Emma Stone launched a career in television after winning the role of Laurie Partridge on In Search of the New Partridge Family (2004), a VH1 talent competition reality show. The resulting show, The New Partridge Family (2005), only produced a pilot episode. Stone next had appearances in the television series Medium, Malcolm in the Middle and Lucky Louie. In 2007, she had a regular role on the Fox drama Drive, playing Violet Trimble, until the series was cancelled. She also auditioned for Heroes, and overheard in the casting room “On a scale of 1 to 10, you are an 11″ — the casting directors were referring to Hayden Panettiere, who was cast as Claire Bennet instead. Stone called this experience “rock bottom.”
Stone made her feature film debut in the 2007 teen comedy Superbad, playing Jules, the love interest of lead character Seth (Jonah Hill). In 2008, she appeared in the comedy The Rocker, with Rainn Wilson. Stone played Amelia, the bass guitarist in a band featuring singer Teddy Geiger. Stone learned to play bass for the role. Also that year, Stone appeared in The House Bunny, starring Anna Faris, alongside Katharine McPhee, Kat Dennings, Rumer Willis, and Colin Hanks. Stone played the president of a sorority and sang on a single from the film, “I Know What Boys Like,” a cover version of the 1982 song by The Waitresses.
In 2009, Stone appeared in Ghosts of Girlfriends Past, a romantic comedy directed by Mark Waters, the director of Mean Girls, starring Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Garner. Emma played “The Ghost of Girlfriends Past,” a takeoff of the Ghost of Christmas Past from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. She starred in the horror/comedy Zombieland, along with Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg. The project began shooting in Atlanta in February 2009. Stone played Wichita, a survivor/con artist from Wichita, Kansas, traveling across the U.S. with her younger sister Little Rock (Abigail Breslin). Stone also starred in Paper Man in 2009, alongside Jeff Daniels, Ryan Reynolds and Lisa Kudrow, directed by Kieran and Michele Mulroney. She played Abby, a babysitter that Daniels’ character hires after moving to Long Island. Stone began filming the independent comedy on November 11, 2008, in Montauk, New York, using well-known local locations. Stone at the 2010 Toronto International Film Festival
In 2010, Stone had a voice role in Marmaduke, a film adaptation of the long-running comic strip about a Great Dane. She voiced Marmaduke‘s friend, Mazie, a tomboyish Australian Shepherd. Emma landed her first leading role that year, starring with Amanda Bynes as a high school student in Easy A, a comedy directed by Will Gluck. Her character scandalizes her teachers and more conservative religious classmates after a false rumor circulates that she is sexually promiscuous. The script contrasts the novel The Scarlet Letter and its heroine, Hester Prynne, to the life of the protagonist in the film. Stone read the script before the project was optioned for production, and kept an eye on it along with her manager until preparations were made. She was attracted to the script because it was “funny and sweet” and her character was “fantastic from the first read” who was “fleshed (…) out so much in the script”. When she found out that the film went into production, she met with Gluck to express her enthusiasm about the project. A few months later, the audition process started and Stone met again with Gluck to be one of the first actresses to audition. Emma was nominated for the 2011 Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Musical or Comedy for her role.
Stone appeared at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards on September 12, 2010, and introduced Linkin Park. She stated in 2008 that she would eventually like to venture into film production, producing her own films, and that her dream was to appear on Saturday Night Live. Stone hosted the late-night sketch comedy show on October 23, 2010. She hosted again on November 12, 2011.
Stone appeared in Friends With Benefits, starring Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis, and directed by Will Gluck. The sex comedy began filming in July 2010, in New York, and was released in July 2011. She also starred in Crazy, Stupid, Love. that year, alongside Steve Carell, Julianne Moore, Ryan Gosling and Marisa Tomei. The Warner Bros. film, about a husband (Carell) with marital problems and difficulties with his children, began shooting on April 16, 2010, in Los Angeles and was released on July 29, 2011. Stone starred in The Help, an adaptation of Kathryn Stockett’s best-selling novel of the same name, a period piece set in Jackson, Mississippi, in the 1960s, which was released in August 2011. She plays Eugenia “Skeeter” Phelan, an aspiring writer, and employed a Southern dialect for the role.
Emma joined the voice cast of The Croods, a 3D computer animated caveman comedy by DreamWorks Animation. She will voice the role of Eep, the oldest daughter of Grug (Nicolas Cage) and Ugga (Catherine Keener). Ryan Reynolds voices Gy, the love interest to Stone’s character. The film is scheduled for release on March 30, 2012.
She stars in the comedic short film, “Veronica,” alongside Kieran Culkin, directed by Griffin Dunne. The short is a comedy segment that is part of an anthology film called Movie 43, featuring Kate Winslet, Gerard Butler, Hugh Jackman, Uma Thurman, Halle Berry, and others. The feature-film was produced by the Farrelly brothers and directed by Elizabeth Banks, Steven Brill and Steve Carr.
Stone will star as the female lead in The Amazing Spider-Man, a reboot by Columbia Pictures and Marvel Entertainment of the Spider-Man film series. She plays Gwen Stacy, the 17-year-old love interest of Peter Parker. Marc Webb is directing the film, which has a release date of July 3, 2012. The film went into production in December 2010, and was scheduled to last through April 2011. Stone was considered for the lead in a reboot of 21 Jump Street, alongside Superbad co-star Jonah Hill. She did not take the role however, after signing on to Spider-Man.
Stone will again work with writer/director Will Gluck, starring in and executive producing an untitled comedy for Screen Gems. The film studio has given Gluck and Stone full discretion in developing a new project, after the success of Easy A.
Emma joined the cast of The Gangster Squad, a film by Zombieland director Ruben Fleischer. She will again play opposite Ryan Gosling in the ensemble crime drama, which also stars Sean Penn, Josh Brolin, Anthony Mackie, Giovanni Ribisi and Michael Peña. Stone plays Jean, a femme fatale caught in a love triangle with Gosling and Penn’s character, mobster Mickey Cohen.