Actor of the Week: Emma Stone
When it comes to young actresses, Emma Stone is certainly up there with the best, which is why she is our latest Actor of the Week. Emma Stone’s climb to stardom was rather rapid, with her becoming almost an instant success after starring in the iconic comedy Superbad, very early in her career. It was after this role that the rapid rise began.
Before Superbad, Stone dabbled in TV, making appearances in hit US comedy Malcolm in the Middle and children’s Disney show The Suite Life of Zach & Cody. But, as I said, the role that put Emma on the map was her part in Superbad as Jules, the high school crush of Jonah Hill’s character Seth. Superbad was a film that changed the face of comedy, and was the birthplace of many superstars today - Hill being one, along with Seth Rogan. Superbad is a film about two nerdy best friends coming to the end of their highschool days, wanting to go out in style. Realising that they have not had any real interaction with women, they decide to man up and attempt to ‘‘get laid’’ by their high school crushes. With Stone’s character Jules throwing a leavers party, Seth, and Michael Cera’s Evan, try to impress her and her best friend by promising to supply the alcohol for the party. This then becomes a lot harder than they thought, but the two are determined to succeed, as they see this as their way to “pulling” their crushes. Superbad is a great film, and is a landmark in comedy history, and proved to be a perfect platform for Stone to launch her career.
Emma continued acting in some other comedies, playing a support role in films such as The Rocker and The House Bunny, only to lead her into one of my all time favourite comedies; Zombieland. Zombieland is a great post-apocalypse film, focused on Jesse Eisenberg's character Columbus and his efforts to get home from University to see whether his parents have been turned into Zombies. On his travels he picks up some unlikely characters heading in the same direction. One of these characters being Wichita, played by Stone, who ends up becoming Columbus’ love interest. Emma’s character in this film is a hard-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside kind of character, but is really funny and a pure badass when it comes to surviving, especially when it came to protecting her younger sister, Little Rock. Zombieland is a real favourite of mine, with Emma Stone being a factor as to why.
Emma continued her career within comedy films, with all of them being a success, until Marc Webb came knocking and asked her to play Gwen Stacy in the Spider-Man reboot The Amazing Spider-Man, which started to really show Emma’s diversity as she stepped out of comedy and played a more of a dramatic role as Peter Parker’s love interest. The role was very different to her previous types, but being a huge fan of Spider-Man, I felt she was a perfect casting for Peter’s first love. She continued to play Gwen for the next chapter of The Amazing Spider-Man but sadly this was her last portrayal of the character as Sony decided to reboot the franchise again… And she died!
With Emma now showing she is far more than just comedy actress, she started to play in more serious roles such as Grace Faraday in Gangster Squad and Skeeter Phelan in The Help, but the role which really took her up a notch was her portrayal of Sam in the award-winning Birdman. Sam is the daughter of has-been Riggan, a washed-up actor who once played a famous superhero. As we see Riggan attempt to relaunch his career, Emma Stone plays a great attention seeking daughter, only piling more stress on a very stressed out man. As Birdman went on to winning an Academy Award for Best Picture, it showed us the calibre of Stone’s acting with her contribution. Shortly after, Stone went on to achieve a personal success at the Oscars, when she won Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role for La La Land.
La La Land was a film that somewhat saved musicals, certainly on an academy level, as they had been in short supply since Moulin Rouge. I, myself, am not a big fan of musicals but I can appreciate the skill it takes to create something as successful as La La Land. With Emma Stone showing us that she is more than an actress, La La Land gave the movie industry a breath of fresh air, as well as showing us Ryan Gosling can also do no wrong.
Emma Stone is, without doubt, on her way to becoming an acting legend. Not only can she act in so many different genres, she does it to such a high standard and is yet to misfire in any role. At the age of 28, Emma has a long career ahead of her, and I, for one, cannot wait to see what else she comes up with!