Alice in Wonderland.
She eventually resorted to a PowerPoint presentation to convince her parents that she should leave high school after one semester as a freshman and head to Los Angeles to pursue an acting career.
What sold them? “A lot of alliteration,” she says. “A pretty interesting wipe (film lingo for a fancy transition from one scene to another). Music.” Specifically, Madonna’s Hollywood. “She does not know that she is indirectly responsible for me being here today.”
A person more directly responsible is Will Gluck, Easy A’s director. Stone was the first hopeful to audition (“I made sure I was,” she says) and nabbed it after taping her own version of Olive’s webcam confessional. “She has the innate ability to play six or seven different emotions all at once — hot, cold, happy, sad, angry, funny, upset,” he said in an earlier phone interview.
Easy A is only the beginning of Stone’s current roll. Coming next spring is Crazy, Stupid Love opposite Steve Carell, Julianne Moore and Ryan Gosling. Down the road is The Croods, a DreamWorks computer-animated caveman comedy.
‘Help’ is on the way
But Stone’s highest-profile project is the drama she is shooting in Greenwood, Miss.: The Help, based on the best seller about black maids in the ’60s as the civil rights movement heats up. She dons a curly blond wig and 3-inch lifts to play Skeeter, the writer who tells the women’s story.
And this Gilda Radner worshiper will get her ultimate wish and host Saturday Night Live on Oct. 23. “Shhh,” Stone says when the subject is brought up. “My eyes are starting to water. I will totally cry.” Asked if that’s because she is happy, Stone enthuses, “Oh, my God, you have no idea.”
The Box-Office Top Five
#1 “The Town” ($23.8 million)
#2 “Easy A” ($18.2 million)
#3 “Devil” ($12.6 million)
#4 “Resident Evil: Afterlife” ($10.1 million)
#5 “Alpha and Omega” ($9.2 million)
In a weekend stacked with new movies, the bank-robbery action pic “The Town” ran the box office. The film, which took the top spot on Friday, roped in an estimated $23.8 million, a showing that has probably eased the mind of director Ben Affleck, who once told MTV News that he felt “a huge amount of pressure” crafting the flick.
The high-school laugh-getter “Easy A,”, received decent marks from audiences, coming in at #2. The teen-friendly comedy, driven by rising screen star “Emma Stone, who fought through an asthma attack to complete one of the film’s pretend-sex scenes, rang up $18.2 million in ticket sales.
M. Night Shyamalan’s latest project “Devil,” featuring a crew of strangers trapped in an elevator as creepy stuff goes down in the confined space, nabbed the third-place slot. The thriller, which even gets a few screams out of Shyamalan, posted $12.6 million during its debut in theaters.
“Resident Evil: Afterlife,” slipped to fourth place in its second week on screens. Pushed down by three hearty debuts, the zombie-blasting Milla Jovovich-vehicle raked in another $10.1 million. The number brings the film’s total haul to an estimated $44 milllion. In addition to the film’s strong showing, Jovovich recently confirmed that a fifth “Resident Evil” movie is on the way.
The animated cross-country adventure “Alpha and Omega,”, packed with voice-over performances from a diverse cast of stars including Justin Long, Hayden Panettiere, Christina Ricci, Danny Glover and Dennis Hopper, came in fifth place. The story of two wolves (voiced by Long and Panettiere) making their way back home opened with an estimated $9.2 million.
“Easy A” star Emma Stone took over the FOD Twitter account. Awesomeness ensued.
On Wednesday, Easy A star Emma Stone took over the Funny or Die Twitter account and answered your questions. Needless to say, there were some highlights. Now enjoy those highlights, and after you’re done enjoying them go see Easy A which opens this weekend!
@LisztNut: Did you play your own bass in The Rocker?
Emma: I did indeed. I’m available for parties.
@esullymaz: Emma, First of all, I love you. Second, Who is your favorite comedian?
Emma: Gilda Radner. And standup Louis CK.
@bluntman42: How was the VMAs??
Emma: It sucked. But did you like my meat dress?
@xxzombielover: How were you in high school (nerdy, popular, goth)?
Emma: I was an incredibly popular nerdy goth. That was home schooled.
@DanWilkinson: Hey Emma! Ok, so what is your favourite memory from the set of a movie?
Emma: Bill Murray days on Zombieland. The “two days of Bill” as I call them.
@rillawafers: is Easy A just like the Scarlet Letter?
Emma: Exactly like it. You could read the book instead if you wanted to.
@knot2appetizing: would you be up for a Superbad sequel
Emma: Absolutely, did you write one?
Though she only started acting in films three years ago and never played a leading role before now, it’s hard to not be a fan of Emma Stone. Beautiful, charming, smart and fun to watch, she can easily be ranked among the top five actors under 25 with her performances in Superbad and Zombieland alone. But she enters a whole new world with her newest film, Easy A.
Appearing in nearly every scene of Will Gluck’s film and narrating the ones she doesn’t, it’s truly the first litmus test that she’s had as a star and she pulls it off with flying colors. Playing the Hester Prynne role in a story that takes heavy notes from The Scarlet Letter, she’s smart and engaging enough that all demographics can enjoy the film.
I was lucky enough to sit down with her at a junket where she discussed the pressures that come with a leading role, the PowerPoint presentation that brought her to Hollywood and what it was like doing takes that lasted 30 minutes at a time.
So, to start, you’re in basically 100% of this film. How much pressure did that put on you?
It was less about the size of the role and more about doing the role justice itself, I think. Yeah, that was my concern throughout the whole thing. Yeah, the size of it you can’t really think about too much or else you go crazy. By you, I mean me. I’m really neurotic. Yeah.
Will was talking about your audition and going back home and taping your webcam segment. Tell me about how that came about and what your approach was when you did that.
Taping the webcam?
Well, I was not happy needless to say, when he asked me to do that. Because I know myself. I knew that if I had the control I was going to do it over and over and over and over because you don’t want to send something and be like, “That is the best I can do.” You know? Like, that’s the one. I knew I was never going to feel that way. So, I did that for a couple hours. It’s like a one-minute monologue, and I did it over and over and over. Then, finally, my roommate was like, “Just send it. Come on.” I was like, “All right. Fine. Fine. I’ll do it one more time. Just one more.” And then sent it. Yeah. So, I just did it that night. It was right after the audition and just went home and tried to get it out of the way. Because the longer I waited the worse it was going to get.
It’s really hard for women to find great roles in comedy. Yet, you’re obviously very skilled and you’ve found some great roles throughout your career, but they’ve all been support parts so far.
What was it like when you read the script and it was the lead role and, I’m assuming, a smart script because the film is very smart.
Yeah. Oh, the script was wonderful. You feel like you struck gold or something when you read a well-written comedy part for a female. It’s just such a rare thing, which is horribly sad. Although, it is nice nowadays, it seems like more female comedians are developing movies or coming up with characters and working with writers and kind of making your own thing, and that’s what Anna did for The House Bunny. But, I couldn’t have been more grateful even to read it much less be involved with it. It was fantastic.
Are you big on technology?
I love it. I love it. But, I can’t get too involved in the Internet. I am an Internet fan, needless to say. Since I was a kid I thought I wanted to be a website designer. So, I made those when I was a kid. In my day, there weren’t any blogs or social networks. It was all e-zines and drop-down menus. So, I had been, like anybody that is an Internet lover knows, it’s been fascinating to watch the progression of social networking and the blogosphere and the shear speed of it all. The fact that you can transfer pictures so quickly and all the programs they’ve come out with. So yes, needless to say, I love it and have an addictive personality and can’t use it, any of it. Because if I have a Twitter or Facebook, that’s all I will do. So, I don’t. But, I completely appreciate it and can see the good in it. It’s funny, I have a friend that is like, “I can’t believe all the world is so…it’s just shrinking. It’s so awful.” I’m like, “But think about for marketing’s sake on Twitter. Think about how you could do this and this and the…”I love it. I love it.
What is your favorite gear? Like computers, iPads.
I actually don’t have an iPad. I have the 4G iPhone, which drops calls. You know, I’m not very computer savvy. It’s more Internet. It’s more HTML based than coding or whatever. But I’m not very good with Flash or anything like that. Is that still a current thing to talk about, Flash? I haven’t been to many websites in awhile.
She could have been typecast as Laurie Partridge. Instead, she’s a bona fide movie star.
Scottsdale, Ariz., native Emma Stone left her freshman year at Xavier 8 College Preparatory to try her hand at showbiz. Six years later – and after well-received supporting roles in “Zombieland” and “Superbad” – she’s on the verge of becoming Hollywood’s next big thing. Both Vanity Fair (high-brow!) and Maxim (horny!) rave about the 21-year-old, and she’s earning love-letter notices for her role as Olive in “Easy A,” her first above-the-title flick. It’s a long way from her first big gig: She won a 2004 VH1 reality show about casting a new “Partridge Family.”
Stone, suffering from vocal-cord nodes, agreed to answer questions by e-mail.
Question: Any jitters about carrying a film like this?
Answer: I think during the course of shooting it was less nerves and more a test of endurance. Or maybe I was just so nervous that I blocked it out. We shot in 30 days, which was a very short period of time from a filming standpoint, so we all really had to buckle down and get a lot done really quickly every day.
Question: What attracted you to the role?
Answer: Everything. I really liked Olive. I felt like I could understand the way her mind works, her relationship with her family, why she decides to do what she does. It was cleverly written and smart and funny and unique, and all of those are rare in a script that’s calling itself a comedy, especially combined.
Question: You had great chemistry with Stanley Tucci and Patricia Clarkson, who play your parents. Were they fun to work with?
Answer: Hands down my favorite three days on-set. They’re great. They really are the best. The way they work together and how open they were with me, it was just a great few days. They elevate everything. They always do.
Question: Were there any parallels with your real parents?
Answer: Coincidentally, my parents actually are similar in a lot of ways with the parents in the movie. More from a communication standpoint. They have always understood me and accepted me for who I am. I’m incredibly lucky they’re my family. You couldn’t really ask for a better one.
Question: The first time we talked to you was when you were competing on “In Search of the Partridge Family.” Where do you think you’d be if “The New Partridge Family” had succeeded?
Answer: It’s hard to guess what could have been in any situation in life. Who knows? I’m so glad that happened, though, getting to be a part of it. It was ridiculous, I will say now, but it introduced me to some of the most important people in my life to this day. I have to give credit where credit is due. “The New Partridge Family” may well hold the reign of being the best thing I ever did, life-wise and circumstantially. Who would’ve thought?
Screenslam’s own Shawn Cauthen sits down with Emma Stone to get the 411 on what it’s like to spend a day in her shoes, when she’s not busy filming. Emma’s newest film, Easy A, comes out Friday the 17th of September. It is a must watch for anyone that loves High School comedies.