Emma Stone brings a whole new style to the Spider-Man movies, with her trademark headbands and thigh-highs. We talked to Stone about her character's possible Electra complex, unlearning love for Peter Parker, and the real-life science that went into this superhero story. Find out why she was studying stem cells during the making of Amazing Spider-Man.
Gwen Stacey is pretty iconic — you said you went through and did some research on her and her story. That was very apparent on screen, where everything down to her iconic thigh highs, her look, and the feel of the character seemed to come right off the comic page. How much of that was your preparation and how much of it were things that you worked on with Webb?
Costumes were done by Kim Barret, who is fantastic. We worked together (kind of) to make sure that Gwen felt like Gwen, but also made sense in the real world. And I'm a lot less voluptuous than Gwen, unfortunately, so it didn't really go to those heights. But the signature headband, and the thigh-highs and the coats and all of that was important. Right down to the makeup. We really tried to keep her realistic and Earth-bound. And I'm by no means a supermodel or an unattainable looking person, so that element of Gwen was a bit different because she was such a beauty queen in the comic books. I'm more "next door" than she might be. So that, we worked on.
In terms of her as a character, [it was] kind of a hodgepodge of different versions of Gwen. I know she's not very hippieish, and I don't think she will ever be birthing Norman Osborn's twins [like in the comics]. I don't think that will be happening, or moving to London. We tried to keep some of that moxie in there, and some of that self-assuredness. She's the daughter of a police chief. She's the oldest daughter and there's that responsibility that kicks in when she thinks that he could die any day. I think it was important that she took on that energy of being in charge of her family. And unwittingly she's drawn to a man who is in the same position, a little Electra [complex] thing going on there.
How familiar are you with the science that your character deals with in this movie?
That's a great question because I was homeschooled, and I hadn't really been exposed to things like that. My aunt and uncle were scientists that worked for Merck. They had a hand in creating the cervical cancer vaccine, Gardasil, so they are incredibly intelligent, fantastic minds. I'd always been fascinated by what they did. I myself — this is a little bit strange, but I had really bad acne a couple years ago. It was during a really stressful time period. I started going online, and trying to figure out what causes this kind of thing. And your cortisol production, and how those things change in your body. How things like Accutane work (I didn't do that).
[The studio] took us to these labs and this was the first time in my life that I've really been very angry about not going to college, because I went to these labs and I was fascinated! I knew what they were talking about. We looked at Biophotonics, and what happens with cortisol fires off in your brain and how the same thing that causes acne can cause diabetes. And they're proving that stress has a link. I was learning about regeneration. We were injecting axolotls and seeing how they removed their arms. We looked at stem cells that they wired to beat like a human heart. They are finding ways to do this. I was fascinated!
I asked, "What do I need to do to intern?" You need to be a college graduate. And I was like, "But I know what you're talking about! I can learn!" It made me so upset. It's like joining the Peace Corps, you have to be a college graduate. It sucks! I can learn, I can learn, I swear. So I really got so interested in Biology, that was one of the most exciting parts of this process, learning about medicine and regeneration and stem cells, all of it expanded my mind in so many different ways. Now, I'm going to take a Biology class.
This love story felt different it felt young, it felt goofy, it felt sweet? How did you decide to tell this love story between Gwen Stacy and Peter Parker?
In past movies I've done, there hasn't been a love like this. In Superbad with Seth, it's kind of a totally different thing — "Oh, he's cute." And in Easy A it's Woodchuck Todd who is cute, but they're focused on their own stories. This kind of swept me off my feet because she is truly in love with him. I think the approach was, I wanted again to experience that feeling of first love, before you know what it's like to get your heart completely shattered. That life or death love, where you say, "I know what love is!" But in this circumstance, it actually is life or death. I wanted to feel that again. I wanted to unlearn. Go from the very beginning of, "Oh my God, there's an attraction to another human being, in a way I've never felt that way before what is this?" It was a matter of unlearning, and letting yourself be 17 in these moments. It's fun you guys should try it, it's pretty cool, it's pretty cool to feel that way.
Taken from the New York City press conference.