"Rockin'" with Emma Stone
Cute, often red-haired actress Emma Stone from the popular Superbad is doubly on our radar lately with roles in The Rocker and The House Bunny. We'll talk "Rocker" here. Playing Amelia, a bass guitarist/singer in a wanna-be band called A.D.D. was more difficult than expected for the actress because, for most of the movie, Amelia just doesn't smile... at all. With funny guys Rainn Wilson of "The Office", her boyfriend, musician/actor Teddy Geiger and Josh Gad in the cast, not cracking a smile wasn't easy for this feisty, fun-loving gal.
We sat down exclusively with Emma a while back at a posh beach-side hotel in Santa Monica to dish while watching the waves roll in. We got the news on everything from what annoys her in a guy to her personal musical abilities and the fact that she was once a computer programmer nerd!
Picture Emma in a cute sleeveless dress by Moschino and killer heels by Sergio Rossi.
TeenHollywood: So, are you one of those women who looks great with red hair and is going to keep it red or go blonde like Lindsay (Lohan) did?
Emma: I really have blonde hair naturally but my mom's a redhead. I think it's a skin tone thing (laughs) but I love having red hair. It was actually Judd who picked it for Superbad and that's when I first dyed my hair red. So Judd Apatow made me a redhead.
TeenHollywood: He has good taste. So, were the clothes in The Rocker anything you would ever wear or wore in your past?
Emma: You know, It wasn't very similar to my personal style. My personal style is a lot more simple, but that was part of the fun of it, to kinda become that girl and wear all of that fun, sassy stuff. Yeah, that was really fun.
TeenHollywood: So how do you think you are like Amelia (her character from The Rocker) and how are you different?
Emma: Well, um, we look very similar [laughs] first and foremost. I think I've definitely gone through a lot of struggles that she goes through. She feels a sense of displacement in a sense, in the band, being around all those boys all the time and feeling like she needs to be something different. I think every girl kind of goes through that experience, especially in your teens. The ways we're different? She barely cracks a smile the whole time and I love to laugh and comedy is a huge part of my life and it was tough too to not smile. Because she has kind of a defining moment near the end where she smiles and so you kinda have to hold it in.
TeenHollywood: And the guys in the film were hilarious to make it extra difficult.
Emma: Yeah, there were quite a few takes where they were like "Okay you smiled big in that one so we need go again and not" and we're up on stage and everyone's so excited and Rainn (Wilson) and Josh (Gad) and Teddy are all smiling and I'd be like (her face goes dead serious).
TeenHollywood: That must be kinda hard. That must have been one of the biggest challenges.
Emma: I had no idea how tough it was until I flew straight back to L.A. to do The House Bunny which is my next film and I could smile and I was like, "Oh my God". It felt so different, but it was definitely a fun challenge.
TeenHollywood: Did the guys in the cast try to make you crack up just because of that?
Emma: NO! No, but there was one night where I had an absolute laughing fit and I could not talk for about an hour and so that was fun.
TeenHollywood: Did things pretty much blow up for you after Superbad? Did you suddenly get more roles or did it make any difference at all?
Emma: It didn't really feel like that big of a deal. 'Cause you know, I live in L.A. and everyone kinda leaves you alone here. For the most part, unless it gets to a certain level (laughs) and I'm by no means at that level, it feels pretty much the same, but then I started working a little bit more and I don't know if it had to do-
TeenHollywood: They sent you some more scripts then?
Emma: Exactly! So, yeah, I guess in that sense, yes.
TeenHollywood: I hear that you grew up on a golf course. Did your family own it?
Emma: Yeah. They live on a golf course now. I'm from Scottsdale, Arizona and we weren't actually on a golf course, but when I was about twelve we moved to the Camelback Golf Course.
TeenHollywood: I know you can sing, but did you know how to play the guitar?
Emma: I did not. They sent over a bass coach literally the same day I got the role and he was at my house for two hours that night and I kept getting bass lessons all through and I learned how to play, actually, all the songs that we play in The Rocker which is really cool, but those are the only songs I know.
TeenHollywood: So the band we see in the film could pretty much play together?
Emma: Yeah. Pretty much, I mean, if you listen to us live we were not all the best. Teddy's good (laughter) and we're chugging along. It's a good thing it was to playback, but it was pretty accurate. It was pretty close.
TeenHollywood: Is that the kind of music you would listen to yourself or is that not your taste.
Emma: I mean, definitely, I'm sure I'm into a wide spectrum of music so I definitely would be drawn to the music.
TeenHollywood: Rainn's character was in an '80's band. What do you think of '80's music?
Emma: Uh, I appreciate that they were making it. [laughs] I don't listen to a lot of '80's music but there are songs from the '80's that I love. I got to play "In Your Eyes" in the movie. That's a great one, a classic.
TeenHollywood: Who are you listening to now?
Emma: M.I.A. And my all-time favorite is The Beatles. They define forever, and Nick Drake and some other stuff, Sufjan Stevens, stuff like that.
TeenHollywood: What was the most fun scene to shoot for this?
Emma: It was pretty crazy shooting the arena scene where we go on for [the '80's band] Vesuvius. They multiplied it with CGI animation, but there were about 700 extras. I was like shaking in my boots. It was with playback, but it was like shooting a music video and I had never done anything like that so we had to be singing and jumping around like rock stars and I was like, you know you can't smile. That was definitely a little daunting, but so much fun.
TeenHollywood: Did you and Teddy and Rainn and everyone hang out off set? Did you do anything?
Emma: Yeah. We were up in Toronto. We just kinda went to see movies, like Knocked Up came out while we were there. But, our shooting schedule got turned around to nights after the first week so basically we were shooting from 4:00 PM until like 10:00 AM and then sleeping and then going again. We were basically just kind of hanging out in the middle of the night listening to music and we did look up some old wives' tales online (laughter) all kinds of fun stuff.
TeenHollywood: Anybody play 'Guitar Hero' for real?
Emma: They actually sent us a prototype of 'Rock Band' which is the thing that we play with the drums and the bass and the guitar and the lead singer but there were still some bugs, but we played a couple songs in our trailers.
TeenHollywood: And who was best at it?
Emma: I was pretty alright. I'm pretty good at 'Guitar Hero' so I was like , "Yeah, I get it".
TeenHollywood: Did you meet Teddy at "New Partridge Family" tryouts?
Emma: Well, he auditioned in Minnesota and when we were on the show it was for like one day together and we were staying at the same hotel and I met him for one minute and that's when we officially met but we didn't hang out.
TeenHollywood: I liked the short-lived T.V. series "Drive" and you were in that but it didn't last. Would you do another TV series now?
Emma: Glad you liked it. I always describe "Drive" as a roller coaster. It was a year and a half of up and down, pick-up then cancel, pick-up then cancel. I think it was a definite learning experience and it might be a little bit before I wade back into the TV pool
TeenHollywood: So, for now, it's films.
Emma: Yeah, I think I really love films and I love being able to go to a different project every couple months and to play another character and not be stuck in the same thing for years and years possibly on end. But there are some amazing shows I would have just died to be a part of.
TeenHollywood: We learned that you did a Powerpoint presentation and put it on the web and it was very popular?
Emma: I put a Madonna song in it and lots of pictures of people and pictures of the Hollywood Hills. I was really into HTML and web design when I was younger. I felt pretty skilled at Powerpoint which, now, if you watch it, it was soooo 2003! [we laugh].
TeenHollywood: Let's talk dating. Say you're dating a guy. What must he not do or he'll put you off?
Emma: Arrogance would bother me, but I haven't really come into contact with that too much. I guess it depends on the person because one person could do something and another person could do the same thing and it comes off a little bit different, right? There's just something about them, their whole aura.
TeenHollywood: What would be your ideal date activity? Are you an outdoor date person, a dinner person?
Emma: A movie. You talk to them after the movie about what happened and about both of your opinions. I am such a nerd. I'm crazy about movies. My whole life just revolves around them and that would be a really fun date activity. Dinner and a movie.
TeenHollywood: What would you do if you weren't acting?
Emma: Writing, like essays. I absolutely love writing. [As a kid] I won spelling bees, but I am really good with grammar. I'm the kind of person that would love to be a copy editor. I get on people's cases all the time about grammar. I am crazy about Hunter S. Thompson. I'm very into journalism. I'm a little obsessed, yeah, I love it.
TeenHollywood: Great, a fellow journo! Did you have a regular school experience growing up?
Emma: I went to a regular elementary school and then went to sixth grade at a public middle school and then I convinced my parents to home school me for seventh and eight grade so that I could do a lot of theater back home in Arizona. So I did, like, sixteen plays in a row and then I went back to this all-girl Catholic high school for my first semester and I was like, "I have to move back to L.A." So we moved.
TeenHollywood: Is there something you think you are really bad at?
Emma: Oh God, there's a whole list. Gymnastics. I tried to do gymnastics for years and I just could not do it.
TeenHollywood: Okay, we know you are the president of a so-called loser sorority in The House Bunny coming up but don't you have another film?
Emma: Yeah. The Ghosts of Girlfriends Past. I think that will be out in February next year and it's Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner. It's kind of a take-off on 'A Christmas Carol' with Matthew being Scrooge and a sort of womanizer. I'm the ghost of girlfriends past or of Christmas past. I take him to all his past relationships and we learn a couple things along the way.
TeenHollywood: We've got to ask. Are you going to try to see Teddy on Tour?
Emma: That'd be great. I would love to!
TeenHollywood: So he wouldn't mind if you showed up?
Emma: [smiling] Not at all.
Lynn Barker is a Hollywood-based entertainment journalist and produced screenwriter.