Emma Stone reveals she wishes she could use her real name in Hollywood
Actors: they're an odd bunch aren't they?
Speaking as one who's only meaningful - and I use the word with a gargantuan shovelful of salt - qualification in life is a degree in performing, I think I might have a certain insight to offer on the subject.
To many, a career in acting might appear superficially excellent - all the attention one could ever want, the adoration of one's public and all the riches and fortune one could ever lust after.
The reality, of course, is somewhat different. Acting is a brutal profession; a never-ending slog of auditions and rejection that is constantly underrated in its harshness. Many actors require a part-time job to maintain financial security between gigs, and the self-motivation required to succeed in the field cannot be understated.
Only a minuscule percentage of those tread the boards make it to the very top. Of course, those that do are privy to all of the riches of Christendom, and legions of adoring fans to boot, but certain sacrifices must always be made in order to achieve such lofty heights.
Acting is essentially an extremely taxing million-to-one shot, if your end game is to become rich and famous. Oh, and you might have to change your name, too.
Some actors might need to change their name if a fellow performer already shares a name with them, while others do so for their own reasons, because another name sounds better, is more memorable, has a ring to it, or is a tribute to someone important in their lives.
This was precisely the situation that Emma Stone found herself when she signed up to the Screen Actors Guild aged 16. SAG rules stipulate that no two performers can register with the same name, and this is when Stone, real name Emily Jean Stone, changed her name to Emma.
The meaning behind the choice of Emma? Well that would be a tribute to the Spice Girl Emma Bunton, who inspired Stone's childhood nickname.
“I was super blonde, and my real name is Emily, but I wanted to be called Emma because of Baby Spice and guess what, now I am,” Stone previously stated,
“It wasn’t necessarily because of her. But yes, in second grade, did I go up to the teacher and ask her to call me Emma? Yes I did. And was it because of Emma Lee Bunton from the Spice Girls? Yes it was.”
But now, Stone wishes she could have stuck with her real name, Emily. As she told W Magazine;
“Well, I was 16 when I found out at SAG I couldn’t have my own name. So to ask a 16 year old to pick a new name is really an interesting process because I was like, ‘I’m going to be Riley. My name is going to be Riley Stone.’
“And so my name was Riley Stone for about six months and I did a guest spot on Malcolm in the Middle and one day they were like, ‘Riley, Riley,’ and I had no idea who they were talking to and they were like, ‘Hey, hey come on we need you on set.’ And I was like, ‘Oh I’m not Riley, I can’t be Riley.’”
“I had the option of Emily J. Stone and it’s kind of like Michael J. Fox, and I love Michael J. Fox, but I don’t think I could pull off the J. So then I changed it to Emma because, you know, it’s closer to Emily, but most people call me Em that know me well.”
And that's the story of how Emma Stone came to be known as Emma Stone, folks.