Emma Stone Opens Up About Growing Up with Anxiety and Struggling with Fame: 'It Terrified Me'

Along with the help from therapy, performing became a major way for Stone to overcome her anxiety


Emma Stone usually appears completely at ease in the spotlight — but it took some time for the actress to find her peaceful place.

The actress, 26, opened up in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter about growing up battling anxiety and panic attacks and how acting became her solution.

“It’s just the way I’m wired,” she said.

Along with the help from therapy, performing became a major way for Stone to overcome her anxiety.

“I think my parents saw that acting was the thing that made me fulfilled and happy,” she said.

After convincing her parents to let her drop out of high school and move to Hollywood at the age of 15, Stone started auditioning full time and landed sporadic gigs, like in an episode of Malcolm in the Middle.

“It’s nuts that they agreed to it,” she said with a laugh. “I don’t condone it. Everybody should go through high school and graduate.”

Stone got her first starring role in 2009’s Easy A and the actress was instantly launched into the spotlight. But with fame came the return of her anxiety and Stone left Los Angeles and moved to New York.

“I started to feel overwhelmed by the energy of Hollywood,” she said. “Losing my anonymity after Easy A, it was like being 7 years old all over again,” she says. “It terrified me.”


And while she has learned how to better deal with fame over the years, Stone is the first to admit that seeing her name on the list of this year’s Oscar nominees for her performance in La La Land is equally as exciting as it is nerve-wracking.

“That kind of stuff is amazing and an honor and very crazy, but it’s something that I can get into too much of a tizzy about,” she said. “Although I did have a day in October when I got myself really freaked out …”

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