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
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey
comedy
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Burr remains the baker to beat on the Great British Bake Off
tvRichard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
Arts and Entertainment
Kristen Scott Thomas in Electra at the Old Vic
theatreReview: Kristin Scott Thomas is magnificent in a five-star performance of ‘Electra’
Arts and Entertainment
Swiss guards stand in the Sistine Chapel, which is to be lit, and protected, by 7,000 LEDs
artSistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Hewer, Lord Alan Sugar, Karren Brady are returning for The Apprentice series 10

TV
Arts and Entertainment
There has been a boom in ticket sales for female comics, according to an industry survey

comedy
Arts and Entertainment
Angelina Jolie and Winona Ryder star in 'Girl, Interrupted'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
From left to right: Ed Stoppard as Brian Epstein, Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Elliott Cowan as George Martin in 'Cilla'

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Thomas Pynchon in 1955, left, and Reese Witherspoon and Joaquin Phoenix in Paul Thomas Anderson's adaptation of his novel, Inherent Vice

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Singer Nicole Scherzinger will join the cast of Cats

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Fans were left surprised by the death on Sunday night's season 26 premiere

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Emma Watson has become the latest target of the 4Chan nude hacking scandal

film
Arts and Entertainment
Lady Mary goes hunting with suitor Lord Gillingham

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Dunne, played by Ben Affleck, finds himself at the centre of a media storm when his wife is reported missing and assumed dead

film
Arts and Entertainment
Lindsay Lohan made her West End debut earlier this week in 'Speed-the-Plow'

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Artist Nathan Sawaya stands with his sculpture 'Yellow' at the Art of Brick Exhibition

art
Arts and Entertainment
'Strictly Come Dancing' attracted 6.53 million viewers on Friday
tv
Arts and Entertainment
David Tennant plays Detective Emmett Carver in the US version on Broadchurch

tv
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor goes undercover at Coal Hill School in 'The Caretaker'
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Ni , Rock of Rah, Vanuatu: The Ni live on one of the smallest islands of Vanuatu; Nelson flew five hours from Sydney to capture the 'isolation forged by their remoteness'
photographyJimmy Nelson travelled the world to photograph 35 threatened tribes in an unashamedly glamorous style
Arts and Entertainment
David Byrne
musicDavid Byrne describes how the notorious First Lady's high life dazzled him out of a career low
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

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

    Italian couples fake UK divorce scam on an ‘industrial scale’

    Welcome to Maidenhead, the divorce capital of... Italy

    A look at the the legal tourists who exploited our liberal dissolution rules
    Time to stop running: At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity

    Time to stop running

    At the start of Yom Kippur and with anti-Semitism flourishing, one Jew can no longer ignore his identity
    Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

    Tom and Jerry cartoons now carry a 'racial prejudice' warning on Amazon

    The vintage series has often been criticised for racial stereotyping
    An app for the amorous: Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?

    An app for the amorous

    Could Good2Go end disputes about sexual consent - without being a passion-killer?
    Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid. Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?

    Llansanffraid is now Llansantffraid

    Welsh town changes its name, but can you spot the difference?
    Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

    Charlotte Riley: At the peak of her powers

    After a few early missteps with Chekhov, her acting career has taken her to Hollywood. Next up is a role in the BBC’s gangster drama ‘Peaky Blinders’
    She's having a laugh: Britain's female comedians have never had it so good

    She's having a laugh

    Britain's female comedians have never had it so good, says stand-up Natalie Haynes
    Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LED lights designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows

    Let there be light

    Sistine Chapel to ‘sing’ with new LEDs designed to bring Michelangelo’s masterpiece out of the shadows
    Great British Bake Off, semi-final, review: Richard remains the baker to beat

    Tensions rise in Bake Off's pastry week

    Richard remains the baker to beat as Chetna begins to flake
    Paris Fashion Week, spring/summer 2015: Time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris

    A look to the future

    It's time travel fashion at Louis Vuitton in Paris
    The 10 best bedspreads

    The 10 best bedspreads

    Before you up the tog count on your duvet, add an extra layer and a room-changing piece to your bed this autumn
    Arsenal vs Galatasaray: Five things we learnt from the Emirates

    Arsenal vs Galatasaray

    Five things we learnt from the Gunners' Champions League victory at the Emirates
    Stuart Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

    Lancaster’s long-term deal makes sense – a rarity for a decision taken by the RFU

    This deal gives England a head-start to prepare for 2019 World Cup, says Chris Hewett
    Ebola outbreak: The children orphaned by the virus – then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection

    The children orphaned by Ebola...

    ... then rejected by surviving relatives over fear of infection
    Pride: Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    Are censors pandering to homophobia?

    US film censors have ruled 'Pride' unfit for under-16s, though it contains no sex or violence