Interview: Emma Stone thinks ‘Spider-Man”s Gwen Stacy is a strong role model
It’s early (or early-ish), and Emma Stone is not really awake. Even after caffeinated reinforcements are brought in, she apologizes for her answers. Of course, this in itself is part of how she charms her way though the press duties for “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” the sequel to the 2012 reboot, in which again she plays Spidey gal Gwen Stacy.
Still, she’s more lucid than she gives herself credit for, in part because this sequel wasn’t simply a repeat of the first. “There’s more solidity to Gwen in this movie,” Stone says. “I think because of her father dying in the first, she’s much clearer and more mature. She knows she wants to go to college, she knows what she wants to do with her life.”
Her obstacle is Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker, who is conflicted over her father’s dying wish that he not involve his daughter in his dangerous shenanigans. But Stacy won’t let him drag her down. “She’s not staying behind, waiting to see what her boyfriend decides. She’s making her own decisions,” she says. Gwen realizes that life, simply, is short. “She’s following her destiny, whether it’s Peter’s destiny or not, and hoping he can figure out how to work into that. She’s a role model for modern women: She’s making her way in the world and not waiting around for a guy.”
Gwen and Peter — and also Stone and Garfield — still have repartee, which exists in part because the writers this time knew how the offscreen couple played off each other. But Gwen is still her own person, and Stone sought to learn more about her business. She’s a budding scientist, which drove Stone — who, like many who get into acting in their teens, only holds a GED — to sit in on classes at Columbia University. “[The professor] explained to me how the brain works. I took notes and it was interesting, but I realize I didn’t fully understand it.”
The film was also shot entirely, not just partially, like the first, in New York City — not just in Manhattan, but in Queens and Brooklyn. “I can’t believe we didn’t shoot the first one in New York City. It feels like this is meant to be, this is home. There are people who come from far and wide to see Spider-Man and meet him in the streets.”
The shoot also allowed her to work with Jamie Foxx who, despite playing tortured villain Electro, remained himself. “He’s good at everything. He makes everybody laugh, then he’s DJing then he’s dancing, doing stand-up,” she says of his on-set behavior. She even got a surprise when they went on The Foxxhole, the actor’s Sirius station. “We went to do a cast interview, and all of a sudden it was Jamie asking us questions on his radio station.”
Follow Matt Prigge on Twitter @mattprigge