Emma Stone has massive talent, but she knows as well as any actor does that when a chance to play a plum role comes around, it rarely–if ever–comes knocking twice. That’s why she’s so excited to play Sally Bowles in a Broadway revival of Caberet, because she actually did have the role once before, only to have to turn it down.
Stone cites a hectic schedule as the reason she couldn’t take the role, saying it was “painful” to have to give it up. Michelle Williams eventually took the lead.
“There was one day on the schedule where I would land from Tokyo in the morning and have enough time to make it to perform in that afternoon’s matinee. I realized that this schedule would turn the dream of playing Sally into a kind of nightmare. It felt like forcing something that wouldn’t fit. But I was telling myself I can do this, and everyone wanted to make it work, and it’s hard to say no when people are being so accommodating. But part of me also thought, ‘It’s going to kill me.’” she told the New York Times.
Stone has said she didn’t think she had the voice to do a musical when she was younger, but actress Natasha Richardson gave her the confidence–at nine years old, when she first saw the actress in a revival of the show–to realize she didn’t have to have a perfect sound as long as she was conveying feeling. On that point, says director Rob Marshall, she’s stellar.
“She doesn’t know how to sing a lyric without giving it color and feeling and point of view. A lot of actors are preoccupied with the technical work and hitting the notes. Emma illuminates,” Marshall said.
Stone was able to work out her scheduling conflict and expressed to the director that she was still interested in the role; she will take over for Williams in the role on November 11.