Actress Emma Stone is hoping her new movie musical La La Land encourages young film fans to ditch their cynical outlook on life and pursue their dreams.
The magical movie, directed by Damien Chazelle, opened the Venice Film Festival in Italy on Wednesday (31Aug16) to much applause, winning top reviews following its world premiere.
The film chronicles the romantic relationship between Emma’s character, barista and aspiring actress Mia, and a stubborn wannabe jazz pianist, played by Ryan Gosling, as they struggle to make their dreams a reality in Hollywood.
During a press conference following the screening, Whiplash filmmaker Chazelle admitted he wanted to inject some positivity into the world with his new project.
He said, “I think now more than ever we need hope and romance on the screen, and I think that there’s something about musicals that just get at something that only movies can do: that idea of movies as a dreamland, movies as the land of our dreams, and movies as a way of expressing a world in which you break into song, and that emotions can violate the rules of reality.”
Stone echoed his sentiments, and referenced a speech made by U.S. comedian Conan O’Brien in 2010, after a brief stint as host of The Tonight Show, to sum up her hopes for the impact of the movie on youths of today.
“When Conan O’Brien left his show… he made a speech at the end of it, and he said ‘to let go of cynicism’ and that ‘cynicism was the ugliest quality’ to him,” she recalled. “And I think something about Damien and what Damien created, and the hopefulness and the joy and the beauty of this medium but also this story… this movie is in no way cynical.”
“It’s about dreaming, and hoping, and working toward something to achieve something, and I think young people have fallen into a lot of cynicism, and making fun of things, and pointing out the flaws in everything, and this movie is anything but that. So it’s a huge joy to be a part of it and show it to young people. This is what I hope young people will do – work hard to achieve their dreams and hope, instead of be cynical.”
Gosling was not present for the La La Land premiere as he is busy filming the Blade Runner sequel, but he wasn’t far from his co-star’s mind and Emma couldn’t help but gush about her joy at their third onscreen collaboration.
“To work with Ryan again, who is my buddy, it’s wonderful to get to work with someone you know and trust so much as an actor and as a human being. So it was great,” she smiled, before revealing Gosling impressed her with his fancy footwork.
“I knew he could sing and dance, but we had to learn to ballroom dance together,” she continued. “Once you’ve learned to ballroom dance with somebody, I mean, you’ve learned everything you need to know. If you want to get to know someone, take some ballroom dancing classes with them. He’s very good at leading.”
The actors also worked together on Crazy, Stupid, Love and Gangster Squad.