For the February issue, the incandescent Emma Stone took Vogue to the pub in North London, where the La La Land star talked about her life beyond the spotlight, the lessons that come with turning 30, and her most daring role yet: Abigail Masham in Oscar-tipped The Favourite. She also took a moment to share with vogue.co.uk some of the key influences that have shaped her life, from a treasured read to a favourite film.
Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters. It’s a super-fast read; you could read it in like a day. It’s two parts – it’s Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters and Seymour: An Introduction. It’s the first part I’m talking about. It’s JD Salinger and I sat down and read it in a day seven years ago on a trip and it has stayed with me ever since. It showed me how writing can be very simple and straightforward and still effective. They’re stuck in traffic for the majority of the story. I really like simple stories with great characters and not a lot of plot and heavy lifting. I feel that way with films too.
Last night it was karaoke – “These Boots Are Made For Walking”. But really it’s “Where Do The Children Play” by Cat Stevens. I first saw Harold & Maude when I was in my teens and I loved that whole Cat Stevens soundtrack. My mum had breast cancer when I was 19 and I was listening to a lot of Cat Stevens at that time and this song for some reason was very helpful and effective and soothing, because it’s sad but it’s also just kind of the perfect song. It was very formative in that time in my life. I really loved that song.
OK, piece of advice. Here’s the big news: nobody cares. Nobody is thinking about you. They’re thinking about you for like 15 seconds, then they’re like worried about their own shit. Nobody cares about the dream you had last night – well they do, kind of, but not really. They love you, but they don’t care. I find that very soothing.
The first time I came to London was when I was 18 – it was my boyfriend at the time and he surprised me with this trip. We couldn’t get used to jet lag because I’d never been jet lagged before and so we would stay up all night and then sleep during the day. At this time in my life, I was still afraid of new foods, so I ate at McDonald’s multiple times. We went and saw the Spice Girls at the O2 and it was pretty heavenly. It was the first time I really had been in London; we were in Covent Garden and I was like, “This place is incredible.” Now I’ve spent so much time here and I love it. I didn’t realise this would be a city that would be one of the formative places in my life.
Oh God, I’m trying to think of ones I haven’t talked about extensively – but I think it’s going to have to be Network again. In the same way “Where Do The Children Play” is the perfect song, I think it’s kind of the perfect movie. The way it’s directed, the way it’s written, that script, Faye Dunaway’s performance – it’s literally everything.
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