The Easy A star had always been interested in acting, but her story of climbing up the Hollywood ladder wasn’t one you might expect.
Before she was famous, Emma Stone began acting at 11 years old. She dropped out of high school to further pursue her acting career, moved to Los Angeles in 2004, and worked at a dog-treat bakery. Her first TV role was on a reality show in 2004, and her debut film was Superbad in 2007.
Let’s explore Emma’s origin story, including her anxiety-filled childhood, a PowerPoint presentation to convince her parents of her Hollywood dreams, and her countless failed auditions.
Panic Attacks and Hollywood Aspirations
Emma Stone’s real name is Emily Jean Stone, and she was born in Scottsdale, Arizona on the 6th of November 1988.
Her mother Krista Jean Stone was a housewife, and her father Jeffrey Charles Stone founded a general-contracting company. She grew up in Scottsdale, and even lived in the Camelback Inn for three years from 12 to 15 years old.
Since becoming famous, Emma has been quite open about her experiences with anxiety and panic attacks as a child. Speaking to The Wall Street Journal in 2015, she revealed the first time she felt a panic attack:
“The first time I had a panic attack I was sitting in my friend’s house, and I thought the house was burning down. I called my mom and she brought me home, and for the next three years it just would not stop.
She continued, “I would go to the nurse at lunch most days and just wring my hands. I would ask my mom to tell me exactly how the day was going to be, then ask again 30 seconds later. I just needed to know that no one was going to die and nothing was going to change.”
While she did go to therapy to help with the constant anxiety, Emma credits theater and acting in local plays as the cure for lessening the attacks.
Stone had made her debut acting appearance at 11 years of age in a theater show of The Wind in the Willows where she played the role of the Otter. Following this role, she relied on homeschooling until turning 15.
As a freshman, she went to an all-girls Catholic high school called Xavier College Preparatory. Not long after, she decided to drop out to get serious about an acting career.
A PowerPoint Presentation and Her Big Break
In an attempt to convince her parents of her desire to become a Hollywood star, Stone produced a PowerPoint presentation called “Project Hollywood”. The aim was not only to persuade them of her potential, but also to move to Los Angeles permanently.
The presentation worked, and her mother moved with her to Los Angeles in 2004.
Stone’s first experiences in Hollywood weren’t what she expected. She auditioned for numerous roles, only to end up getting none of them.
During these unsuccessful auditions, Stone continued homeschooling with high school classes that were online. Plus, she even worked at a bakery that sold dog treats to make some extra cash.
Speaking to Vanity Fair in 2011 on the experience, she said ““I think three people called my specific cookies inedible to their dogs. I’m not a super-talented dog baker.”
In 2004, Emma scored a spot on a reality competition show called In Search of the New Partridge Family. Although she ended up winning, the show was a flop.
Next came her role on Superbad in 2007 alongside Jonah Hill and Michael Cera. It was a success, and led to her breakthrough main role in Easy A in 2010, which snowballed her rise to stardom.
She got engaged to long-time boyfriend Dave McCary in 2019.