- Emma Stone really didn’t want to play an elf on the Netflix show “Maniac.”
- When the show’s director, Cary Joji Fukunaga, suggested it, she immediately nixed it, telling the director she only liked to play real characters.
- But Fukunaga told Business Insider he couldn’t resist writing it into the show.
Warning: Spoilers below if you haven’t seen episode seven of “Maniac.”
It turns out there’s a reason why we’ve never seen Emma Stone in a fantasy movie: she only likes to play realistic characters.
“Maniac” director Cary Joji Fukunaga discovered that early on while developing the Netflix show with the Oscar winner. While kicking around ideas for the different type of roles she and her costar Jonah Hill could play on the show, when their characters are on drugs, he had a thought.
“I said, ‘How about an elf or a vampire?’ Fukunaga recalled to Business Insider. “And she said, ‘No. Nothing that’s not real.'”
“Just personally, that’s not her taste,” Fukunaga said. “She’s never seen ‘Lord of the Rings,’ she can’t get into things that aren’t real.”
But as the show continued in the development process, Fukunaga and show creator Patrick Somerville couldn’t resist writing the elf role in, with Stone’s hatred of the genre as part of the story. It was especially fitting because one of the three drugs Stone and Hill take on the show is called “Confrontation,” and is to be taken to overcome anxieties, fears, and depression.
“Patrick and I thought, well, doesn’t that make sense for the Confrontation drug? Something she really doesn’t enjoy? So we wrote that mildly into the character,” Fukunaga said. “And when she did the scene she was just like [gritting his teeth] ‘Cary, I’m doing this for you!'”
Despite Stone’s hatred of playing an elf, her performance (in episode seven) is one of the highlights of the show. While taking the Confrontation drug, she is transported to a Middle Earth-like location and is dressed like an elf with a bow and arrow. Through the episode, Annie (Stone) is trying to lead another elf to a mythical water source that will cure the girl’s illness. That girl is actually Annie’s sister, Ellie (Julia Garner), who died when the two were in a horrific car accident.
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