Emma Stone: The Croods and the Stone age on the silver screen

The teenage Emma Stone was so desperate to be a star she gave her parents a PowerPoint presentation on why they should move to Hollywood. She tells Emma Jones how she has now made it from rom-coms to A-list

The last weeks have taught Hollywood to appreciate the girl next door. Whether it's Jennifer Lawrence tripping in her duvet Dior dress at the Oscars, or Mila Kunis's beer-buddy bonding with a Radio 1 novice interviewer – watched six million times on YouTube – audiences admire the accessible.

Despite her coltish beauty, Emma Stone, 24, has always seemed to be the ultimate superstar BFF. Within seconds of me meeting the highly-prized star of easy-going comedies like Crazy Stupid Love, Zombieland and Easy A, as well as Oscar-nominated drama, The Help, in Berlin, she is exclaiming over the wonder of Topshop and food chain Wagamama. “Lead me to the yaki soba!” she drawls in her husky gravel of a voice, although you wonder how many noodles have really gone into her long-limbed, clothes-horse frame.

Cat-like, with big eyes and a wide mouth, Stone couldn't be more different from her latest role; providing the voice for the heroine of Dreamworks' latest animation, The Croods. Conveniently overlooking the Flintstones, they're billed as the world's first modern prehistoric family. Stone's character, Eep, must battle her overbearing, overprotective father – played by Nic Cage – in order to seek the very contemporary notion of a fulfilling life.

Unlike the sleek Stone, who today is sporting platinum blonde locks, Eep is a squat, ginger-headed cavegirl whom the actress describes as: “A complete dream. She is so feisty, and she forges her own path. Also, though it's not my natural colour, I am a great supporter of redheads as you may know. I would probably be red right now myself if it weren't for having to go off and film Spider-Man again.”

The part of Gwen Stacy, Peter Parker's first love in franchise reboot The Amazing Spider-Man, confirmed Stone's arrival into the big league. It also provided her with a real-life love interest, Spidey himself, 29-year-old British actor Andrew Garfield, with whom she is now shooting The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Stone has made it clear that she has a private life, declaring: “The only thing you have control over in this business is over what you say. People can say or do all the stuff they want, but if it hasn't come out of your own mouth, you have a semblance of control over what is sacred to you. And I am definitely one of those people who can shut others out.” When asked in the past who her ideal man is, she neatly side-stepped it by answering: “My younger brother Spencer. He's the kind of person I'd like to be, because he doesn't have an 'on' button all the time.”

Born Emily Stone into a fairly affluent family in Phoenix, Arizona – her parents owned a golf course – she was acting from an early age at the Valley Youth Theatre in Phoenix. There was none of the central tension of The Croods – Eep's desire to free herself from her father's wishes.

“No, my parents were cool when I was a teenager,” Stone says. “They wanted to discuss everything, they weren't too strict. There was none of that, 'you guys are jerks, you don't understand me', in my relationship with them. I've always got on really well with them. I don't think I had many teenage traumas actually.”

That self-possession enabled Stone at the age of 15 to give her parents a PowerPoint presentation on why they needed to move to Hollywood for her career. It worked; her mother moved to Los Angeles and home-schooled Stone for a couple of years. Television work followed and in 2007, at the age of 19, she landed her first movie role in Judd Apatow's big break, Superbad.

Now, she says, she herself is ready to produce: “I have yet to do anything. I am incredibly excited at the idea of it. I don't think people realise that I am such a film buff, but I love the intricacy of making a movie. I just find it so interesting. And the more female producers we have out there, then the better.”

What kinds of films will she make? She says she doesn't know, but so far Stone has made her name in comedy, taking up Jennifer Aniston's mantle as a lead actress with innate comic timing who is also bankable. Saturday Night Live, the TV showcase for names like Tina Fey and Amy Poehler, Stone says, is one of her all-time favourite shows. “Because it gave women an outlet to be funny. The comediennes I most admire are the ones on there who aren't afraid to look ridiculous. And for me, in my career, I want to be brave in my choices. You have to not try and stay somewhere safe all the time.”

The Disney-like message of a film like The Croods, Stone adds, is one she takes to heart. “I think we all need to hear that we should be ourselves, that we have to forge our own paths, and be really daring in life. It's funny but I never related to Disney princesses growing up. The kind of heroines I really like from them were The Little Mermaid and Alice. I loved Alice, she lived on her own terms and in her own imagination. I can really relate to the idea of making your own journey in life, your own way in the world.”

'The Croods' is released in the UK on 21 March

This article appears in tomorrow's print edition of Radar magazine

 

Arts and Entertainment

Great British Bake Off
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

    They fled war in Syria...

    ...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
    From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

    Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

    Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
    Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

    Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

    Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
    From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

    Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

    From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
    Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

    Kelis interview

    The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
    Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

    Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

    But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

    Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
    Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

    Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

    Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
    Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

    Britain's 24-hour culture

    With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
    Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

    The addictive nature of Diplomacy

    Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
    Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

    Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

    Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
    8 best children's clocks

    Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

    Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
    Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

    After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
    Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

    How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

    Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
    Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

    'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

    In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea