Emma Stone Reveals the One Time She 'Lost Her F**king Mind' on Set
By Antoinette Bueno
Emma Stone is getting candid about her past film experiences.
The 28-year-old actress covers the latest edition of Rolling Stone, and reveals a few of her not so pleasant times on set. Stone calls out sexism in Hollywood, which she says she's experienced firsthand.
"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!'"
Later, Stone recalls being pushed to the limits when shooting director Alejandro Inarritu's Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance). Although the work definitely paid off -- she was nominated for a Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 2015 for her role as Sam -- she acknowledges that at one point, she "lost [her] mind" trying to perfect a scene for the notoriously hard-to-please director.
"I had to come in at the very end of this one scene, and it was so scary, because everything was timed out," she explains. "Alejandro told me, 'Emma, you have to go faster around the corner or it's going to ruin the movie!' And I was like, this is a horror, this is so hard, it's actually insane."
"Later that night, Edward Norton and I were shooting on a rooftop at, like, 2 a.m.," she continues. "We'd done this scene 30 times, and Alejandro wasn't getting what he wanted. He said, 'Maybe it's not going to work.' I went to my dressing room, pacing, like, 'I can't do it. I'm losing my f**king mind.' This thing came over me. I'm usually a people-pleaser, but I felt like, 'F**k it. I don't even care anymore.' So when we went back to do the scene, I was crazy. I spit during a take. And Alejandro goes, 'Beautiful -- there it is!'"
The always affable actress does admit it's difficult for her to play unlikable characters on screen because of her natural desire to please.
"If part of what you've craved in your life is to not upset anybody, it's easy to be drawn to characters that aren't gonna upset anybody," she says of her career so far.
The A-list actress also talks about battling severe anxiety growing up in the candid interview, including the feelings that brought up her debilitating panic attacks.
"My brain [was] naturally zooming 30 steps ahead to the worst-case scenario," she shares. "When I was about seven, I was convinced the house was burning down. I could sense it -- not a hallucination, just a tightening in my chest, feeling I couldn't breathe, like the world was going to end. There were some flare-ups like that, but my anxiety was constant. I would ask my mom a hundred times how the day was gonna lay out. What time was she gonna drop me off? Where was she gonna be? What would happen at lunch? Feeling nauseous. At a certain point, I couldn't go to friends' houses anymore -- I could barely get out the door to school."
Stone, who was homeschooled at 12 years old, credits performing and seeing a therapist with helping her cope.
"It helped so much," she says of her therapy sessions. "I wrote this book called I Am Bigger Than My Anxiety that I still have: I drew a little green monster on my shoulder that speaks to me in my ear and tells me all these things that aren't true. And every time I listen to it, it grows bigger. If I listen to it enough, it crushes me. But if I turn my head and keep doing what I'm doing –--let it speak to me, but don't give it the credit it needs -- then it shrinks down and fades away."
Lately, the La La Land actress says she feels anxiety about the results of the presidential election. Stone was an avid supporter of Hillary Clinton, who lost to now President-elect Donald Trump.
"It's still so hard to process what happens next, or what to do," she says. "It's terrifying, the not-knowing. But I can't stop thinking about vulnerable people being ignored and tossed aside -- marginalized more than they've already been for hundreds of years -- and how the planet will die without our help. It comes in waves."