Director Alejandro Iñárritu Once Told Emma Stone That She Was Ruining ‘Birdman’

During her rise to superstardom, Emma Stone furthered her status in Hollywood by starring in the Alejandro Iñárritu feature Birdman. Although many critics heralded her performance, Innaritu once criticized the actor’s acting. So much so he claimed Stone was ruining his movie because of it.

Why working on ‘Birdman’ was once the most important experience of Emma Stone’s career

Emma Stone sitting down while wearing a blue outfit.
Emma Stone | Milos Bicanski/Getty Images

Stone had worked on several projects prior to Birdman, but she felt that the Iñárritu feature challenged her in a unique way. Iñárritu involved the La La Land actor in the project by sending her a script. After reading it she knew she had to be a part of the movie.

“I was immediately drawn to working with Alejandro because of course he’s so brilliant. You’d have to be crazy not to be drawn to working with Alejandro but he gave me the script and I knew what the role was,” Stone once said according to Flickering Myth.

Working on the project presented some obstacles for the star. During filming, Stone discovered that Iñárritu doesn’t allow his actors to lie during their performances. This was a change of pace for Stone who had to adapt to his expectations.

“Even when you think you’re telling the truth he knows that you’re not. Until it became the rawest of raw he wouldn’t let you move on and it was terrifying and challenging as an actor and as a person. That’s why I think this was the most important experience I’ve had thus far as an actor,” she said.

Alejandro Iñárritu once told Emma Stone she was ruining ‘Birdman’

Iñárritu once called out Stone on her acting abilities in one particular scene. The Revenant director was fed up with the way the actor was moving during the take.

“That scene with Michael [Keaton] and Edward [Norton] on the stage where he’s like, ‘That’s a f*** you!’ or whatever, and I come in and lead him around the corner, there was a time where I had to move at a certain speed around the corner because that’s where the stitch was, and Alejandro told me, ‘You’re ruining the movie,’” Stone recalled to Vulture.

It didn’t help that Stone was a bit tired before doing the ensuing takes.

“Because that whole six-minute scene that I wasn’t even in would be dashed by me. Those were the hardest days, when you came in at the end of a scene,” she added.

Eventually, Stone was able to win the director’s approval.

“But then he told me ‘Good job’ at the end. Which is so great to hear after, ‘You’re ruining the movie,’” Stone said.

How Emma Stone’s work in ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ helped her with ‘Birdman’

Although two completely different movies, Stone was able to draw from her experiences in The Amazing Spider-Man for Birdman. Thanks to her time as Gwen Stacey in the superhero movies, she learned how to handle heights better. Which was a significant help for the Oscar-winning feature.

“The only thing I felt that I had gained from Spider-Man was having no fear of heights. So sitting on the roof [of the St. James Theater], I was going over the edge, and Edward was terrified. He was like, ‘Stop! Get back!’ I was like, ‘I am fine. It’s four stories. It’s nothing.’ But they had a little harness clip on my shorts. They made me. I don’t care! I like it,” she said.

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