Emily Jean “Emma” Stone (born November 6, 1988) is an American actress. The recipient of numerous accolades, including an Academy Award and a Golden Globe Award, she was the world’s highest-paid actress in 2017. Stone has appeared in Forbes Celebrity 100 in 2013 and in 2017, she was featured by Time as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.
Born and raised in Scottsdale, Arizona, Stone began acting as a child, in a theater production of The Wind in the Willows in 2000. As a teenager, she relocated to Los Angeles with her mother and made her television debut in In Search of the New Partridge Family (2004), a reality show that produced only an unsold pilot. After small television roles, she made her film debut in Superbad (2007), and received positive media attention for her role in Zombieland (2009). The 2010 teen comedy Easy A was Stone’s first starring role, earning her nominations for the BAFTA Rising Star Award and a Golden Globe Award for Best Actress. This breakthrough was followed with further success in the romantic comedy Crazy, Stupid, Love (2011) and the drama The Help (2011).
Stone gained wider recognition as Gwen Stacy in the 2012 superhero film The Amazing Spider-Man, and its 2014 sequel. She was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress for playing a recovering drug addict in the black comedy Birdman (2014), and her Broadway debut came in a revival of the musical Cabaret (2014–2015). She won the Academy Award for Best Actress for playing an aspiring actress in the romantic musical La La Land (2016). Stone portrayed Billie Jean King in the biographical sports film Battle of the Sexes (2017) and Abigail Masham in the historical comedy-drama The Favourite (2018), receiving a third Academy Award nomination for the latter. She has since starred in the Netflix dark comedy miniseries Maniac (2018) and the comedy sequel Zombieland: Double Tap (2019).
Emily Jean Stone was born on November 6, 1988, in Scottsdale, Arizona, to Krista Jean Stone (née Yeager), a homemaker, and Jeffrey Charles Stone, the founder and CEO of a general-contracting company. Stone lived on the grounds of the Camelback Inn resort from the age of 12 to 15. She has a younger brother, Spencer. Her paternal grandfather, Conrad Ostberg Sten, was from a Swedish family that anglicized their surname to “Stone” when they immigrated to the United States through Ellis Island. She also has German, English, Scottish, and Irish ancestry.
As an infant, Stone had baby colic and cried frequently; she consequently developed nodules and calluses on her vocal cords while she was a child. Stone has described herself as having been “loud” and “bossy” while growing up. She was educated at Sequoya Elementary School and attended Cocopah Middle School for the sixth grade. Although she did not like school, she has stated that her controlling nature meant that “I made sure I got all As”. Stone suffered panic attacks as a child, which she says caused a decline in her social skills. She underwent therapy but states that it was her participation in local theater plays that helped cure the attacks.
Stone started acting at age four; she wanted a career in sketch comedy initially, but shifted her focus toward musical theater, and took voice lessons for several years. Her acting debut, at the age of 11, came in a stage production of The Wind in the Willows, playing the part of Otter. The actress was homeschooled for two years, during which time she appeared in sixteen productions at Phoenix’s Valley Youth Theatre—including The Princess and the Pea, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat—and performed with the theater’s improvisational comedy troupe. Around this time, she traveled to Los Angeles and auditioned unsuccessfully for a role in Nickelodeon’s All That. Her parents later sent her for private acting lessons with a local acting coach, who had worked at the William Morris Agency in the 1970s.
Stone attended Xavier College Preparatory—an all-girl Catholic high school—as a freshman, but dropped out after one semester to become an actress. She prepared a PowerPoint presentation for her parents titled “Project Hollywood” (featuring Madonna’s 2003 song “Hollywood”) to convince them to let her move to California to pursue an acting career. In January 2004, she moved with her mother to an apartment in Los Angeles. She recalls: “I went up for every single show on the Disney Channel and auditioned to play the daughter on every single sitcom”, adding, “I ended up getting none.” Between auditions for roles, she enrolled in online high-school classes, and worked part-time at a dog-treat bakery.
Stone moved from Los Angeles to Greenwich Village, New York City, in 2009. In 2016, she moved back to Los Angeles. Despite frequent media coverage, the actress has refused to speak about her private life. Concerned with living a “normal” life, she has said that she finds little value in media attention. She has expressed her fondness for her profession, and has cited actress Diane Keaton as an influence, who is (in Stone’s words) “one of the most covered-up actresses of all time”. She has also named actress and singer-songwriter Marion Cotillard as one of her inspirations.
Stone has a close relationship with her family. She says: “I am blessed with a great family and great people around me that would be able to kick me in the shins if I ever for one minute got lost up in the clouds. I’ve been really lucky in that sense.” During the production of The Amazing Spider-Man in 2010, Stone dated co-star Andrew Garfield. Their relationship was reported in the media, with various speculations. The couple refused to talk about it publicly, though they made several appearances together. In 2014, on an occasion in New York, Stone and Garfield encouraged paparazzi to visit websites that spread awareness of causes such as autism. In 2015, they were reported to have broken up. Since 2017, Stone has been in a romantic relationship with Saturday Night Live segment director Dave McCary. They became engaged in December 2019.
According to Stone, she suffers from asthma, which she discovered after having difficulty breathing while filming Easy A. Her mother was diagnosed with triple-negative breast cancer and was cured in 2008. Stone and her mother celebrated by getting tattoos of birds’ feet, designed by Paul McCartney, a reference to the Beatles’ “Blackbird”, which is a song she and her mother love. She appeared in a Revlon campaign that promoted breast cancer awareness. In 2011, the actress featured in a collaborative video between Star Wars and Stand Up to Cancer, which aimed to raise funds for cancer research. Two years later, she attended an event by Gilda’s Club, an organization working for a similar purpose. From 2012 to 2014, she hosted the Entertainment Industry Foundation’s Revlon Run/Walk, which helps fight women’s cancer.
Stone, alongside three other celebrities, was present at the 2012 Nickelodeon HALO Awards, a television special that profiled five teenagers who are “Helping And Leading Others” (HALO). She attended the 2014 Earth Hour, a worldwide movement for the planet organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature. In 2015, she was part of a fundraising event in support of the Motion Picture & Television Fund, which helps people in the television and film industry with limited or no resources. In 2018, she collaborated with 300 women in Hollywood to set up the Time’s Up initiative to protect women from harassment and discrimination.