Oh, and did we mention she's dating a superhero?
Yeah, we're talking about Emma Stone.
Emma Stone started her career in Hollywood with a PowerPoint presentation. She was 15 and determined to leave Scottsdale, Arizona, for Hollywood, to try her hand at being a movie star. The presentation, set to the tune of Madonna's "Hollywood," must have been convincing, because her parents allowed her to drop out of school and move to LA with her mother to home school and audition during the day.
Auditioning sucks for everyone, apparently, no matter how many undead mo'fos you're eventually going to behead while trading snappy banter with Jesse Eisenberg. When Emma started out as a naturally blonde teenager in 2004, she didn't have much luck. After being cast in some spectacularly bad cancelled television shows -- like, and no, I didn't make this up, a VH1 Partridge Family reboot that never made it past the pilot phase -- Emma hit her auditioning low point when she was up for the role of Claire Bennet on Heroes and overheard, "On a scale of one to 10, you're an 11," in the casting offices. Nice compliment, right? If only the casting director had been talking about Emma. The 11 was Hayden Panettiere, who later got the role.
Of course, considering where that role took Panettiere and where NOT getting that role took the now famously red-haired Emma, who has since been nominated for a Golden Globe, fought zombies, gotten to make out with Ryan Gosling, and become Spider-Man's girlfriend, I think we all know who actually won the day the "Heroes" casting directors went for a different blonde to play that particular cheerleader.
So, why didn't Emma get a major role until she dyed her hair dark? And, why didn't she really become famous until Judd Apatow decided she should be a redhead? I think it's the same thing that makes us believe that Emma could survive as a Zomb-ocolypse con-woman who tricks other survivors out of their supplies and makes them fall in love with her anyway. Emma's comedy lies in the clash between her tough exterior and the core of deeply vulnerable emotion that is always visible beneath it. There's a reason she faired so well in Judd Apatow's comedy-verse -- it's that same combination of a hard, raunchy exterior and a soft, almost gooey core that makes Apatowian comedy work. But, with blonde hair, she just doesn't look weird enough to have developed that seriously sardonic side.
Blonde, Emma just looks too normal. Too pretty. Movie stars aren't that kind of pretty as a rule -- they're weird hot. Red hair gave Emma the touch of weird and twisted that she needed to match the tough shell on her comic persona.
So, is the lesson here that we all need to dye our hair red? Nope. Career success doesn't come from a bottle. Career success comes from hitting a wall and deciding to go around it, over it, or through it, instead of just turning around and going home. Who knows what it is that might mix things up and turn you into the 11 at the next audition? If there's anything to learn from Emma (other than how to start a chainsaw while someone who wants to eat your brains is chasing you, cuz she's pretty good at that too) is that, whether your dream is to become a professional comedy-type person or just to survive the next zombie attack, giving up is the one thing that will never help you.