- The high-school rom-com “Easy A” premiered 11 years ago, but fans might not know these fun facts.
- Emma Stone was nominated for a Golden Globe for the role, but Jennifer Lawrence almost got the part.
- There are plenty of puns and references to older rom-coms scattered throughout the film.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Although she didn’t win, she’s since been nominated for four more Golden Globes — one of which she won for her role in “La La Land.”
“… Patty and Stanley just came in and blew all that out of the water. They were so unbelievable. I was so grateful to them, selfishly, because they made it all make sense,” she said.
She also told the publication that they actually reminded her of her own parents, saying, “My parents are miraculously similar to those parents which is the luckiest thing in the world. They may not be as liberal but their parenting style is very similar.”
“… I went to a friends and family screening to see it, and I had to get up and walk out,” she said. “Who wants to watch themselves for that long?”
In 2010, Stone told Collider that she only attended one semester at a Catholic high school, and she received the rest of her education through homeschooling. She then moved to Los Angeles to pursue her acting career at the age of 15.
Badgley, who played Todd, appeared in the film at the height of his “Gossip Girl” fame. But he’d never attended high school either. According to Details magazine, he took a proficiency exam at 14 before entering Santa Monica College.
The film’s screenwriter, Bert V. Royal, also missed out on the traditional high-school experience, according to a 2013 Folio Weekly article. But he’s used it as inspiration for several films and plays.
“Having not gone to high school, I was an outsider looking in. I think it gave me a better vantage point. To me, high school is a fantasy world,” he said.
For comparison, Stone and Aly Michalka were 21 and Badgley was 23 when the film was released.
It seems, however, that the actor was purposefully older than his fellow high schoolers since Micah’s age served as a not-so-subtle joke during various parts of the movie.
In one scene, Mrs. Griffith notes that her affair with him is legal because he’s “21 and eight months,” and there are other references to him getting held back in school.
She’d filed questions like “Why would loss of virginity in high school be such a big deal?” from French critics and comments like “We don’t have cliques in our schools” from Indian journalists.
She said that when she noticed those international differences it made her “realized that thematically the movie was resonating more so than just a high school comedy.”
Gluck told Cinema Blend in 2010, “I swore after ‘Fired Up’ I would never do a high school comedy again, but this script came in and it was special. This movie is about reputation, and that never goes away. It’s so heightened in high school.”
However, in addition to connecting the film to this source material, the title also plays into the high-school setting by nodding to the common idiom for a guaranteed good grade in a class.
Apart from the fairly obvious references to “The Scarlet Letter,” there’s a more subtle detail in the scene where Olive goes to a local foreign movie theater. She sees “Der Scharlachrote Buchstabe,” which is the German version of “The Scarlet Letter.”
The characters seem to lean into this throughout the film. For example, Rosemary makes a joke about having a whole jar of olives in the fridge when another character asks if Olive’s home.
Along with food puns, Olive Penderghast is also an anagram, part of which she points out in the film. Olive can be rearranged to spell “I love,” and Penderghast is an anagram for “pretend shag” — a main plot point in the movie.
“John Hughes’ ‘Sixteen Candles’ may be the perfect movie,” he told the Orlando Sentinel in 2010. “I wanted to write a script that gave us a new Molly Ringwald.”
Gluck elaborated on this, telling Film School Rejects in 2010, “I never want to do a reference that’s not explained in the moment. You’ll notice in ‘Easy A,’ every kind of reference they do stands on its own. You don’t have to know the reference. Especially the 80s movies. I show clips of the 80s movies, so it’s more of an inclusive reference moment.”
But that’s not the only homage to “Easy A” found in the hit comedy starring Mila Kunis and Justin Timberlake. When Kunis’ character is waiting for Timberlake’s character at the airport, one driver can be seen holding a sign that reads “O. Penderghast.”
“… It was great. I think she’s amazing. As a comedian, no one’s like her at all. Her timing is impeccable,” she said. “… I’m lucky to have worked with her twice.”
Bedingfield added, “… It was funny because that’s exactly what Emma’s character says in [‘Easy A’]: ‘Oh, man, it’s such an annoying song!’ Of course, that’s why songs become hits, when they have those earworms and you kind of love and hate them …”
Gluck’s young daughters had a similar experience to Olive opening up a musical magazine ad that featured the song, which ultimately inspired him to write it into the movie.
Gluck told ET, “My daughters were very young and would keep opening it up and closing it, and it had ‘Pocketful of Sunshine’ playing. So, when I did the movie, I wrote that scene into it and wanted that exact song because of what my kids did …”
“Oh, for the love, I can’t even simulate sex without dying,” she said. “I had a little asthma attack, without any prior knowledge that I had asthma, during the scene where we had to jump up and down for hours and hours screaming and yelling on the bed. [It] was humiliating, because it was the second day of shooting.”
Stone quipped back with her signature humor, replying, “Well, guess what? You didn’t get it. You didn’t get it because you suck!”
She wrote, “Being an actress isn’t as fun as it may seem. If I don’t love something anymore, I stop doing it. I don’t love acting anymore, so I’ve stopped doing it. I know 24 is a young age to retire, but you heard it here first.”
“… If there was one thing I could do over, that I’m mad at myself for, it’s that character,” Gluck told Film School Rejects in 2010. “I never intended to make a statement about evangelical Christians. I wanted to make a statement about evangelicals and zealots. The adjective not the noun.”
He continued, “I wanted to poke fun at people in high school who are holier than thou, they already know everything. Unfortunately, I went more into the Christianity range because, I think, it was easier to just make Jesus jokes.”
It will be set in the same Ojai, California, high school and explore the same themes as “Easy A,” but the upcoming film will follow a new class of students.
More details have yet to be announced about the untitled project.