Why Emma Stone Deserves To Be Hollywood’s Highest Paid Actress

Kim Taylor-Foster

Emma Stone has just been revealed as the world’s highest paid actress, topping the Forbes list for 2017. She pushes Jennifer Lawrence, who held the top spot for two years running, into third place. Surprised? We’re not. And here’s why…

La La Land

There’s something about Emma Stone that’s just so likable and relatable. And in La La Land she is instrumental in turning this self-reflexive Hollywood musical into a musical that even non-musical fans can’t help but enjoy.

La La Land swept the board at this year’s Oscars (admittedly missing out on the Best Picture gong in that now-infamous mix-up), as well as the Golden Globes – and picked up a swathe of awards at other ceremonies. Deservedly so.

Stone is an integral part of the film’s success, bringing to it not only her unique charm and pitch-perfect singing abilities (who knew?) but also her magical chemistry with Ryan Gosling, her co-star from Steve Carell vehicle Crazy, Stupid, Love.

Battle of the Sexes

Stone will soon star as legendary US tennis star Billie Jean King in Battle of the Sexes – a film about the notorious 1973 match between King and Bobby Riggs.

Chauvinistic male tennis champ Riggs challenged King to a match on the basis that he’d beat her, since as a woman, she wasn’t as good a player. Needless to say, King won. In straight sets, no less.

From what we’ve seen, the film looks compelling and Stone makes a convincing and very engaging Billie Jean King. And she delivers withering lines with the kind of smirk you only associated with Stone.

“Don’t get me wrong, I love women – in the bedroom and in the kitchen,” says Steve Carell’s Bobby Riggs during a press conference.

Stone’s delivery of King’s comeback is a peach: “Keep talking Bobby. The more nonsense you spout, the worse it’s going to be when you lose.”

Can’t wait for this one.

Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)

Another Oscar winner, Stone plays the troubled daughter of messed-up, crisis-ridden, self-obsessed actor Riggan, played by Michael Keaton.

The scene in which she rants at her father and calls him irrelevant before the realization of what she’s just done dawns on her is a masterclass in acting. As she slinks away, she leaves him feeling worthless, her feeling awkward and us feeling uncomfortable. It’s brilliant – but it’s just one highlight in Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu’s masterful movie in which she shines.

In Birdman, Stone really proved she’s more than merely a love interest in a superhero movie. But on that note…

The Amazing Spider-Man

Whatever you made of the Spider-Man reboots starring Andrew Garfield, there’s no denying Stone was the standout star.

Taking over as love interest Gwen Stacy following Kirsten Dunst’s MJ from the Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy, she proved more than a match for her predecessor. And it was these films that brought Stone to the attention of a wider audience.

As Stacy, she’s strong, kinda sassy and just really adorable. Remember that awkward scene when Peter Parker asks her out in the school hallway in The Amazing Spider-Man? One of the most disappointing things about no more Andrew Garfield Spider-Man films is the fact we won’t ever get to see Stone’s Gwen Stacy again. Bogus.

Crazy, Stupid, Love

Before she played Gwen Stacy in The Amazing Spider-Man Stone starred in another awards favourite, The Help. She played Skeeter Phelan, an author who writes a book from the perspective of African American maids during the civil rights movement in the 1960s.

But the same year, 2011, saw Crazy, Stupid, Love hit cinemas. A film, which, on the face of it, looked like a forgettable Steve Carell romantic dramedy. But the Dan Fogelman-penned flick teamed Stone in a supporting role with Ryan Gosling and she proved a revelation, bringing warmth to a fringe character. She actually elevates the film and makes Gosling’s character’s transition from womanizer to one-man woman totally convincing, when we as savvy audience members might not ordinarily buy it.

She’s slated to appear in Disney’s Cruella next year, a live action film about the exploits of 101 Dalmatians villain Cruella de Vil. Emma Stone, we salute you.

Kim Taylor-Foster
Kim Taylor-Foster is Entertainment Editor for Fandom in the UK. She was raised on an unsteady diet of video nasties and violent action flicks.