Emma Stone On Becoming ‘Cruella,’ Spider-Man Rumors

– I mean, this is a big performance.

You kinda have to go for it.

Like, especially when she’s,
kind of, become Cruella.

Do you feel out there
when you’re, kind of,

like, doing the voice and the costume,

and just really going for it in this?

– I mean, practicing the laugh,

I couldn’t do that in front of anybody.

That was just, like,
humiliating to work on.

– Are there 10 different alt
laughs that we will never see?

– Totally.

I would, I mean, I was like in the shower.

Trying to figure out how you perfect

your own evil laugh is like,

has nothing to do with being an actor.

That’s like any person, go take a shower,

and try to do your version of a laugh,

and just see if you would ever wanna

do that in front of a person.

It’s brutal.

– Emma, it’s fantastic to see you.

Congratulations on ‘Cruella.’

This is a big swing of a movie.

Only you, Emma, can
make me feel sympathetic

for the world’s most
notorious puppy murderer.

So, congratulations.

– Oh, good.

I’m so glad.

– That was the goal, right?

– I was afraid that you would still think

she was evil or something.

– No, I’m totally on team Cruella now.

Do you find yourself
defending her actions now?

– No, no, no.

I don’t, to me, I don’t think
that this is necessarily a redemption story.

A bit of this is a cautionary tale.

I mean, she’s fun.

She’s over the top and wild.

But she can go to some
very dark places, I think.

And I don’t necessarily think
that she’s being redeemed.

– Poor Estella, as a child
she’s mocked for her hair.

Like, she goes through it
and there’s some deep trauma.

Do you relate to that?

What was the mocking of
poor Emily at the time?

As a kid?
– Oh, no.

Beyond being mocked for her hair,

’cause I don’t think she
ever really cares about that.

I think she’s like, whatever,
you guys are all losers

and I’m a genius.
That’s kind of her idea,

which is awesome and I hope
how every kid can feel.

I think, you know, hers is
more the shame of that whole,

the journey that she goes through,

and feeling like she’s
responsible for something.

My, I don’t know.

When you suck your thumb

until you’re a preteen, you
gotta kind of accept that, uh,

until well, I was 11. Not 12, you know.

– No, that would be weird.

– That would be weird.

– Was this a conversation
point in the house?

Do you remember this being
a long kind of process

to wean yourself off of your own thumb?

– Oh yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.

I had the, like, nail polish
that tastes bad, didn’t work.

I had orthodonture,
extensive orthodonture,

including that little gate.

I don’t know if you’ve
ever seen this on a kid,

but, like, a gate that hangs down.

Didn’t work, I would go up under it.

It was nonsense.

Nothing worked on me.

– You do share with this
character, kind of, a,

maybe a trivial or not trivial,

kind of metamorphosis in
that Estella becomes Cruella.

You changed your name.
You were Emily, became Emma.

Did that free you in any way?

Or is that just sort of
literally just happenstance?

Like, I had to change
my name because of SAG,

or could you reinvent yourself
in some weird, silly way?

– I did reinvent myself.

I changed my name to Riley for a minute.

– Oh, I forgot that, right, right.

– Because I was a teenager

and they said you could change your name.

And I was like, what’s a cool name?

And I was like, Riley’s a
cool name, I’ll be Riley.

And then I, and then that
totally freaked me out.

So I changed it to Emma.

But no, I never would have

changed my name if I didn’t have to.

And people, you know, anybody
that knows me calls me Emily.

But I actually do like
the distinction now,

because if I hear Emma,
I know I must be working.

You know?
– Right.

– It’s a Pavlovian, yeah, totally.
– If it’s Emily,

it must be it’s, like,
someone that doesn’t know me

that well, or that needs to
call me that because it’s work.

It’s funny because there’s
people that I work with

that are like, “I’m gonna have to


The people that know me, they’re
like, “I have to say Emma

“’cause it’s gonna be
weird if I say Emily,

“and they’re gonna be like,

‘Do you not know her name?’ Whatever.”

– Or it’s the people that
call you Riley that knew you

for those three weeks that you went by –

– Yeah, exactly.

I’m forever stuck as Riley with them.

And you know what, I love it.

It’s a much cooler name.

– This film, among other
things, is a beautiful kind of

mother-daughter story in
different kind of incarnations,

without revealing too much.

I mean, it strikes me when
you started in the industry

and, like, with ‘Superbad’
you were probably

mostly surrounded by dudes,
especially in that film.

– Yeah.

– Like, did you have actors,
or producers, or filmmakers,

female artists that kind of
mentored you in the beginning?

Or did you find those later?

Or how did that work?

– Most of the women that I’ve looked to

I’ve looked up to and
have learned things from.

So, I remember I did a show that is now,

will be incredibly controversial,

but Pamela Adlon was on it, and she was,

she was incredibly
protective and sweet to me.

And then when I did
‘Crazy, Stupid, Love,’

I just, like, fawned
all over Julianne Moore,

who I adore to this day.

She was just so cool, and supportive,

and wonderful, and has been
that way ever since with me,

and did play my mother in that movie.

I love Laura Dern.

She’s been incredible to me.

  H.E.R. on 'Back Of My Mind,' California Roots & Career Ambitions

There’s a lot of really amazing women

that have been doing this

for a little bit longer than I have,

and have been able to
sort of, like, help me

to navigate things that
might feel a bit scary,

or confusing as a young woman
who is really surrounded,

yeah, by a lot of dudes.

– Do you find that, kind
of, full circle moments yet

as you progress in your
career where, like,

certainly you encounter fans,

young girls, you know,
teens who looked up to you,

who still look up to you.

Or even on sets, like young actresses.

Is that surreal for you to, kind of, like,

the shoe to be on the other foot now?

– Very, yeah, very, very
surreal and not something

that I feel like, “Oh,
this is definitely, like,

I’m in this position of being
able to be an authority,

or give all this advice,”
you know?

But at the same time, I
think it’s one of the most

important things, at least
for women in any career,

when you realize that there
are people that are younger

than you, that are doing
the same thing you do,

to be a source of support and wisdom

and just a sounding board for them,

I think it’s hugely important.

So, even though I don’t
feel like any type of

wealth of knowledge on
the subject of working

in this industry in any
particular way, I do actually find

that just having a little bit
longer amount of experience,

like in any job, it is
amazing to be able to have

conversations with people younger than me

and to be able to be there for them

if they have anything
that they feel, like,

should not be happening,
or should shift or change.

It’s an honor to get to do that.

– On a much more trivial note,

can we clear up the one salacious rumor

surrounding this film?

What’s up with the Spice Girls story?

– Oh, yeah.

– That you were supposedly, you
got injured because you were

at a Spice Girls concert on some –

– No.
– No, not the truth?

– No, it happened the night
before the Spice Girls concert.

This person nearby London,

we have a couple of friends, and I
went to this little gathering

at this house, and the floor I think

had maybe just been waxed.

And I was wearing very slippery shoes.

And I slipped, and my arm went back,

and I didn’t know it
was broken at the time.

I also think I have a bone density issue

because I’ve broken many bones in my life.

And it broke in two places.

And I had to go to the Spice
Girls concert the next night.

And I had this cuff from
Boots, which is like,

you know, like the Walgreens of the U.K.

And I put my arm in this little cuff,

and I was in extreme pain
at the Spice Girls concert,

which was a major bummer.

But the story would
have been so much better

if I had broken it at
the Spice Girls concert.

I wish it was that, but it was not.

It was a much more kind of humiliating

’cause I would love to fall
off someone’s shoulders

and break my arm, watching
my favorite girls.

– I was gonna say, is it
more surreal that you have a,

you must know them to a degree by now,

you’ve met them on several
occasions, I think.

Is that the surreal part?

Or is it like, I mean,
you also know Bill Murray.

You know the icon of icons for you.

– That’s true, yeah.

– Which one would
excite young Emily more?

– Mmm, that’s a, that’s, that’s
like apples and oranges.

– Right.
– Yeah.

No, that’s an impossible one to choose.

– You know, I was looking back at
all the films you’ve done

and we’ve discussed over the years.

And while you’ve been front
and center in obviously

a lot of films, you’ve been
the lead or the co-lead

in many films, you’ve
been in franchise films,

Spider-Man films, et cetera.

I don’t know why I did quotes.
They are Spider-Man films.


– Allegedly.


“The character of Spider-Man.”

– But, this is the first,
kind of, like, tent-pole,

whatever jargon we use out of the trades,

kind of, movie where you are –
it’s on you.

It’s sold on your face, your name.

Is that something you, kind of, like

relish that responsibility?

Or am I giving you hives
mentioning something like that?

– You know what’s strange about it,

is more than anything, it’s, kind of, like

a vulnerable feeling. Because I’m in L.A.,

and so, when you drive
around, it’s Disney.

So, Disney owns a lot of
the billboards in L.A.

So, they’ve put up these billboards.

And yeah, it’s kind of
like a vulnerable feeling.

Like, it sort of feels,
like, you’re a little bit

naked in front of the class kind of thing.

‘Cause I’ve never really seen that

kind of a billboard situation.

And it’s a little bizarre.

But again, here comes the
Emma-Emily distinction again.

It’s not that I’m not me.

I’m being me with you right now.

But I do have a sort of, same reason

I don’t have social
media or really engage in

that side of my life.
– You compartmentalize

to a degree, right?

– I do compartmentalized to a degree.

I love my job, but it has always
been very much a job to me.

And I don’t think that success or failure

in that side of the job
defines who I am, as me, Emily.

So, I see that and it
does feel vulnerable,

and it’s odd because I do
know that is technically me,

but it is still not, too.

Does that make sense?

– No, I get, I resent
your healthy attitude

’cause I’d like you to
be a bit more of a mess

  Music can do

for my purposes, but I guess

we’ll go with your healthy attitude today.

– No, I’m not like,
“Oh, and I’m really the,

“I’m really doing well with
that day in and day out.”

No, of course.

Especially when I’ve made
mistakes in my career or whatever.

And I’ve done things that I
would not choose to do now.

That affects me pretty deeply.

And that doesn’t feel
like a dissociative thing.

I do, that does affect me.

But when it comes to,
like, success or failure

of the film itself, or if my performance

is like really [bleep]

I was trying something, I was
grateful for the challenge,

and I was grateful for the opportunity.

So, it’s not like, I don’t know.

I don’t know.
– No, I get it.

I’m curious, like, what you remember

about, like, the first couple years

when it was ‘Superbad’ and ‘House Bunny.’

Did it feel like a dramatic
kind of overnight shift?

Like, I caught up with
Christopher Mintz-Plasse recently

and he recalls a very, like,
I mean it kind of changed.

– Chris became, like, an icon.

That’s a different situation.

He became, like, you knew him anywhere.

– Yeah, he was like a Disney character.

He was like –
– That wasn’t me,

that wasn’t my experience.

He had a very different thing.

– So, it wasn’t tough for
you to kind of navigate,

like, the first couple years out?

Like, this is what you always wanted.

This, is, like what you,
like, literally what

the PowerPoint presentation
to do for your parents.

This is, like, what the goal was.

So, was it, like, everything you
wanted it to be at the time?

Or was it intimidating,

or overwhelming in ways you didn’t expect?

What do you recall?

– I would say the intimidating

and overwhelming came a little bit later.

I felt very lucky because it wasn’t,

like, an overnight thing for me.

I was getting the chance
to do these movies

with people that I was, like, so excited

about the opportunities
that I was getting to have.

But it wasn’t like, for quite a few years

people would go like, “Did
we go to school together?”

So, it wasn’t like I had

the Christopher Mintz-Plasse experience.

That is a totally different thing.

And I have friends that
definitely went through

more of an overnight version of that,

and that I don’t think
I would’ve handled well.

And I’m sure at 17,

I was dreaming of that happening.

Like, you just get to do whatever you want

after you do this one movie.

That never, that never
was really my story.

So, it was more of a slow burn.

– What about the choice at the time,

or was it not even a choice?

Like, when you decide to sign on

something like ‘Spider-Man’?

Was that something that you wrestled with,

or was it like, “No, this
is what you go after.”

“This is what you aspire to,”
in one aspect, as an actor.

– It was weird.

This is a strange thing that happened.

But I auditioned for ‘Spider-Man’
the day ‘Easy A’ came out.

Like, the day, September 17.

It was the day it came out.

So, it was interesting,

’cause I had gotten to play this character

that I was so insanely
in love with in ‘Easy A.’

I loved that character more than anything.

And Gwen Stacy was a very
different kind of experience

and that kind of movie.

And I’ve said this before, really,

what was most exciting about ‘Spider-Man’

was working with Andrew [Garfield].

That was what I was like, “Oh my god.”

When I did that audition, I
was like, “He’s so amazing,


That was what I was so excited about.

It wasn’t really the idea of like, “Oh,

“it’s this huge,
larger-than-life franchise.”

And if anything, that was,
like, really daunting.

– Yeah.

– But it was a great experience
and it was something

I felt like I was really lucky to do,

and I was so glad I was able to do.

But this is the first time,
‘Cruella’ is the first time

since that movie that it’s that, kind of,

like you were saying, like that kind of

really more than
anything, it’s a character

that people know anywhere
you are in the world.

Which is the only other comparison

that I’ve been in is ‘Spider-Man.’

– I caught up with Andrew
[Garfield] really recently.

And like, my sense is he’s
very protective of those films.

Like, those were, like,
they were tough experiences

for a variety of reasons,

a lot of cooks in the kitchen, et cetera.

But at the end of the day, like, they were

pivotal moments for your careers.

And like, do you look
at that back similarly

at those two films with kind of like –

– Completely, and I had wonderful
experiences making them,

even though I know they were challenging,

but I loved working with Marc [Webb],

and I loved working with that whole team.

It was really, I don’t know,
a special experience for me.

And I feel, yeah, similarly protective.

And I feel protective of that
version of ‘Spider-Man’ too.

But there’s been some wonderful

Spider-Men throughout history.

– This is true, it’s like ‘Hamlet,’

you just pass it on to the next.

– All the Spider-Men have
been wonderful.


– Well, you know, the
rumors lately are that

all the Spider-Men are gonna get together.

I don’t know if you caught my interview

with Andrew [Garfield] recently.

He gave the most vicious denial

that he is in the new ‘Spider-Man’ film.
– Oh my-

– Not vicious in an aggressive way,

but it was aggressive in a
sweet Andrew [Garfield] way.

– Yes.

– There also are rumors that
you’re gonna be involved.

Have you heard these rumors?

– I have heard those rumors.

I don’t know if I’m supposed
to say anything, but I’m not.


– That’s what Andrew [Garfield] said too,

  What is music

so you’re in good company.

– Okay, all right, cool.

I don’t know what you’re supposed
to respond as an alumnus.

– Well, you guys meet as a secret society

of former Spider-Men and Women, right?

– Exactly, underground.

Like the Ninja Turtles.

– Yeah, yeah.
– Yeah.

– Speaking of, over the years

we’ve often talked about
your pop culture tastes.

– Yes, yes, I’m very, very involved.

– I remember once you
told me that you thought

your theory was that ‘Game of
Thrones’ was a made-up show.

Did you ever accept reality

that ‘Game of Thrones’ is
real and even watch it?

– I don’t think it exists.

– You’re really holding fast to this.

– I think that everybody made a pact

that they’d say like, “We
are obsessed with the show.”

This is horrible, actually.

And I actually really regret this.

I was around a number of
people who were really, really,

really obsessed, which
is everyone in the world.

But this group of people that I was around

were really obsessed.

And I watched, this is
horrible, the final episode

without having seen any of the show.

And to be honest I was like, “Wow,

“this acting is, like, really good.”

I was like, “This seems
like a pretty great show.”

But I know the ending.

So, I was like, “What am I supposed to do?”

And everybody’s mad about the ending too.

I don’t know why, because I don’t know

what happened before it.

But I was like, “Everybody
seems very good.


I was like, “This
probably is a great show.”

And then I was like, “But I can’t start

“from the beginning now
because I know the ending.


– Right, you boxed yourself into a corner.

– I don’t think it’s a fake show anymore,

because that last episode
I thought was awesome.

Everybody seems mad about it.

I think it’s great.

She burned down the –

– Don’t.

– Are you getting mad
again about the ending?

– No, no, no, no.

I’m not getting mad.

I actually was very late to the party,

but I at least watched
all of them in the end.

But, do what you gotta do
to, do what you gotta do.

Would you consider at this
point doing another musical?

Obviously ‘La La Land’
turned out pretty well.

Is it, like, quit while I’m
ahead, or would you consider?

– I don’t, I mean, listen.

The argument in ‘La La
Land’ was like, “Oh, you know,

“she can’t really sing that
that well, but that’s fun,

“’cause it’s like, she’s just a girl.


I think that’s true.

And not necessarily, like, I don’t know

that I should be out there
doing a bunch of musicals.

But listen, it depends on the musical,

and if that is still acceptable,

that I’m not, you know, Idina Menzel.

– Managing expectations always.

The same with ‘Cabaret,’

I remember you saying the same thing.

– I like to keep it, you know, realistic.

– Right, well musicals are back.

We got ‘West Side Story’
and ‘In the Heights,’

it’s all happening.

– I mean, I know, but it’s just,

imagine me trying to sing “I Feel Pretty.”


– I know you mentioned recently

your teen obsession
with Leonardo DiCaprio.

I only bring this up because
the last time I saw him,

about a year and a half ago, I brought up

the infamous door debate.

As a lifelong ‘Titanic’ fan,

could he have fit on that door?

Did Rose sell him out?

– They tried once, Josh, once.

And it killed him.


If that’s not a message to never give up,

I don’t know what is.

Everyone knows he could’ve
survived on that door.

Everyone knows.

That door was huge.

There was this tiny little person

in the middle of that door.

You could fit three people on that door.

We all know the truth.

And we all know the answer.

– Here’s my unsolicited pitch for you.

This has to have come up at some point.

When I was thinking about
talking to you and reuniting,

Gilda Radner biopic, come on.

– Me?
– Yeah.

– Oh, never me.

No, no, god, no.

Oh, no.
– Really?

– Are you kidding me?

No way, I could never.
– Why?

– I’m not right for it.

I’m not right.
– You don’t think so?

– No, no, no, no, no, no way.

But that said,

if they wanna make one, I
would love to be involved

behind the scenes because I love her.

But, no.
– You did your Roseannadanna,

I’ve seen it.

– That was not a good Roseannadanna.

And we both know that, Josh.

Let’s just be honest.

Know your limits.

It’s important to know your limits.

– Speaking of limits, and
aspirations, and goals.

Like, it strikes me that you
achieved and are achieving

so much at a remarkable young age.

I mean, you get the
Oscar, you get to, like,

the Mt. Olympus before
you’re 30 basically.

Does that change?

Does that screw up a
little bit of the dreams,

the life plans?

Is it like, “Oh god,
like, what do I do now?”

– At least for me it does not,

it does not change anything.

It’s a wonderful, beautiful experience,

and night, and movie to be involved with.

But, it didn’t change anything

in what I’m looking for or
what I am looking to do.

It’s still the same.

Sometimes you think like, “Oh,

“when this happens I’ll feel fulfilled,

“or I’ll feel happy,”
that’s through everything.

That’s like events in your life,

that’s events in your work, all of it.

And then you get there and
you always realize like,

“No, there’s still another
thing I would like to do,


So it doesn’t, you know,
it just never really stops.


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