Emma Stone has been very candid about her experiences with anxiety and panic attacks. So when she found out she and her Zombieland co-star Jesse Eisenberg had that in common, the two immediately grew closer.
Emma Stone once described how she had her first panic attack
Stone had been dealing with her anxiety from an early age. The Oscar-winner was once even able to pinpoint the exact date and moment when she experienced her first panic attack.
“After first grade before I went into second grade, I had my first panic attack. It was really, really terrifying and overwhelming,” she once said in an interview with the Child Mind Institute. “I was at a friend’s house, and all of a sudden I was convinced the house was on fire and it was burning down. I was just sitting in her bedroom and obviously, the house wasn’t on fire, but there was nothing in me that didn’t think we were going to die.”
She later went to therapy for her disorder, where she was diagnosed with anxiety. But at the time her therapist didn’t tell Stone what she was diagnosed with, which Stone was thankful for.
“I am very grateful I didn’t know that I had a disorder,” she said. “I wanted to be an actor and there weren’t a lot of actors who spoke about having panic attacks.”
Emma Stone and Jesse Eisenberg bonded over their anxiety
In a 2011 interview with NJ, Stone once again approached the topic of her anxiety. She opened up about the habits she developed at an early age that convinced her parents to take her to a therapist. But it was also what partially drove Stone to act in the first place.
“But yeah, I had separation anxiety, I worried my house was going to burn down, I was wringing my hands all the time, and so my parents took me to a therapist. And so I was figuring things out and something happened where I just thought, okay, all right, I want to act,” she said.
But as Stone would later become a superstar in the industry, she discovered she wasn’t the only actor with anxiety. The Cruella star found it fortunate when she discovered Jesse Eisenberg shared that in common with her. The two worked together in the 2009 movie Zombieland, and grew close thanks to shared experiences.
“Do you know Jesse Eisenberg and I both had our first panic attacks at age 8? We found that out and bonded immediately,” she said.
Acting helped both Emma Stone and Jesse Eisenberg with their anxieties
Stone credited acting for helping her handle her anxiety. Her mother took her to audition for an acting program when she was younger, which led to Stone being in a play. This proved a tremendous help for the star.
“And that changed my anxiety forever,” Stone said. “Forever. You know how sports teach kids teamwork, and how to be strong and brave and confident? Improv was my sport. I learned how to not waffle and how to hold a conversation, how to take risks and actually be excited to fail. It taught me so much, and helped me overcome so much. And I realized, okay, this is my job.”
“It was a way for me to direct it in a productive way rather than to just live with it and suppress it. That’s certainly what it provides now,” he said. “I have a catharsis every day in a safe and creative way, and that’s a lot easier than holding something in.”