The stunning transformation of Emma Stone

Funny, beautiful, charming. These are just a few words to describe Hollywood's it-girl, Emma Stone. We've watched Emma grow up on screen, starting in teen comedies and more recently moving into sophisticated and emotional roles. Through it all, Stone has stayed humble and not let the fame get the best of her. She comes across as real and a good friend you can hang out with (seriously, we're in). While her positive attitude hasn't wavered, we've seen her style adapt and excel over the years. Let's take a look at the always-classic Emma Stone and her transformation from playing class clown to exuding effortless elegance.

 

Her original fashion inspiration

Emma Jean Stone was born on November 6, 1988 and grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona. Although she had a normal childhood, young Stone knew deep down she wanted more. According to Vogue, the first moment Stone realized she wanted to be an actress was during history class when she was 14 years old. She ran home and made a PowerPoint presentation to pitch the idea of moving to Los Angeles to her parents, handing out popcorn and playing Madonna's "Hollywood" to seal the deal. And at this time, Stone had the superstar looks, too. Who was her original inspiration? The Spice Girls. Stone told Vogue, "I got platform Skechers. I had bell-bottoms. A lot of peace signs. I cut bangs like Baby Spice because I had blond hair." With that PowerPoint presentation and style inspiration, it seems this girl was meant to make her way to Hollywood.

Brunettes actually have more fun

When Stone and her mom moved to Los Angeles, Hollywood stardom didn't come right away. Stone had to do many auditions and struggled to get roles. She told Independent she didn't have the best agent and was sent out for roles that weren't right for her. "When I first moved to LA, I had this agent who thought, because I was blonde, that I only wanted to play cheerleaders. So she'd send me out for all these parts where they thought: 'What a weird 15-year-old. It's not going to work out!" So in 2004 the teen took a chance and made an appearance change. "So one day, in a fit of trying to do something different, I just dyed my hair dark brown and got my first role a week later."

Sometime later when Stone auditioned, and later received, the role that would put her on the map, she had another hair change come her way. The producer of Superbad asked Stone to dye her hair red for the camera test. The young actress listened, and as Vogue described, it was "a look that would become her calling card." She received the part in the 2007 film, and had her big movie moment at 18 years old.

Becoming known as a film actress

Stone's big movie moment led to many more. In 2008, the 19-year-old starred in two new movies, including The Rocker and The House Bunny. She stuck with the red locks for both films and showed she was here to stay in the movie business. Her natural funny side was well at home with the movies. She told Cinema Blend, "I'm a big smiler and laugher in everyday life so I didn't really realize how tough it was until I went and did my next movie [The House Bunny]. I was like, "Oh my god! I can laugh, I can smile! I'm not going to get in trouble!" It was interesting to really emote in that way."

It was at this time Stone was also thinking about the future and how she wanted to influence the industry. A wiser-than-her-years actress, Stone discussed moving beyond acting into her hopes of producing one day as well. "I'd like to come up with ideas and collaborate with people and directors and writers that I like, be a part of movies that have the same idea that the movies that impacted me have. I'd like to be able to do that for people."

Trying out different roles to find her place

In 2009, 20-year-old Stone continued to focus on film and experimented with different characters. In Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, she stuck with her familiar comedy bit. And in Paper Man, she added a bit of drama to the comedy. Then came one of Stone's biggest changes in roles. She starred alongside Jesse Eisenberg and Woody Harrelson in Zombieland. While the film still had comedic components, the themes also heavily included horror and sci-fi — a very different role for our Lucille Ball-esque Stone.

When interviewed by Collider, Stone expressed her excitement to be taking on a new, intense and more mature part. "It's been really fun and really different to learn to shoot guns and to try and look tough. I've never really played a woman before. I've only really played girls…It's really cool." Not only was Stone maturing on screen but off as well. Her fashion was shifting from young to fashionable, even having her variety of looks featured in Teen Vogue.

Taking on the role of leading lady

The year 2010 was a big year for Stone, who had her first opportunity to take center stage in the film Easy A. A quick favorite amongst fans and critics, Stone's wit and charm didn't go unnoticed. The media praised her and wanted more. MTV even published an article titled, "Emma Stone Is the Actress We're Most Thankful For in 2010." She definitely didn't take this praise for granted. She described the film to Cinema Blend, saying, "Oh, the script was wonderful. You feel like you struck gold or something when you read a well-written comedy part for a female. It's just such a rare thing…But, I couldn't have been more grateful even to read it much less be involved with it."

How could her year get any better? Funny you should ask. The almost-22-year-old received quite the early birthday present when she was asked to host Saturday Night Live in October. Stone described the experience to MTV, saying, "That's always been my ultimate dream. That moment before you come out those doors when Don Pardo says your name and you're standing there … I had never let myself imagine what that would feel like. That moment when you walk through those doors was probably the most surreal moment, not just of this year, but ever."

More than just the funny-girl next door

The big movie roles kept coming for the 22-year-old actress in 2011. Stone starred in both The Help and Crazy Stupid Love that year. While both movies had a bit of comedy, they also had clear focuses on drama, which showed a very different side to the beloved Stone. She later spoke with W Magazine about these different roles. "In real life, sometimes it's uncomfortable for me not to go for the joke. I've been looking at that in myself lately. Often, joking for me is a way of diffusing the awkwardness of a situation, so it's kind of exhilarating to be a part of projects where there's nothing funny or lighthearted."

But while the audience was able to see the vulnerable side of Stone's film character, the actress in real-life was trying to balance work and personal life — and the amount of information shared with the public about her life. She told Variety, "Talking about this stuff is pretty new…the only solution I've come to when it comes to things like that — the health of my family or dating, really personal things — is not to talk about it."

Becoming a household name

By 2012, the world knew Emma Stone. With her impressive list of films and friendly and fun attitude, the world not only knew the 23-year-old but wanted to be her best friend. Stone's fame and fashion went hand-in-hand. As she took on bigger roles, she stepped it up with her style, showing class and sophistication. One of her big moments was during the Academy Awards when she wore that Giambattista Valli red gown.

With great roles and equally fantastic fashion, how could Stone take it to a new level? Starring in a blockbuster movie helps. In 2012, Stone went back to her natural blonde locks and played Gwen Stacy in the new movie, The Amazing Spider-Man. Stone spoke with Access Hollywood about how she was nervous to audition for the role. "But the part and the process outweighed that fear…It felt like a stupid reason to not be part of this — what might happen [and] how [my] life could change didn't feel like enough of a reason to not play Gwen, not to get to be involved with this and not to get to act with Andrew [Garfield] or to get to tell the story in a different way." Stone proved that no movie part was too big for the young actress when she snagged the role.

Staying true to herself

What makes Stone so loved is that she's honest and stays true to herself. Hollywood has affected many young actors and actresses, but Stone has risen above. In 2013, as more and more eyes were on her, she continued to do that.

When discussing with Independent the difficulties of being in the movie industry, the 24-year-old kept it real. She discussed the fickle side of the business, saying, "When I think about it for too long, which I sometimes let myself do, it really screws with my head. I don't always expect to be lucky like this. The life of an actress, it ebbs and flows…So I'm trying to remain unattached to whatever position I am in externally in the world."

And what came hand-in-hand with the films and acting was a look at Stone's personal life. A difficult way to live, Stone was not afraid to be vulnerable and discuss the difficulties, saying, "It makes being in Los Angeles a lot less fun, because a lot of photographers live there…And if I look at blogs or comments — which I have made the mistake of doing, and it's the dumbest thing you can do – the cynic in me just goes nuts. So if I don't look at it, and I just keep focused on myself internally, it's alright. Nothing is different because I know my truth, and that's what matters." You go girl.

Girl with a heart of gold

And while the spotlight may have been uncomfortable for the starlet when it came to her personal life, Stone found a way to use the fame for good. Back in 2012, she and Andrew Garfield were applauded in the media for how they handled a paparazzi situation. When they spotted photographers taking pictures of them at lunch, they snapped up the opportunity, holding up signs to their faces that showed information about charities they supported, which included Gilda's Club. With a mother who had survived breast cancer, Stone volunteered with Gilda's Club in order to give back to those suffering from cancer. Then in 2013, the 24-year-old also teamed up with fellow actress Olivia Wilde to cohost Revlon's Walk/Run for Women, helping fundraise for women's health issues.

She struggled with body image gossip

In 2014, while Stone continued to excel on-screen, the media and fans were focusing on something else entirely — her body, or more-so, her lack of body. With the surge of comments, the 25-year-old opened up to several media outlets about her struggle to keep on weight, telling USA TODAY, "I firmly believe that nothing really affects you or can really bother you if you don't already feel that way about yourself. I've seen a lot of comments that say, 'Eat a sandwich' or 'She looks sick.' I've been looking at myself in the mirror being mean to myself. I'm not sick. I eat sandwiches."

She continued on to say, "I'm trying to figure my body out. It bothers me because I care so much about young girls. We're shaming each other and we're shaming ourselves, and it sucks." With the intense gossip surrounding her, Stone wanted to eliminate it from her life. Speaking with Seventeen, she shared the questions she asks herself often. "Am I taking care of myself in a healthy way? Am I respecting myself and being responsible?" And her answer was yes. Once she reached that point of acceptance, it became easier. "I remind myself to be kind to myself, and as slightly ridiculous as it may sound, to treat myself in the same gentle way I'd want to treat a daughter of mine. It really helps."

She's had ups and downs in her career

The year 2015 kicked off with a bang for 26-year-old Stone, who was nominated for an Oscar for her supporting role in the film Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance). We're guessing the star used the mantra "Be the Oscar," as her bright custom Elie Saab gown stunned on the red carpet during the big night. Although Stone may have not won in her category, the evening was far from a bust. Birdman won Best Motion Picture of the Year, showing once and for all that Stone was a top-notch actress who could take on new, different roles and succeed.

However, the year wasn't without its bumps too. In the film Aloha that came out that year, the film team was criticized for casting Stone as a part-Asian woman. Director Cameron Crowe apologized for the choice, and Stone eventually spoke up about the controversy as well. She told news.com.au, "I've learned on a macro level about the insane history of whitewashing in Hollywood and how prevalent the problem truly is. It's ignited a conversation that's very important." She continued on to say, "There's a lot of conversation about how we want to see people represented on screen and what we need to change as a business to reflect culture in a clearer way and not in an idealised way…My eyes have been opened in many ways this year." Yet again, Stone was eloquent and handled a difficult situation with grace.

She lives in the present

And even with some tough times, the good just keeps going. Stone has continued to push the envelope with the movie roles she's taking on, including her recent role in La La Land. She also continues to be the honest, real woman we love in interviews and press tours. In 2016, the 28-year-old talked about social media and the fake portrayals it can cause. The star, who doesn't have Instagram or Twitter, discussed the overly-perfect images posted on social media with Elle, saying, "Not everything comes together in the best way ever, every day. It just doesn't. Even when your dream you set out for comes true, it's not always perfect…That's not the reality of life."

Stone definitely keeps reality in-check in her own life. When asked about possible Oscar nominations for her role in La La Land, she shrugged it off and said, "People seem to like it. That's so exciting and fun to hear. But I literally have no idea. I have no idea what's to come. I try to stay in the moment." With all of this star's success, we're going to say this is Stone's moment, and we're all cheering for it to continue for a long time.