On the one hand, you’ve got to feel pretty damn good when you’re cast in a Woody Allen film. He’s an Academy Award winning director who continues to churn out films with outstanding performances year after year. But, on the other hand, that’s a seriously high-pressure situation right there and Allen’s Magic in the Moonlight stars, Emma Stone and Colin Firth, certainly felt it.
While promoting the film’s July 25th limited release, Stone and Firth sat down with us to talk about hitting the set having done no rehearsals, shooting and re-shooting a certain scene only to have it completely cut from the film, adding Allen’s signature cadence to their own performances and much more. You can check it all out after the jump.
Collider: Is there anything you’ve seen in past Woody Allen films that, when you got these roles, made you say, ‘Wow, I can’t wait to get to do that?’
COLIN FIRTH: I don’t think there’s anything in my character that I had particularly seen in another Woody Allen film.
EMMA STONE: I had seen elements I think of my character in a few. Elementally there are bits and pieces that are kind of an amalgamation of characters. Because I guess every character plays a different part of Woody’s psyche.
FIRTH: Oh, I can definitely see a lot of – there’s the motif of the Woody role, as people call it, and I guess I had that, but in a completely different form. Some of those sentiments and the gags that you would expect somehow landed with me. And I was looking forward to those, some of them such wonderful, vintage little zingers. But, you know, I’d seen good acting in all Woody Allen films and good writing. I didn’t think, ‘I can’t wait to do that;’ I just thought, ‘I hope to god I can do that.’
Was there an intimidation factor here?
STONE: Oh, yeah. Hugely. It was hugely intimidating. I think after a while you get your sea legs a little bit, but there’s no rehearsal process, there’s no real getting-to-know Woody at all. You just are terrified. It’s all cold.
What’s the first thing he does with you when he gives you a role? Is there a table read or anything?
FIRST: Action! Roll camera!
STONE: You get on set and he says, ‘Action,’ and then he re-shoots it. [Laughs]
Colin Firth and Emma Stone make for a fetching and very funny duo in Woody Allen’s latest summer release, “Magic in the Moonlight,” which opens in select theaters this Friday. They also make for a fun time in person.
In the 1920’s set romantic comedy, Firth plays Stanley Crawford, a cocky stage magician who doesn’t believe in magic. He meets his match when a close friend persuades him to debunk a young woman (Stone), who claims to be real clairvoyant. In a matter of days he falls under her spell despite his reservations.
Indiewire sat down with Firth and Stone in New York to discuss the experience of working on their first Woody Allen project, and what they make of the fact that the 28-year-old age gap between their two characters is never addressed in the film.
How does one get cast in a Woody Allen film?
Colin Firth (CF): In a way it was straightforward by standards of the way he operates. I was sent the script and was offered it with a note. Scripts come on a computer now — this one did not. It had to be transported, handcuffed to somebody.
Was the note handwritten?
CF: No. There was a note at the end, which was nice. It was just a little thing about how you would be great in this role. I read it while somebody waited. And you know, I don’t have to think too hard about working with Woody Allen. I got a fair idea about this work, really and I wanted to do it. But dates conflicted and they needed an answer quickly. So it had to wait a month or so and then they came back again saying dates had been moved. There wasn’t much conflict.
Same for you, Emma?
Emma Stone (ES): I had a quick meeting with them. I had a four minute meeting and then they asked me to come into his office to read the script. About a month later, I went and there was a note attached to it, not handwritten, saying basically the same thing and that was it.
CF: Did you have to give the script back?
ES: Oh yeah, right away.
Emma Stone was intimidated by Woody Allen on the set of ‘Magic in the Moonlight’.
The 25-year-old actress stars in the legendary director’s latest project and she’s confessed that working under his direction was nerve-racking because the cast weren’t given time to get comfortable with him.
She said: “It was hugely intimidating. I think after a while you get your sea legs a little bit, but there’s no rehearsal process, there’s no real getting-to-know Woody at all. You are just terrified. It’s all cold.”
‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ star – who claims Allen “goes to great lengths” to keep his scripts under wraps – didn’t even meet with the director before she was offered the part.
Stone told Collider: “I didn’t physically see him. He didn’t pull me into any room and he wasn’t there when I read the script. Someone gave me the script. His assistant gave me the script and I read it, gave it back to her and then left.”
The flamed haired beauty stars as a young woman who claims she can tell the future and communicate with the dead in the film, while her co-star Colin Firth takes on the role of a renowned illusionist tasked with the exposure of Stone’s characters “lies”, and he admits he also felt nervous around Allen.
Quizzed on whether the cast prepared for the film together, he said: “We clung to each other! Nothing brings you closer together than blind terror.”
In her latest film, “Magic in the Moonlight,” Emma Stone plays a psychic medium – which means that the question on everyone’s mind, obviously, is whether she shares any of her character’s extraordinary, extra-sensory talents.
And thanks to her latest interview with MTV, we can now say for sure that Emma Stone is a legitimate psychic powerhouse who can read your mind, see your future, and predict with 100% certainty that spam will be next summer’s hottest new trend. Watch the video below for a sample of her awesome talents.
The amiable co-stars of Woody Allen’s 44th feature, Magic in the Moonlight, discuss ghosts, skinny-dipping, and that time Stone live-texted Bridget Jones to Firth.
“We’ve talked about this so many times, Colin! Gosh!” I’ve just entered a fancy suite at a ritzy hotel in Midtown Manhattan to interview Colin Firth and Emma Stone, the two affable, easy on the eyes stars of Woody Allen’s Magic in the Moonlight. Despite their sizeable difference in age (he 53, she 25), the two playfully bicker like, well, a couple in an Allen film.
In Magic in the Moonlight, Firth plays Stanley, a renowned illusionist under the stage name Wei Ling Soo, who’s hired by the consigliere of a wealthy family to travel to the Côte d’Azur and debunk Sophie (Emma Stone), a young, fetching American woman who claims she can not only tell the future, but also communicate with the dead. The family’s fool of a son, Brice (Hamish Linklater), is wholly infatuated with her, so it’s up to Stanley, a famous skeptic, to expose her before they tie the knot. But, as it happens, he also grows quite fond of her, which complicates matters considerably.
But back to the bickering thing. When you sit down with the duo in person, you can tell why Allen would cast them as an onscreen couple (despite the massive age gap). Over the course of the chat, Stone needles Firth on everything from Bridget Jones to Pride and Prejudice, to the point where Firth jokingly says, “Can we not be paired up for these anymore?” Unfortunately, the publicist abruptly terminated our lively chat midway through before I could touch on a number of topics of interest (like the age gap in the film and the recent controversy surrounding Woody), but alas, it was still a fun talk.
Emma, did you grow up with Colin’s movies? I took my college girlfriend to Love Actually twice in theaters.
Emma Stone: I’ve seen Love Actually about 18 times. I’ve seen Bridget Jones too many times now. You were so upset with me! I live-texted Colin the plot of Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason a few months back while I was watching it. You were very upset with me, if I remember correctly. I talked him through what he was doing.
Colin Firth: Thank you. She’s talking through my back catalog via text! I might decide to not revisit stuff in the past, and then you get a good friend saying, “Oh, when you were doing this you had this and that expression on your face.”
Stone: That was a misfire… in that moment. But it was all complimentary! But I’ve seen many of Colin’s movies. Although my mother absolutely does love Colin, I will say that.
Firth: You’re not the only person whose mother loves me. [Laughs]
Woody Allen’s latest film “Magic In The Moonlight,” which he both wrote and directed is set to hit theaters in limited release on July 25 via Sony Pictures Classics. The film boasts a wonderful ensemble consisting of Emma Stone, Colin Firth, Hamish Linklater and Marcia Gay Harden, to name a few. It was shot in the South of France and tells the story of a young woman named Sophie (Stone) who is a psychic and a famous magician Stanley (Firth), is brought in to try to disprove that she has any special abilities. Today on July 21, 2014, we are sharing our cast interviews about the film.
Emma Stone fielded some questions about the project.
What did you love about shooting a period piece in the 20’s?
The whole feeling of the era … all of the costumes were great.
Was there one costume you liked in particular?
I loved my ball gown.
Did you see fortune tellers to prepare for the part?
Not for the part, just for life. Just kidding! I did not, no.
What was it like to work with Woody Allen?
I didn’t know what to expect and then I figured out what to expect.
Did he approach you for the role?
Had he seen your movies?
I have no idea.
You gave an example on Letterman that your long dead grandfather leaves quarters for you, is there one example of that happening?
It happens in various places at all different times. I almost am kind of sad that I told that story, but he told such an honest story. I’m afraid people are gonna prank me with quarters.
The Tony and Emmy Award winning start of stage and screen died on Thursday. Magic in the Moonlight co-stars Colin Firth and Emma Stone paid their respects.
Moments before sitting down on a couch at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in Midtown Manhattan, an establishment that—perhaps—would’ve passed muster with the grand doyenne of comedy, to interview Colin Firth and Emma Stone, the news broke that Elaine Stritch had passed away. She was 89, and died of natural causes in Birmingham, Michigan.
“We just found out,” Stone told That Daily Beast. “I loved seeing her on 30 Rock. That woman was so big and full of life.”
The two stars were in town to promote the Woody Allen flick Magic in the Moonlight, and Allen, of course, collaborated with Stritch on the 1987 film September, playing the brash, caustic mother to Mia Farrow’s character. And Stritch, best known of late for her role as Colleen Donaghy, Alec Baldwin’s salty mom on the NBC sitcom 30 Rock, was a beloved figure in Firth’s household growing up.
“I was a huge Elaine Stritch fan,” said Firth. “She’s someone I grew up on. She did a lot of theatre in London—had a huge part of her career in England—and did this wonderful sitcom, Two’s Company, where she played the American heiress and Donald Sinden played her English butler. I used to watch it avidly when I was younger.”
Firth added: “She was ahead of her time. You almost feel like she carried something with her from the Dorothy Parker generation. She was so fearless, and urbane. My whole family completely adored her. One thing we’d always watch together was that show.”
During a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” session held earlier today, Mark Ruffalo, the Hulk of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, was asked who he thought should play Bruce Banner’s cousin, Jennifer Walter a.k.a. She-Hulk, if she were ever introduced in the films. Ruffalo had two suggestions.
“Oh wow, that’s pretty crazy. Well I think Zoe Saldana would be a great She Hulk. It’d be nice to see someone like her join the Avengers. Or someone quiet and demure like Emma Stone would be nice. But it would be up to the powers that be.”
Now, before anybody goes crazy, let’s just reiterate that this was a simple hypothetical. Nobody is actually saying that Marvel has even considered adding Jen Walters to their cinematic universe.
That said, Zoe Saldana is already playing a character in the MCU – Gamora in Guardians of the Galaxy – so I guess that means the part is Emma Stone’s to take, if Ruffalo has any say about it. She’s not doing anything after The Amazing Spider-Man 2, right?
Then again, who would want to make a movie that included a weird sexual power fantasy like She-Hulk in it anyway, right?
Mark Ruffalo will next appear as the Hulk in Avengers: Age of Ultron, opening May 1, 2015.