Although Emma Stone is no longer the world’s highest-paid actress (that title was handed to Scarlett Johansson in 2018), she remains one of Hollywood’s most talented performers. Playing a variety of roles, from a woman with a borderline personality disorder to a struggling young actress, Stone knows how to disappear into the character she is playing. She approaches every role with a kind of sincerity that commands respect.
While many of her performances are worth talking about, we’re here to focus on only her absolute best. Here is a ranking of Emma Stone’s most incredible roles to date.
In 2009, Stone starred in the post-apocalyptic zombie horror-comedy known as Zombieland. Stone’s role came while she was on the rise, and starring against Woody Harrelson and Jesse Eisenberg, it truly highlighted some of her best work.
In fact, Emma Stone and the rest of the cast are about to reprise their roles in the sequel, Zombieland: Double Tap, which is headed to theaters on October 11, 2019. The legacy of the original has stood the test of time, and clearly, Stone liked her co-stars enough to reunite with them ten years later.
The black comedy Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), which is about a washed-up movie star (Michael Keaton) who tries his hand at a Broadway production, has Emma Stone in a critical supporting role. She plays Sam, a recovering drug addict and the daughter of Keaton’s Riggan Thomson.
She brought an emotional vulnerability to her character that few other actresses could have displayed. The role felt created for her and proved that Stone could play serious roles just as easily as she could take on comedic roles or love interests in rom-coms.
8 The Amazing Spider-Man
Stone portrayed Peter Parker’s girlfriend Gwen in The Amazing Spider-Man and its sequel. Her chemistry with co-star Andrew Garfield was gentle and enticing, and since the two actors had dated in real life, their electricity came at no surprise.
In the film’s sequel, Gwen’s shocking demise at the conclusion is untimely and tragic. The heartbreak viewers felt could only be attributed to the realistic emotions built up between Stone and Garfield throughout the course of the series.
7 Easy A
Easy A has Emma Stone playing a 17-year-old high school student whose reputation gets destroyed after a string of rumors surrounding her gets out. Though Stone was a few years beyond that of a teenager, she still managed to fit herself into the role.
She ultimately won a Teen Choice Award, meaning her portrayal had to have been satisfactory to most audiences. The movie as a whole was critically and commercially successful, earning $75 million at the box office against a budget of $8 million.
Emma Stone served as not only an actress but also an executive producer on the Netflix miniseries Maniac. This psychological dark comedy-drama had her starring as a woman with borderline personality disorder and her co-star Jonah Hill starring as a man from a wealthy family who might have schizophrenia.
Critics praised the adventurous narrative, beautiful visuals, and, of course, the incredible performances of both Stone and Hill. Though the series did not reach the same popularity as some Netflix originals, it still managed to draw reasonable crowds and hold viewers’ interest.
5 Crazy, Stupid Love
Stone and Ryan Gosling have a long history of appearing on screen together, and it all started with Crazy, Stupid Love. Stone plays Hannah, the daughter of a man (Steve Carell) who is learning how to reenter the playing field after his divorce. The problem? His teacher is Gosling’s Jacob Palmer, a young man who happens to have a thing for Hannah.
Stone won a Teen Choice and People’s Choice Award for her role in the comedy. Her easy connection with Gosling and the rest of the cast was particularly noteworthy.
4 The Favourite
Stone starred in the period black comedy The Favourite against Olivia Colman and Rachel Weisz. Set in early 18th-century England, her character Abigail Hill tirelessly vied for the favor of Queen Anne.
The film opened to favorable reviews thanks to the cast’s steamy and manipulative performances. Stone was nominated for several awards, including the Golden Globe’s Best Supporting Actress — Motion Picture. She was believable and terrifying.
3 Battle Of The Sexes
Battle of the Sexes had Emma Stone taking on the role of world-renowned tennis player Billie Jean King. Loosely based on the events surrounding King’s 1973 tennis match against Bobby Riggs, the sports film focuses on early sexism in tennis, Jean’s affair with Marilyn Barnett, and the game in which it all came together.
Stone transformed into King with the help of a spray tan, a chopped cut, and the perfect pair of ‘70s-esque glasses. She further molded herself into the tennis star by gaining 15 pounds of lean muscle and learning to copy King’s sports moves.
2 The Help
In The Help, Stone portrayed Skeeter Phelan, an aspiring journalist who tries to expose what life as a maid in the deep south was like during the Civil Rights Movement. Stone’s character is strong-willed and believable, standing up against all the critics that come her way, including college friends and her own mother.
Stone’s character additionally represents ideas on 1960s feminism. While her friends went off to college to get married, she went off to get an education, and when the man she begins a relationship with cares little for her passions, she has the drive to move past him. Stone takes on this role with an open vulnerability.
1 La La Land
La La Land is a modern romantic musical that boasts the charm of an old-timey masterpiece. In it, Stone plays a struggling actress who falls in love and chases after her dreams against the background of Los Angeles.
Once again appearing alongside Ryan Gosling, Stone’s onscreen chemistry with her co-star is electric. Additionally, she didn’t only act in this role; she danced and sang, too. The choreography was fanciful, the music was memorable, and Stone’s emotions were real. Her performance of “Audition (The Fools Who Dream)” is perhaps one of the rawest moments in cinematic history.
NEXT: 5 Emma Stone Movies We Want Made Into A Sequel (& 5 We Don’t)