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Sat, Nov 27, 2010
The New Paper
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The new stone age
by Joanne Soh

"Emma Stone's a Julia Roberts in the making."

Those were big words coming from film-maker Will Gluck, who went on to state that he thinks "Emma's career and Julia's career are almost identical as both started out doing small films before getting their big break around the same age".

"I believe that Easy A is easily Emma's Pretty Woman," he added.

Perhaps Gluck, who directed Easy A - which opens here today - does know what he's talking about when it comes to his lead actress.

In the new teen comedy, Stone plays Olive, a smart and attractive but painfully-ignored high school student who tells a white lie about losing her virginity and is branded the school's scarlet woman.

Realising it has raised her social standing and notoriety, she decides to use the rumour mill to her advantage.

Stone, 22, delivered a sterling performance that had movie critics raving and passed the test of shouldering a film with flying colours.

Shot on a measly US$8 million budget (S$10.3 million), Easy A was a huge hit in the US, making over U$57 million.

For someone who had her big-screen debut only three years ago as a hot chick in Judd Apatow's Superbad and never once had a lead role, Stone has indeed left a deep impression.

So much so that she's been cast in her biggest role yet - as Peter Parker's (Andrew Garfield) blonde love interest Gwen Stacy in the upcoming reboot of Spider-Man.

When FiRST met the gorgeous, genuine and goofy redhead in Cancun, Mexico, she scored an easy A in our report book with her unassuming charm.

It helps that the US starlet, dressed in a red V-neck jersey dress, has her pretty head screwed on right.

Unlike her more high-profile peers - especially a certain Lindsay Lohan whom Stone resembles in looks and husky voice - you won't find Stone getting into trouble with the law, as her desire for a lasting career is much stronger than hitting the party circuit.


"Like Olive, I like staying home a lot especially when I'm not working," she said in response to not being featured in tabloids.

"I like the downtime at home because when I'm working, I'm a rocking lunatic!"

She also credited her gossip-free life to being still an unknown as people only know her as "just the redhead girl from Superbad".

But with the sleeper success of Easy A, Stone can kiss anonymity goodbye.

"I don't think that being a celebrity is a reality to me, at least right now," said Stone before throwing a hearty laugh.

"I'm not at the level of Kristen Stewart, and to know that people are camping outside your house for a glimpse of you makes me want to throw up."

Moving away from the "rumour-fuelled industry of Hollywood" also helped Stone keep the paparazzi at bay.

"I moved to New York last September and I love being able to walk down the street like a normal person."

Her career began at age 10 when she started doing improv with a comedy troop in her hometown of Phoenix, Arizona.

At 15, she headed to Los Angeles to pursue acting, finding bit parts in TV series such as Malcolm In the Middle and Medium.

Offers may be dropping on her lap now, but Stone shared that it wasn't so a few years ago - all because of her hair colour.

"When I first moved to LA, I had this agent who sent me to auditions for cheerleader roles thinking that was what I wanted to do because of my hair colour," Stone recalled.

"So one day, in a fit of doing something different, I dyed my hair dark brown and I got a part a week later!"

Stone gave credit to Apatow for her current signature look, as the director convinced her to go red "to look different" for her role in Superbad.

"I never knew people are so closed-minded; that a hair colour can change everything."

Gluck praised Stone's ability to do comedy and drama as "her emotions can change all within five seconds".

Often associated with comedies like The Rocker, The House Bunny and Ghosts Of Girlfriends Past, she recently fulfilled her dream of hosting the long-running skit show Saturday Night Live.

Stone also showed us her action side in last year's Zombieland.

The sought-after beauty has already completed work on three films, which will be released next year.

There's Crazy, Stupid, Love (starring Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling and Julianne Moore) and Friends With Benefits, a romantic comedy that reunites her with Easy A director Gluck.

But the film that Stone is most excited about is The Help, a period drama set in Mississippi about the relationship between three friends.

"It's very different from what I've done before. It's set in the 60s, and it's the first non-comedy I've done."


This article was first published in The New Paper.

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