Before she was nominated for an Oscar for her supporting role in Birdman or kissing Andrew Garfield in The Amazing Spider-Man, Emma Stone was just a young actress trying to make it big in Hollywood. As she tells Jonah Weiner in Rolling Stone’s cover story about her time as a struggling ingenue: “I did an episode of Malcolm in the Middle. And an episode of Medium. … I was the voice of a dog on The Suite Life of Zach and Cody.”
But Stone’s first credited role was due to her involvement in VH1’s 2004 reality show competition, In Search of the Partridge Family. At 16, when she was still known as Emily, Stone sang her heart out to Meredith Brooks’ “Bitch” as well as duet version of Pat Benatar’s “We Belong.”
Her charisma and vocal talent snagged her a role playing Laurie Partridge. She told Newsweek: “It was totally, 100 percent a reality show. My mom had never pushed me to audition for anything, but she saw a commercial on TV for it and said, ‘You look like Susan Dey a little, and just dyed your hair brown … Why don’t you give this a shot? I have a weird feeling.’ I did it and ended up winning. I don’t regret it for a minute.”
Sadly, the Partridge reboot didn’t last beyond the pilot, but fans of the husky-voiced redhead would later get to see her show off her vocal skills when she played Sally Bowles in the most recent revival of Cabaret on Broadway (replacing Michelle Williams). Now, she’s serenading Ryan Gosling in La La Land, Damian Chazelle’s charming musical movie that is garnering plenty of Oscar buzz, including for Stone.