‘Zombieland’s’ Emma Stone Dreams of SNL and Mexican Food
Emma Stone was first introduced to audiences as one of the hot chicks from Superbad. The object of schlubby Jonah Hill’s affection, she was the out-of-your-league girl, who in the end, didn’t care about looks. She liked a guy with a good sense of humor, because she turned out to be pretty funny herself. Since then, Stone has avoided the hot girl typecast, appearing in roles that have actually called for her to dumb down her beauty, in such films as The House Bunny and Ghosts of Girlfriends Past that played up her considerable comic abilities. Now the 21-year-old actress, who recently made the movie from L.A. to New York, is slinging a shotgun in Zombieland, that movie you may have heard about with the greatest cameo of all time. We caught up with Stone recently to talk about her new film, her dream job, and food from south of the border.
So I hear you just moved to New York? Whereabouts? The Village
I was in the Village the other day and the whole thing was shut off because Obama was there. Oh, I know. You couldn’t walk anywhere. It was insane. I had to get a taxi that day to go uptown, and I was like, “Fuck!” It took an hour, it was horrible.
It’s been a goal of yours to get to Hollywood and be in the movies since you were a young girl. Now that you’re actually doing it, does it feel like you’re literally living the dream? Well, it’s kind of funny, because the dream was not actually movies since I was young—it was sketch-comedy. I wanted to do comedy, and then I thought I wanted to do theater, so I wanted to do musical theater, and then I took voice lessons for like eight years, and I sucked at singing, so I was like, “Alright, nevermind.”
You don’t sing now, because on your Wikipedia page it says you do? Oh, well, I’m releasing my third album next week, so like, whatever, I do sort of sing. No really, I’m not tone deaf but I’m not a singer by any stretch. But, I did just have to sing in something so I don’t know what I’m saying.
In Easy A? In Easy A. Oh my god, like, what? You know everything!
I did my research for about 30 minutes this morning. So yeah, one day I just really was like, “I think I have to go to L.A.”
And did you actually make a Power Point presentation to convince your parents to let you move? Yes, I did.
What was on it? Oh God. It was so silly. I was like fourteen. It had the Madonna song “Hollywood.” It was ridiculous, like, I used alliteration.
Were you trying to prove a point to them? A power-point? I was trying to prove the point that I needed to move to Hollywood and be an actor in movies. Yeah, I guess it is pretty crazy that I’m actually able to do that now.
Did you beat out a lot of actresses for this role? Because I interviewed Jesse a few weeks ago for the magazine—he gets to be in the magazine by the way, you’re only online. Unbelievable.
He said that it came down to him and somebody else. Oh, I’ve got a little story, but I can’t divulge.
Is this a role you desperately wanted? I really wanted it, but there were people much cooler than me that might have gotten it.
So how happy were you when you got it? I was incredibly happy, I couldn’t believe it was happening. I was shocked that they decided to go that way—to go this way. My hair looked like—I look like I can’t even lift a gun. I don’t know what they were thinking.
You said you usually played girls, and this is the first time you’ve played woman. What makes her woman? Well, she’s not in high school, which is a big leap. I don’t know how people can pass me off as sixteen and seventeen year-olds still. I conceivably do not—like with the way I live my life, I’m like, “How the fuck am I playing in high school still?” I went back to high school for my next film Easy A, so I’ll milk that as long as I can. I have like no goal, is that weird? Other than SNL, I have absolutely no goal.
You want to do SNL? Don’t start me on that. It’s a dream, it’s a dream of life.
Why don’t you make that happen? I don’t know, it’s not gonna happen. Whatever, it’s fine. It’s fine, its nothing. It’s just, no, it’s not even like—it’s like, if that ever happened then I wouldn’t have anything to dream about, and then it would all be pointless.
Why don’t you quit movies and try and become a cast member on SNL? Would you rather do that than movies? Stop it. That’s my dream. I would rather do that than anything in the world.
Wow, I had no idea. Yeah, I mean I’m insanely crazy about Kristen Wiig and I’m so jealous of Abby Elliott its not even funny. She’s the youngest woman that’s ever been on SNL. She’s twenty one, so we’re like the same age.
Do you like watching yourself on screen? Oh my God, my eyes fill up with tears. It’s weird, especially when I hear my voice, because in my head it’s so much higher that it is. It sounds like this in my head, and its like a man voice in real life, it’s horrible.
I’m the same way. You totally have a man voice.
Yeah, but I’m not a man so it sucks. It sucks, right?
I read in an interview that making Zombieland didn’t feel like a chore. Has anything you’ve made felt like a chore? Does this feel like a chore? Being forced to talk to people? No, you’re fun to talk to. This is tough because I’ve never really considered myself that good at interviews. Any interviews I’ve seen that I’ve done, I’m like, “Oh my God I’m such a fucking idiot”,
I watched you on the Jimmy Kimmel Show this morning, and you were very natural and personable. So dumb, no it’s just dumb, it’s always felt dumb. And this is totally understandable. I’m not one of those people that’s like, “Why do we have to do this?” It makes sense why you have to do this, because you want people to go see the movie. But I’m probably not drawing anybody to the theatre when I’m doing this, so I don’t know if I’m cut out for it.
Are there aspects about actual movie-making where you’re like, “I don’t want to do this, I don’t want to get out of my trailer.” No, I love love love it. It’s just that I’m really hard on myself, I kinda beat myself up all the time. So there’s been an experience where I had a really, really, tough time.
House Bunny? No, no.
Superbad? No, not Superbad. Definitely not Superbad. Superbad was awesome. There’s definitely times where you’re like, it’s weird because in a lot of jobs you’re tired and you still have to really pull through, and it’s weird having to pull through on camera.
Now that you’ve done a few movies, were you are more comfortable on the set of Zombieland than say, Superbad, which was your first film? Yes, I didn’t even know what was happening. I was like, “So this is what movies are like, alright! Superbad was like the most laid-back set, to this day, that I’ve ever been on. It’s basically like Seth’s asleep on the couch and then they’re like, “Okay, you gotta wake up,” and he’s like, “Yeah, right, okay, let’s rewrite this line, cool” and, you know, he’s back to sleep. Everybody said, “You’re never gonna be on a set this cool ever again, so get ready,” and I didn’t realize what they meant until later on.
Do you ever have down time between your movies? That’s what I’m doing right now. I moved to New York two weeks ago, and I’m just trying to hold off as long as humanly possible. I’m trying to walk around as much as I can and soak it up until I find the next thing. By way of Los Angeles, this is heaven. I keep saying I feel like I’m home for the first time, I really do. Arizona never felt like home, except for my family, and L.A. never felt like home except for my friends. And here, feels like the place I was always meant to live.
What was wrong with L.A.? Nothing’s wrong with L.A. because my friends are so amazing and the people I know there are so amazing, but if I wanna go to CVS, I gotta get in my car and drive a block, then pay for parking and get it validated. Now I go downstairs to Duane Reade and I’m done, it’s fucking awesome”
Have you found any good restaurants in New York? If I say it are you going to put it in the magazine and everybody’s going to show up there?
I’m going to put it on the website. Oh yeah, not the magazine, Jesse’s in the magazine, and I’m on the website. I don’t want to say it because it always seems kind of empty when I go there.
Tell me. Have you been to Burrito Loco on West 4th? I love Mexican, I’m on a Mexican food kick. There’s actually a truck parked on 14th Street and 8th Avenue, close to your place and it’s great. Oh my God, I am there.