Emma's cast in stone
US actress is Hollywood auteur Woody Allen's latest muse
Every actor in Hollywood doesn't feel their resume is complete unless they have been in a Woody Allen movie and the prolific Hollywood auteur releases a movie annually, usually with an ensemble cast with lots of roles.
And a young, beautiful actress usually serves as his muse, some recurring in several of his movies. The most recent: Scarlett Johansson.
Emma Stone joined the list with last year's Magic In the Moonlight and now returns as his leading lady in Irrational Man, about a college student (Stone) who falls for her tortured philosophy professor (Joaquin Phoenix) until an overheard conversation sparks him to make a choice that will change their lives forever.
The drama is showing here.
Allen is well known for his non-audition of actors (where exchanging a few words in five minutes makes him decide to hire them); giving them only those pages of the script where they are on screen; hardly giving any direction; and his famously short work days.
When we meet at the Four Seasons hotel in Beverly Hills, the petite 26-year-old US actress is lively and forthright and it is easy to see why she appealed to Allen, given his penchant for younger women/older men stories, although in Irrational Man, the age difference is appropriate.
She talks about working with Allen and, yes, he gave her the script and no, there was no conversation about the part.
"He will talk about poetry or movies that he likes, or how he thinks the universe is going to blow apart and nothing is going to matter anyway.
"But there's not a lot of discussion about the character, about why you were cast, about why he is thinking of you, about what compelled him to write the story. His most common response when you ask him about the character is, 'you know that this is a movie, right'?"
Allen, 79, also did magic tricks and card tricks on set, to her great amusement.
What was it like working with Phoenix, 40?
Said Stone: "He's one of my favourite actors hands down. I learnt so much that I would never be able to tell him just by watching him. It really keeps you on your toes.
"He never really does the scene the same way twice and he's so alive and I think that's what makes him such a dynamic actor and an unbelievable scene partner, because you never really know what's coming, in a great way."
When asked to recall her early days in the business, Stone is happy to talk about the auditioning process, which she doesn't have to do any more.
"My worst audition... I remember that commercial auditions were pretty brutal.
"When I was, like, 15 or 16, there were times where you had to wear a bikini because it's a beach scene and you are in a room with a panel of people and it's really uncomfortable. And there were just some that I had, like, left in tears, it was horrible.
"And the best audition... I mean the audition for (The Amazing Spider-Man, where she plays the webslinging superhero's first love Gwen Stacy) was pretty great.
"It was what made me want to do the movie, doing the screen test for that. I really loved that and it was kind of like Andrew (Garfield, who played Spider-Man) and I getting to play around together. So that was wonderful."
Although Stone will not talk about her real-life relationship with Garfield, she shares a little bit about what she does during her time off.
"I don't read fiction, I read true crime books. That's my favourite thing to read. I have my friends and people that I love and have a life and watch movies and cook and go to dinner and travel. And it's relatively normal."