Gearing up for the release of The Amazing Spiderman, Emma Stone is making the media rounds. The gregarious and animated comedic actress revealed in the July issue of Vogue that while filming, she came up with a creative way to counter-balance panic attacks that she has experienced since the age of eight.
Stone, 23, spoke in detail about feelings of isolation that the fear of an attack can produce in a child. “I was just kind of immobilized by it,” she said. “I didn’t want to go to my friends’ houses or hang out with anybody, and nobody really understood.”
She started therapy and at age 11 found that her best coping method was acting or, more specifically, improv comedy. She said it taught her to roll with the punches and helped her see that, “failure is the same as success when it comes to comedy because it just keeps coming. It never stops.”
It takes courage to act, be spontaneous and funny in front of an audience and critics. It also takes courage to meet panic attacks face to face and to move past the building anxiety, to tolerate it until it fades.
Stone joked about using baking in order to sustain a feeling of control while she was filming the next Spiderman installment:
“I think I felt really out of control of my surroundings. I was just baking all the time. There were stacks of things in the kitchen that nobody could possibly go through. It seemed like it made me feel, if I put these in, I’ll know what the outcome is … I was overbaking.”
It is great to see a young actress acknowledge the liberating role performing plays for so many people wrestling with anxiety, and feeling comfortable sharing her own quirky strategies for managing it. She may have felt alone as a kid, but she’s not any more.