The Amazing Spider-Man’s Emma Stone shares Gwen Stacy’s smarts

Like the character she plays, the actor has a passion for biochemistry, but she skipped college to pursue a career in film and TV.

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      NEW YORK—Emma Stone had a good year in 2011. The Help and Crazy, Stupid, Love. were hits and won acclaim for the comedienne.

      However, she was not as well known in early 2010, when The Amazing Spider-Man went looking for its leading lady. She was asked to audition for the role of Mary Jane in the film. She admits, in a New York hotel room, that she was a big fan of the character. Although she hadn’t read many comic books, she had seen all three Spider-Man movies in which Kirsten Dunst played the part. Things changed slightly, however, when she was asked to come back and audition for a new role, one she knew nothing about.

      “I had always wanted to play Mary Jane, but then a couple of months after the audition, they called me and said, ‘We liked your audition but the part has changed to Gwen Stacy.’ I didn’t know who she was, because I hadn’t read the comic books when I was growing up. But I just fell in love with her story because it is so epic and tragic and incredible; how it affects Peter [Parker]’s story going forward was enormous. So I took the opportunity to audition again.”

      She won the role of Stacy, the smartest and best-looking girl in Peter Parker’s (Andrew Garfield) high school. Eventually, their passion for biochemistry brings them together to take on an errant corporate chemist and professor (Rhys Ifans) who wants to become a lizard in order to regenerate his lost arm. (The film is currently playing.)

      Stone says her aunt and uncle were scientists who had a hand in creating a vaccine for cervical cancer and that she was fascinated by what they did. She wanted to work as a biochemist, but because she pursued a career in film and television rather than attending college she was turned down in an attempt to intern.

      “I had really bad acne a couple of years ago and went online to figure out what causes this and how things change in your body and how Accutane works. So I went to a lab and I knew what they were talking about and what happens when cortisone fires off in your brain and that the same thing that causes acne can cause diabetes, and they are proving that stress is a link.

      “I asked, ‘What do I need to do to intern?’ I was told that I needed 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 sucks! Fuck! I can learn; I can learn, I swear. So now I have gone on this tantrum about the word smart, which has bothered me for the past year. I don’t like the word because I don’t know what it means. I didn’t graduate college, but that shouldn’t mean I am not smart. When we were making the film, I really got so interested in science, so I’ve decided to take a biology class.”

      Watch the trailer for The Amazing Spider-Man.