This piece contains major spoilers about "The Amazing Spider-Man 2."
As a great many ledes before this have described, Emma Stone is as charming, intelligent, funny and self-deprecating as her screen persona would indicate. On this day, she was also very hungry.
"Is it disgusting and will it smell horrible if I eat it right now?" Stone asked before our interview at New York's Crosby Street Hotel at the end of April. "My lunch is chicken and a fried egg and carrots and kale."
Perhaps to avoid turning this into one of those cliched celebrity profiles everyone hates, Stone didn't actually eat during the 10-minute conversation that followed; instead, she discussed her role in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2." The 25-year-old actress stars in the franchise as Gwen Stacy, a high school valedictorian, Oscorp employee and the doomed love interest for Peter Parker/Spider-Man (who's played by her real-life boyfriend, Andrew Garfield). Ahead, Stone reflects on the last year of "Spider-Man" rumors and why people love spoilers.
Marc Webb had talked about having a big learning curve on the first film, and that this one just felt better. Did you have that same experience as well?
I think so. The script from the very beginning was completely on point. It felt very cohesive. On the first movie there had been different opinions in different places. Here, it felt like there was more freedom and more expansion. Also, this is the part of Gwen's story I was so excited to get into. I thought they kind of executed it in a beautiful way. Executed being a very choice word [laughs]. But I thought they did that really well.
You've been asked about Gwen dying for literally a year. Is it nice to finally not have to tip-toe around that question?
I had this whole marketing campaign in my head. I thought it would be like Bruce Willis in "The Sixth Sense" or "Catfish": "Okay, no one is ever going to know anything, but when the people who have read the comic see the movie and they see me step out of that cab in the outfit, they're going to know." And, obviously, it did not work out that way. There were photos online while we were shooting, and then in the trailers she's literally falling. Everything is there except for [the death]. You see so much and if you've read the comics, you know that outfit. So, my marketing campaign was not their marketing campaign.
Why do you think people like to read spoilers?
Do you like spoilers? If you see that something is going to have a spoiler in it, do you read it?
Curiosity, I guess. I just want to know that something is coming, especially if it's scary or shocking. But at the same time, I was unaware that Leonardo DiCaprio died in "The Departed," and that was a great theatrical experience. So I don't know what the answer is here.
I have a weird drive to want to read spoilers. But I think that's with everything. It's a very Google-y, current culture, where you want to know everything and nothing at the same time. I want everything in my life to be a surprise, but I want to understand every facet of everything. So I understand the impulse completely, but I also want people to be surprised. I like when I am surprised. But, yeah, I am drawn to spoilers.
What's it like to film a death scene?
You just have to lay there. For me, it was the easiest day [laughs]. It was weirder to watch than to film. I couldn't open my eyes to see Andrew, and then to watch it after the fact. I could feel him, but to see his face, it's so heartbreaking.
It is. I almost cried.
A tear. Single tear.
How important was it to keep Gwen from becoming a damsel in distress? In this film, she has a real ownership of her fate.
A lot of it is a testament to the writers and the producers and Marc. Nobody ever wanted Gwen to be a damsel in distress throughout this entire series. It was always very clear that Gwen and Peter were going to be equals, down to the camera test. That was the rapport we were able to find even in the audition process. That was never really a question. We workshopped it a little bit, and it was collaborative. The "I break up with you" scene [in "Amazing Spider-Man 2"], I suggested that and they were really open to it. They put that in the script. I think the whole team was onboard for that. She … I was going to make a point here. What was I going to say? Fuck. I'll remember it, let's come back to it. I have lethologica.
What is that?
The state of the word being on the tip of your tongue when you don't know what it is. It's one of the words of the day. I get that little Dictionary.com email.
Of course. You mentioned the chemistry between you and Andrew. Like or dislike the film, that was the one thing everyone seemed to embrace in "The Amazing Spider-Man." Were you guys worried at all about making sure that element didn't get messed up in the sequel?
Again, the writing was so great. And their relationship is kind of in such a tenuous place. It's so on and off and up and down and kind of tortured. As Peter has become more comfortable with being Spider-man, he's less comfortable in who he is and what's happening with him personally. Gwen, meanwhile, is becoming much more solid in following her destiny. I think the dynamic was different in this one, but the natural magic that Peter and Gwen have between them, was just something we tried not to over think.
Are you going to have FOMO over not being in "The Amazing Spider-Man 3"?
I have FOMO about everything. My middle name should be FOMO. Like, "Oh, I don't want to go out. I'm not going to go. But I want to go! What are you guys doing? I hope nobody goes."
That's all the time we have. Did you ever remember that word you wanted to say?
It was a concept on the tip of my tongue. If I think of it, I'll let you know.
This interview has been edited and condensed.