NEW YORK - We called it. A little under a year ago, NOW put Emma Stone on the cover of our TIFF issue, pegging her as an actor on the verge of major stardom.
Now she's starring in two major summer releases - Crazy, Stupid, Love. and August's The Help - and her picture's on the cover of Vanity Fair and Elle. She's poised to blow up even bigger in 2012, playing Gwen Stacy opposite Andrew Garfield's Peter Parker in The Amazing Spider-Man.
The best part about all this? She's got perspective. And she remains an incredibly versatile actor, cap-able of going from the 17-year-old of Easy A to the 27-year-old character she plays in Crazy, Stupid, Love. - a cynic who unexpectedly falls for Ryan Gosling's swaggering predator. But she's doing a lot of press right now, and it's kind of wearing her down. Sitting down for the Crazy, Stupid, Love. round table, her distinctively husky voice is an octave lower than usual.
So you just did the junket for The Help, and now you're doing this, and then you're off to Comic-Con to pimp Spider-Man. How are you holding up?
This is Day Nine. L.A., then San Francisco, then Chicago, then Boston, then here. I leave for L.A. on Wednesday, then San Diego for Comic-Con, and then back to L.A, and then to Jackson [for the premiere of The Help], then New York, and then L.A., and then back to New York [laughs]. If you're wondering where I am: all those places.
Your life must be insane right now.
Absolutely. But you can look back through history and look at everybody who was in this position - whatever this position is - and they inevitably are not any more. Every single person who has ever been in a situation like this is not any more. That's just kind of the way life goes; I think you have to hold it lightly and realize it will change.
Not to say that these opportunities and this experience haven't been fantastic, and that I'm not grateful for it, because I'm wildly grateful for it. I'm trying to be really present and remember it and write it down so I can look back at it - but, you know, everything's impermanent. I try to remember that all the time. Not in a fatalistic way, just in a realistic way.
You've said you got into acting just so you could host Saturday Night Live. Now that you've done it, would you recommend it to any of your co-stars? Ryan Gosling said he's too scared to try it.
We talk about it every day. He's so annoying - I hate that he said that in an interview. He's not too scared - put him on the show. It makes me so mad. He would be so great. I just think he would kill it. And now I wanna go do a little sketch with him. It's so much fun, and that cast is so warm and welcoming and great. It's just the best experience ever - the adrenaline that goes into something like that, I think it's good for everyone. If you get the opportunity, why wouldn't you want to do something like that? It's so much fun.
So, about the voice ...
I smoked when I was four. I was like that baby in those YouTube videos [laughs]. No, I had colic from zero to six months. My mom dealt with a screaming baby 24 hours a day for the first six months of my life - I screamed myself hoarse every day and developed nodules as an infant. So I have calluses on my vocal cords, which makes me lose my voice all the time and makes doing something like screaming in a scene, over and over, really rough, because then I lose my voice for, like, a week. So I'm always trying to be pretty protec-tive of it, but, yeah - I've sounded like this since I was a kid.
You come from an improv comedy background. That's obviously come in handy in the movies you've made. As you move into bigger, more intensively structured productions, do you find there's less room for that?
It's an interesting question, because the first movie roles I ever did, there was always improv. Like, Superbad had so much improv, and The House Bunny had improv - [even] Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past had improv. And now improv is making me more nervous, which makes me sad - it's like a muscle you kinda have to keep exercising. To be on a stage or in a setting where you do improv is getting scarier for me now. But that's what was so great about this movie. Ryan and I were able to bring in things from real life and kind of bounce back and forth with those, so it was a nice welcome back into improv.
You live in New York now. Have you ever thought of going down to the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater and just jumping in on a show?
After this much time, it would make me scared. But that's what I should try to do, because it would scare me. Just like Ryan should do SNL.
Are you at liberty to say anything about The Amazing Spider-Man? Can you discuss the differences between the new movie and the previous films?
It's just a completely different thing. It's maybe a little more intimate look at Peter Parker. Maybe.
What's your Gwen Stacy like?
[slyly] She's a murderous psychopath! That's my Gwen Stacy.