Interview

Interview

Exclusive: Emma Stone Talks 'Zombieland'

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Phobia Friday: caligynephobia – FEAR of beautiful women

(Of course I don't suffer from the above mentioned affliction. I mean, if I did I wouldn't be able to ask a single question of Emma Stone. But, hey, it's Phobia Friday here at FEARnet, and apparently there's no clinical term for "fear of zombies." Go figure.)

Emma Stone made a big splash in Superbad and now forever earns her place in geekdom's collective heart with today's release of Zombieland. As those who've seen the film well know, not only is Stone gorgeous and talented in the role of zombie holocaust survivor/grifter Wichita, she's also pretty funny. I caught up with her last week on the Santa Monica Pier (which, by the way, is exactly where I plan to interview all actresses, just before taking them on the Ferris Wheel), at last week's Zombieland press junket. Check out our conversation after the jump.

Warning: Read no further if you've not yet seen Zombieland and don't want to spoil some of the surprises it has in store for you.

Zombieland is such a fun and sweet horror comedy that it reminds me a little of Ghostbusters. Without giving too much away, there's a great little Ghostbusters homage in this film. Were you a fan? Because your part, in particular, in this homage can be best appreciated by the hardcore Ghostbusters fan.

It's hard for me to talk about because I can't really talk about that particular moment. These are my father's heroes, ever since I was seven. I've been watching these movies and I was in absolute heaven. It was really not too shabby. It was, like, the coolest two days of my life. 

Were you also a zombie fan?

I didn't know too much about the zombie genre. I'm such a wuss. I'm bad with horror. I'm always covering my eyes and jumping. And it's funny because in our movie, I was in it, I was there. I saw the prosthetics and the fake broken bones, so even when I watch it in a comedy sense I'm so squeamish. I feel very it very strongly. So it's hard for me to watch things like that. What drew me to this movie was the comedy aspect of it, not really the zombies. The zombies felt like the perfume of the movie.

The garnish.

The garnish. It didn't feel like it was a zombie movie. It was like the salad with the main course. Of course, the zombie kills are so badass, and the actual preparation of reacting to zombies… Ruben Fleischer, the director, gave us each baskets of movies. He gave me, Kill Bill – bad ass females; I love Kill Bill. And he gave me the Dawn of the Dead remake. I finally saw that, which was amazing, and 28 Weeks Later and Paper Moon.

Paper Moon?

Because they're con artists.

That was pretty smart.

Yeah. That was the way I practiced. With those kinds of movies.

This film offers the possibility of a sequel.

Oh, I dream.

Anything in particular you'd like to see your character do in said potential sequel? Any direction you'd like her to take?

I don't even know. I would love to see what they think of, where we would be. Where we were going. It would be fascinating to see New York City. I think that's been done before in zombie movies; I think London has been done before. But you know, those empty worlds, it's just such a striking image – Hollywood Boulevard empty, Beverly Hills. To see Los Angeles is really cool, but to see somewhere else would be fascinating too. Maybe there are more survivors. That would be really cool to see.

Are there any scenes that you guys shot that didn't make this cut? Scenes that look forward to seeing on a DVD?

Yeah, there is a lot of fun additional stuff from our celebrity cameo, really fun stuff that didn't make it into the movie. More vignettes, some more references that are really hilarious and hopefully will be on the DVD, just extended parts of scenes that got taken out. It would be interesting to see what they put on there. 

Is there more backstory to your character?

There's a little bit in the sense that when Abby [Breslin]'s character originally gets into the car after the first con, the flashback con, we say, "We are going to California as far away from Dad as possible." The idea is that they were in a very shitty home situation and they've been on the run since before zombies even attacked, so you know, a  20-something-year-old and a 12-year-old on the run from their home and then zombies… Zombieland is kind of an intense version of their lives. They've always had trust issues, they've always been con artists, and use the new world to the best of their advantages.

One of the interesting things about your character is that she's a kind of badass but at the same time she has an affinity for someone who's less so.

Yeah.

But you kind of believe it. It doesn't come off as a male fantasy. There's a truthful note in this ridiculous scenario.

Yeah. Jesse [Eisenberg] is totally crushable. He is so great. He is so smart. He is so funny and cool. That's my type – cool people. And he is a cool person. It always makes sense to me. It makes more sense than falling for some good-looking brainless guy. It's the same thing with good-looking brainless girls. It's like, "Yeah, right." That's a funny question when people ask that. In Superbad too. It makes total sense to me. Why wouldn't she fall for him? He seems like a great guy and he's got it all going for him. I get it.

Can you talk about what's next for you?  What are you looking at right now? 

I did a movie called Easy A, right after Zombieland. And I just moved to New York and I'm just kind of enjoying the new city and figuring out what I want to do.

So maybe it wouldn't be so bad to set a sequel in New York.

That would be so cool. That'd be great. To get to a taxi to work instead of a plane!

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