We know and love Emma Stone from the many popular films she’s starred in and there is no denying her talents in the acting industry. From movies like Zombieland to La La Land, there’s no doubt she plays so many different roles. But just how many of those films were book adaptations or even character portrayals that reference books?
For her birthday, let’s reflect on the numerous book-related characters she amazingly portrayed in movies.
1. Allison Vandermeersh from Ghosts of Girlfriends Past
Ghosts of Girlfriends Past is a romantic comedy film not only starring Emma Stone, but also Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner. Based on the famous Christmas tale, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, the film has a more modern romantic twist.
Connor Mead is a famous photographer and womanizer. When he attends his brother’s wedding, he is reunited with Jenny Perotti, the only girl he’s ever liked. Suddenly, Connor sees the ghost of his uncle, who is also a playboy. His uncle warns him to not live the same lifestyle as him.
Ghosts appear to revisit his romantic past, present, and future. These ghosts are his former lovers who guide him through his failed relationships in hopes of him finding true love in the end. Emma Stone plays Allison Vandermeersh, his first girlfriend, and is also the “Ghost of Girlfriends Past.”
2. Olive from Easy A
Emma Stone plays Olive in the movie Easy A. Although it is not directly an adaptation of a book, it is loosely inspired and makes references to The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. It incorporates the main themes and elements from the classic novel in a funny and romantic way.
Olive lies to her best friend, Rhiannon, about losing her virginity to a college boy. Unfortunately, her lie is overheard by Marianna, a devout Christian, and she spreads the rumor all throughout their school. Later when Olive confides in her friend, Brandon, he asks for a favor which she agrees. Bullied for being gay, he asks her to pretend they had sex so the school will believe he is straight.
Other boys at school start asking her to do the same for them in exchange for gift cards. Now labeled as the school tramp, she decides to embrace her new image by wearing provocative clothes. Inspired by The Scarlet Letter, the book they’re currently studying in class, she even stitches a red “A” on her clothes. However, the lies start going too far. How will everyone know the truth once all the rumors seem to have spiraled out of control?
3. Skeeter Phelan from The Help
The Help is a historical film adaptation of the novel by the same name written by Kathryn Stockett. In the movie, Emma Stone plays the role of Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan who is an aspiring writer and journalist. The story is set in the 1960s in Mississippi centered around two black maids, Aibileen Clark and Minny Jackson.
Skeeter is a southern society girl who wants to become a writer and journalist. Determined to expose the racism black women face as maids working for white families, Skeeter writes a book by interviewing them. Skeeter interviews Aibileen first and soon Minny as well. However, other maids are afraid to come forward with their own stories.
Despite this, Skeeter and Aibileen continue their work together and eventually more women share their stories of the mistreatment and racism they’ve dealt with from the white families they work for. Along the way, new friendships arise and they each find closure for themselves.
4. Gwen Stacy from The Amazing Spider-Man
The very popular superhero from Marvel Comics, Spider-Man, is a very popular adaptation with various storylines throughout each one. One of those adaptations stars Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy alongside Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker in The Amazing Spider-Man.
Peter is a smart and socially awkward guy who also has a crush on Gwen Stacy. Wanting to solve the mystery behind his parents disappearance, he sneaks into Oscorp after learning his father is friends with Dr. Connors. While there, he is bitten by a modified spider which gives him spider-like abilities such as sharp senses, strength, speed, and agility.
He then becomes the city’s vigilante hero using his abilities to take down criminals. Along the way, he and Gwen get closer to each other. However, trouble stirs when Dr. Connors uses his research to regenerate his limb but turned into a giant lizard instead. Peter now must use his new abilities to save the people he loves most before Dr. Connors everyone into lizards.
5. Cruella de Vil from Cruella
Cruella serves as an alternate origin story for the famous villain, Cruella de Vil, from The Hundred and One Dalmatians by Dodie Smith. Emma Stone plays Cruella and showcases in the film how Estella Miller became the infamous Cruella de Vil.
The movie centers around the story of Estella Miller. She is an aspiring fashion designer but is often outcast for her black and white hair. She is orphaned after ferocious Dalmatian dogs pushed her mother off a cliffside balcony. Later in life, she gets a coveted job at the fashion house after impressing Baroness von Hellman.
Realizing the Baroness is wearing her mother’s stolen necklace, Estella creates an alter-ego, “Cruella,” to steal it back. She later learns that the Baroness caused her mother’s death purposely. Estella also begins making a name for herself in the fashion world. However, as secrets unfold and chaos ensues, Estella’s hunger for revenge grows as she embodies the villainous role we all know as Cruella de Vil.
Who knew she starred in so many popular films based on books or even characters portrayed as references to well-known books? Make sure to watch some of these book-adapted movies Emma Stone has starred in to celebrate her birthday!
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