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Bright Side

How Emma Stone, Who Used to Be Just a Funny Girl From Teen Comedies, Became an Oscar-Winning Actress

Emma Stone is only 32 years old. But she has already taken part in 40 projects, and won an Oscar, Golden Globe, Volpi Cup, and Screen Actors Guild Award. She has also become one of the highest-paid actresses in the world, earning $26 million in 2017. But it seems that, at the beginning, she played in teen comedies and only dreamed of serious roles until just recently.

At Bright Side, we decided to study her acting career and see how her movie roles have changed over the years.

2002–2006: Persistence and a lot of TV series

The future star was born to quite an ordinary family. Her father was the founder and CEO of a general contracting company, and her mother was a homemaker. So, no one would expect that their daughter would win every major film award a couple of decades later.

But, as a child, Emily (this is her real name) dreamed of doing sketch comedy, so she took part in many productions at her local Youth Theater. She also dreamed of auditions in Hollywood, so she persuaded her parents to move to Hollywood, which was thousands of miles away from her home. 14-year-old Emily even made a PowerPoint presentation with photos of celebrities and Madonna songs. And it worked.

After moving to Hollywood, Emily started homeschooling and spent all her time at auditions. Unfortunately, her auditions were unsuccessful, so she had to work part-time at a dog-treat bakery. However, dogs didn’t want to eat her cookies.

“I think 3 people called my specific cookies inedible to their dogs. I’m not a super-talented dog baker.”

Finally, Emily appeared on television. She took part in the talent competition reality show In Search of the New Partridge Family and even became one of the winners. However, the show remained an unsold pilot. After that, she landed roles in other TV shows, which got canceled quickly due to low ratings.

But Emily didn’t give up. During the following 3 years, she appeared in 4 other more successful and long-lasting TV shows, like Malcolm in the Middle. Then she learned that another Emily Stone was already registered with the Screen Actors Guild, and the actress decided to change her name to Emma.

2007–2010: Her first movie role and a “funny girl” type of character

4 years of never-ending auditions and different TV shows later, Emma landed a role in the typical teen comedy Superbad. The movie became so popular that it was nominated for a few MTV Movie Awards, and Emma won a Young Hollywood Award as Exciting New Face. By the way, Emma dyed her hair red right before taking part in Superbad, and this color eventually became her trademark.

After the movie premier, producers finally realized that her ability to laugh at herself and to switch from being funny to touching and vice versa was a real find for any teen comedy. This is why Emma’s filmography includes so many stereotypical movies similar to this one.

As a funny girl, the actress appeared in movies like The Rocker, The House Bunny, and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past. But in the movie Zombieland, her most successful movie of those years, her character only seemed nice. She could easily deceive Woody Harrelson’s character and cope with hordes of zombies.

By the way, Woody Harrelson introduced Emma to Paul McCartney when paying him a friendly visit. After some time, the actress dared to write to the singer asking him to draw birds’ feet as a reference to his song Blackbird, which she and her mother loved. Later, Emma and her mother used this design in their tattoos, which they got to celebrate the fact that Emma’s mother had overcome cancer.

Among other movies of those years, Emma loves to recall her work in the movie Paper Man (2009) which disappointed critics but allowed her to play her first dramatic role. By the way, critics were quite happy with the acting.

Emma rose to fame a year later, after starring in the teen comedy Easy A. This sweet and funny movie became very popular and received positive critical reviews. And Emma won an MTV Movie Award and was even nominated for a Golden Globe.

“It’s no surprise that her career is taking off. Emma is very, very smart. It’s clear in the choices she made. She knows what she’s done well but has really pushed herself and challenged herself.”

A year later, Emma worked with Ryan Gosling for the first time. There was a real chemistry between these actors in the romantic comedy Crazy, Stupid, Love and the scene with the Dirty Dancing lift was really memorable. As a result, the movie was a commercial success. But Emma began to feel tired of being typecast as “the sarcastic interest of the guy.”

2011–2015: More and more serious roles

Slowly, Emma began to move away from this type of character. In 2011, she starred in the movie The Help, which won a lot of awards and finally let Emma reveal her dramatic potential.

But a year later, the actress got involved in a romantic relationship again, which was a relationship with a superhero. The role in The Amazing Spider-Man film series made her even more famous, and she decided to use this publicity for the greater good. When she and her co-star Andrew Garfield saw the lurking paparazzi, they would cover their faces with signs saying that this attention could be drawn to certain charity organizations, the list of which was written on the signs.

Her success provided Emma with an opportunity to choose her roles more carefully. She starred alongside Ryan Gosling again in the stylish action thriller Gangster Squad, which received negative critical reviews, even though critics praised Stone and Gosling’s acting.

And in 2014, Emma managed to land a role in Woody Allen’s movie. A sarcastic red-haired girl was the perfect fit for his movie Magic in the Moonlight. Later, the director invited her again to play in his movie Irrational Man. But even these roles didn’t become Emma’s greatest success.

Also in 2014, the actress took part in the Oscar-winning and iconic movie Birdman. Emma’s character, a girl disappointed in life and her father, turned out to be so powerful that the actress was nominated for an Oscar. Even though she didn’t receive the coveted statuette, her talent and acting skills were praised by both critics and viewers.

“Stone is maybe the best she’s ever been, delivering a snarling monologue at one point that is basically a manifesto for the modern millennial, and then tempering it with a tiny beat at the end that kinda deserves an Oscar all by itself.”

2016–2021: Oscars and many other interesting things

In 2016, Emma’s career reached incredible heights. She starred in the musical comedy-drama La La Land, which won a huge number of awards: 6 Oscars and 7 Golden Globes. By the way, Emma won one of each of these awards personally for Best Actress.

After that, there were the sports comedy-drama Battle of the Sexes, the historical movie The Favourite, which also won a lot of awards, and the Maniac TV series where Emma played many versions of her character and showed all the facets of her talent. But Emma doesn’t lose her head about this striking success, and even makes jokes about it.

“I don’t like the idea that anybody thinks that this is, like, special. My job is fun and it’s wonderful and it can be hard. There are really hard jobs in the world, like really hard, and everyone is being so nice to me and bringing me a coffee.”

But this is not the full list of Emma’s brilliant roles. In 2021, the stylish and rebellious movie Cruella was released, which conquered the hearts of the audience. Cruella is mean and crazy, but she’s so beautiful.

“This dazzling visual feast is awfully fun to watch whenever its leading ladies lock horns.”

In the near future, Emma will take part in the screen adaptation of Alasdair Gray’s novel Poor Things. In the movie, the actress will appear as a female variation of Frankenstein brought back to life by Willem Dafoe’s character. And we are sure that Emma won’t let her fans down.

What do you think about Emma Stone? Do you think she’s more convincing in dramatic or comedic roles? Tell us in the comments below.


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