Emma Stone at the Toronto International Film Festival, 2010. Photo by gdcgraphics via Flickr (http://bit.ly/1pOWAzn)

Emma Stone at the Toronto International Film Festival, 2010. Photo by gdcgraphics via Flickr (http://bit.ly/1pOWAzn) Photo by gdcgraphics, via Flickr

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If you haven’t seen this video of Emma Stone in a lip-sync battle with Jimmy KimmelFallon you’ve missed out on one of late-night’s best moments in recent history. They both put on a great show — Fallon with Iggy Azalea’s “Fancy” and Styx’s “Mr. Roboto,” and Emma raced her way through Blues Traveler’s “The Hook.” But it was her performance of DJ Khaled’s “All I Do Is Win” that won her whatever trophy stars get for lip-syncing on The Tonight Show. Take a look, if you haven’t already:

Between this performance, her role in The Amazing Spiderman 2, and her recent appearance on the cover of VogueStone is having quite a moment. In some ways, she’s taken on a version of Jennifer Lawrence’s Girl-Next-Door mantle — the conversation behind her Vogue cover story takes place at Build-A-Bear and Hot Dog on a Stick in a local mall — and in other ways, she’s becoming a stronger and stronger performer and cultural force. In a recent Q&A sponsored by Yahoo!, Spiderman star (and Stone’s longtime boyfriend) Andrew Garfield remarked that his character sewed his own costume, which was “kind of a feminine thing to do.”

“It’s feminine how?” Stone asked, and the two had a back-and-forth in front of the audience that ended with Garfield remarking that all people have feminine qualities. It was a quick exchange that made me like Stone all the more — and made me curious about her faith background, too.

Stone grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona, and was homeschooled during her junior high years and performed regularly at Phoenix’s Valley Youth Theatre. She attended one semester of high school at Xavier College Preparatory, an all-girls Catholic school in Phoenix, before famously giving her parents a Power Point presentation that convinced them to move to Hollywood for her to begin an acting career.

In her 2010 film Easy A, an updated version of The Scarlet Letter, Stone plays Olive Penderghast, a teenage girl whose virginity (or alleged loss of it) becomes the subject of a nasty school rumor spread by the head of the school’s Christian clique, Marianne Bryant (played by Amanda Bynes). In an interview with Collider, Emma explained that the film’s intention wasn’t necessarily to paint all Christians in a certain light:

I think it’s so much less about their religion and more about who they are as people because they’re a very extreme group of people. They’re not trying to speak for all Christians by any means in the movie. I definitely had a massive amount of experience with fundamentalist religious people just growing up in Arizona. I had a lot of experience there, but again I really don’t think it’s a religious thing that we’re trying to convey. I think it’s more the personalities of those specific people.

Stone has talked openly about anxiety, therapy, and her fear of death, remarking again on her anxiety and tendency to self-edit in her recent Vogue profile. At the end of that article, she mentioned what might be a way in for all of us who are curious about her faith and worldview. “I would do True Detective with Kristen Wiig in a heartbeat.”

Here’s hoping.


Categories: Beliefs

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Laura Turner

Laura Turner

Laura Turner is a writer and editor living in San Francisco. In addition to being a regular contributor to Christianity Today’s “Her.meneutics” blog, she has also written for publications such as Books & Culture and The Bold Italic. She is interested in the intersection of church and culture.

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