Defending Social Media: A Conversation with Emma Stone for the Home Entertainment release of Birdman (or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)
Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment, Fox Searchlight Pictures and Regency Enterprises invite audiences to take flight with a New Regency/M Productions /Le Grisbi production, BIRDMAN – winner of four Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director for Alejandro González Iñárritu – the critically-acclaimed film comes home on Digital HD on 27th April, and Blu-ray™ and DVD on 4th May 2015. “Michael Keaton has a Dark Knight of the soul in this career-defining, genre-defying superhero film” (Robbie Collin, The Daily Telegraph), BIRDMAN has been hailed as one of the most exciting and talked about films of 2014.
Directed, co-written and produced by Iñárritu, BIRDMAN tells the story of Riggan Thomson (Michael Keaton Batman, Robocop, Need For Speed) – famous for portraying an iconic superhero – as he struggles to mount a Broadway play. In the days leading up to opening night, he battles his ego and attempts to recover his family, his career and himself. The film has enamoured critics and audiences alike with its technical achievements using a single shot concept and captivating performances from an all-star ensemble cast, which includes Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover, Due Date, Dinner for Schmucks), Edward Norton (The Grand Budapest Hotel, Primal Fear, American History X), Andrea Riseborough (Oblivion, Shadow Dancer), Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone, Win Win), Emma Stone (The Help; Crazy, Stupid, Love, The Amazing Spiderman franchise) Naomi Watts (St. Vincent, The Impossible, King Kong), as well as breath-taking cinematography from Academy Award-winner Emmanuel Lubezki.
Featured on over 168 top ten lists, BIRDMAN has garnered attention worldwide and has received more than 200 nominations from such esteemed groups as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, receiving nine Academy Award® nominations, and winning four including “Best Picture,” “Best Director,” “Best Original Screenplay,” and “Best Cinematography.” The film has also won two Golden Globe awards for “Best Performance by an Actor,” and “Best Screenplay.”
Highlighted Blu-ray and DVD special features include never before seen interviews with director Alejandro González Iñárritu and Michael Keaton, an intimate backstage peak from the cast & crew and a breath-taking selection of rare photographs from cinematographer, Emmanuel Lubezki.
In our interview, Hollywood sweetheart Emma Stone tells us about her experiences shooting Birdman and what she'll take away from Birdman when performing in Caberet on Broadway...
How was it doing a movie with so many long takes?
It was a challenge in the same way theatre is a challenge. You’re doing the same thing night after night yet having it seem like you’re doing it for the first time. It was the same with this film, except you were doing the same take 24 times a day. But that’s part of the job – to be able to let it all go and just live in the moment, having done extensive rehearsals earlier.
The film sort of makes fun of superhero movies but, having done two Spider-Man films, you’re part of that world...
The funny thing is that even though I was in two Spider-Man movies – and this may be completely out-to-lunch of me – I don’t feel most identified with having been part of that. Maybe it’s because I didn’t play Spider-Man so I don’t feel that closely associated with a costume or a suit or a legacy, although I do feel associated with the legacy of Gwen Stacy of course. The challenge Riggan [Michael Keaton] has isn’t something I relate to even though I was in two films in a franchise.
Still, there’s a big fear amongst actors about getting typecast, isn’t there?
God knows I’ve been in danger of being typecast and God knows I’m sure I have been typecast many times, but I’ve never felt associated with one particular character over another. I haven’t had that struggle, at least in my mind. Maybe in my mind I refuse to lock myself into one identifiable character. I’m sure that’s a fear for some people but it’s that public perception thing. It’s the struggle in this movie: “What do you value more? What people are telling you you are or what you know you are?”
Following on from that, you seem happy to mix things up and play all kinds of roles and also you don’t always have to be the lead character...
I learn an equal amount from any experience, no matter how big the budget is or how many people are working on the crew. And I don’t think the size of a role is any major consideration. It’s about what I can learn and what I can offer the project. That’s the only real draw.
Your character in Birdman speaks up in defense of social media but how do you feel about social media yourself?
I’m not on Twitter. I try to be as much myself as I possibly can be. I try to be as authentic to who I am when I’m being interviewed about a movie but I don’t feel the need to be on Twitter or Instagram or to give a snapshot into the shoes I bought today or what my dog is doing. It’s honestly a personal choice, just like it is in any capacity – whether you feel like sharing things with a bunch of people you don’t know or not. But I don’t think it has anything to do with being an actor.
Is there anything you’ve learned from doing Birdman that you think will be useful when you do Cabaret on Broadway?
The way we shot this film felt so much like theatre so I’m sure the muscles that were used in doing a movie like this will be very applicable in a real theatre setting. It was tirelessly rehearsed, then kind of captured at the final moment but over and over again – so yes, it felt like doing a play. We had, I think, three weeks of rehearsal before we began, then when we got into the practicalities of the locations there were a lot of rehearsals and a lot of blocking. Every moment and every movement had to be very carefully worked out. It was probably more complex than theatre because of the blocking and the fact we had to move with the camera floating around us.
BIRDMAN (OR THE UNEXPECTED VIRTUE OF IGNORANCE) IS OUT NOW TO OWN ON BLU-RAY AND DVD