Emma Stone Says a Director Gave Her Improvised Jokes to Male Co-Star
If only we could shrink down to Ant-Man size and sit on the shoulders of Emma Stone and Jennifer Lawrence, we could get specifics on all of the Hollywood tea they have started spilling. Lawrence just dished on the nicknames she has for celebrities she does not like, and Stone -- also without naming names -- talked about directors who have brushed away her ideas or openly stolen them and given them to her (male) co-stars.
Rolling Stone did a great profile on the "La La Land" star, who was pretty candid about her journey through Hollywood to date, including her struggle to get a scene just right for "Birdman" director Alejandro González Iñárritu and her insistence to "La La Land" director Damien Chazelle that she wanted to learn to tap dance for the role instead of half-assing it.
In the profile, Stone also described her new film as breakthrough in another way, and that's where she got into the behind-the-scenes scoop. Here's that part of the interview:
"There are times in the past, making a movie, when I've been told that I'm hindering the process by bringing up an opinion or an idea," Stone says. "I hesitate to make it about being a woman, but there have been times when I've improvised, they've laughed at my joke and then given it to my male co-star. Given my joke away. Or it's been me saying, 'I really don't think this line is gonna work,' and being told, 'Just say it, just say it, if it doesn't work we'll cut it out' – and they didn't cut it out, and it really didn't work!'" (Stone goes off-the-record before elaborating further.)
Ah, but the off-the-record stuff is the best!
Giving away someone's improvised work is an immediate black mark. The part about patronizing directors blowing off a line that doesn't work -- that probably happens all the time. Directors and writers can be so sure of their vision that they can't see or hear past it, and when it turns out they're wrong they are still likely to insist they were right. That's the tough spot actors get put in, which is why you get the cliché that actors really want to direct -- or, in this case, maybe write.
Rolling Stone asked Emma Stone if she had ever considered writing or directing a script herself. Here's her answer:
When I ask if she's considered writing a script herself, or directing one, Stone's eyes widen. "Writing's interesting, but I've never done it in any way," she says. "And directing, God, that's a hard job. It's all the things you don't think about as an actor. 'We lost a location.' 'That costume is wrong.' 'That actor won't leave their trailer.'
Sure, it's harder than just doing what you're told, but if you want more control over what you do, it makes sense as the next step. Maybe Stone should team up with Jennifer Lawrence?
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