Since her film debut in Superbad (2007), alongside Jonah Hill and Michael Cera, Emma Stone has seen her career progress immensely. Before 2007, Stone was unknown in the film industry but has now featured in a range of roles. Stone was mainly recognised for her comedy roles, but in a short period of time, she has emerged as a highly acclaimed actress. However, I believe her comedic roles are some of her finest performances. She has a remarkable talent for entertainment. But more recently, she has dabbled with more serious roles and has been just as successful. She received her first Academy Award nomination for Best Supporting Actress in Birdman (2014). Even though she has appeared in twenty films, with more coming out this year, Stone’s career is still a distance away from reaching its peak. Below I have selected a few of her best roles.
Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011)
In a film with such a stellar cast, which includes Ryan Gosling, Steve Carrell, Julianne Moore and Kevin Bacon, you would have thought Emma Stone would be overshadowed by such big stars. The opposite is apparent as Stone plays Hannah, who falls for the womanising Jacob (Gosling). Stone is flawless in every scene she is in, providing her excellent wit and vibrant screen presence. She ensures both a sweet, gentle and comical performance that contributes to a very enjoyable film.
Although Emma Stone only played a supporting role as Jules, the crush of one of the main characters, Seth (Jonah Hill), the scenes she was in were some of the most memorable. She brilliantly nailed the nuances of a teenager, and in Superbad, she is a joy to watch. It is this teen comedy that first show-cased Stone’s talents.
Easy A (2010)
Stone takes centre stage in the teen comedy, Easy A. It is the film that essentially put her on the map. The film is actually a comical revision of The Scarlett Letter, and Stone plays Olive Penderghast, an average high school student who receives little attention from her peers. She tells her best friend that she had sex with a college guy, and the lie ends up spreading around the whole school, and Olive becomes the subject of all the gossip. Films like Easy A might seem cliche and overdone, but it is one of the better teen comedies I have seen, and it is all down to Emma Stone’s performance. She made her character down-to-earth and very funny, and Stone very much carries the film.
The Amazing Spider-Man/The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2012-2014)
Marc Webb’s reboot of Spider-Man may not have been a success, as plans for a ‘Spider-verse’ has now been scrapped. However, Emma Stone’s portrayal as Gwen Stacey is an entertaining and energetic performance. It was refreshing to see a female character in a superhero film, who isn’t always on the periphery of all the action. Gwen Stacey actively gets involved with some of Spider-Man’s various battles. I really enjoyed watching her in these films and she was the perfect choice for the role of Gwen Stacey.
In Birdman, which was crowned Best Picture in the 2014 Acadamy Awards, Stone exchanges her usual comedic roles for a darker character. She plays recovering drug addict, Sam Thomson, the daughter of the protagonist, Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton). Stone proves her versatility in this film, showing that she is a serious actress. She has some great moments in this film, which also has a phenomenal cast. Sam is a troubled and frustrated twenty-something, struggling with the world around her. Stone masterfully captures anger and cynicism, and her role in Birdman may just be her best performance to date. It is definitely the best film I have seen her in.
Take a look at some interesting Emma Stone interviews, including one where she is interviewed by an eight-year-old.