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Star Student Starts Rumors About Own Reputation in 'Easy A'

Emma Stone as "Olive Penderghast" in Screen Gems' EASY A.
Emma Stone as "Olive Penderghast" in Screen Gems' EASY A.

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Easy A, a new and smart high school comedy stars Emma Stone as a star student who, inspired by her literature class, starts rumors about her own reputation - rumors that quickly spiral out of her control and teach everyone involved some important (and funny) lessons. 



"Let me just begin by saying there are two sides to every story and this is my side …the right one."


Olive is the best student, easily earning the top grade - A -  in all of her classes. Her social life, on the other hand, gets low marks until, inspired by the ordeal of Hester Prynne in the 19th century novel The Scarlet Letter, Olive decides to invent a reputation for herself …and at the same time help out a few friends.

Faster than you can say "Twitter," everyone in the entire school is talking about - and inflating - Olive's exploits.

"It's nothing. It's just the rumor mill."
"What's the rumor mill churning out these days, anything interesting?"
"You know, not really. It's a little low on grist."
"Whoa! Clever wordplay. I like it very much. You must be related to me."
"Only by marriage."



Emma Stone stars as Olive, a character she found refreshingly different from the usual Hollywood stereotypes of teenagers.

"Absolutely. It is so different and unique than anything I had read before and there are so many messages throughout it," Stone says,  "but it's not speaking down to anybody and it's not a 'message' movie. It's funny and it's sweet and I just thought Olive was an amazing character and trying to bring her to life was the only challenge. Sometimes you read a character and you think 'oh, I could go a million different ways with this; but that wasn't the case with Olive. She was who she was and it was just really fantastic from the first read."

Stanley Tucci as Olive's father "Dill" and Emma Stone as "Olive Penderghast" in Screen Gems' EASY A.
Stanley Tucci as Olive's father "Dill" and Emma Stone as "Olive Penderghast" in Screen Gems' EASY A.

Patricia Clarkson and Stanley Tucci co-star as Olive's mom and dad. The parents in most teen comedies are often portrayed as, to say the least, dense; but, as Tucci points out, that's another way Easy A is different.

"That's what I really liked about it. The script is very smart and the characters are unusual for movies like this because they are smart as well," notes Tucci. "They are the ultimate parents. We all wish we could be like them or have them as parents."

Director Will Gluck says the parents are key to Olive's cleverness.

Olive is an interesting character. She does some not great things, she is smarter than other people …but I really wanted to show where she came from, so I actually added a couple of scenes with Patty and Stanley to kind of do that and it shows you where Olive came from," Gluck explains. "To me it's like they're very smart; but they let their daughter make her own mistakes instead of telling them."

Amanda Bynes as "Marianne" and Emma Stone as "Olive Penderghast" in Screen Gem's EASY A.
Amanda Bynes as "Marianne" and Emma Stone as "Olive Penderghast" in Screen Gem's EASY A.

On the other hand, the screenplay by Bert V. Royal is less than kind to Olive's classmates who are in an Evangelical Christian youth group.

"We need to pray for her, but we also need to get her the hell out of here."
"Amen."


Director Gluck admits the film may give the impression of criticizing their religious fervor.

Emma Stone as "Olive Penderghast" in Screen Gems' EASY A.
Emma Stone as "Olive Penderghast" in Screen Gems' EASY A.

"I never wanted to make fun of or mock Evangelical Christians," explains Gluck. "I wanted to make fun of and mock zealots. I didn't care who they were. They happened to be Christian. One of the comments I've been getting is 'why are you so hard on Evangelical Christians?' My response is I'm not at all being hard on Evangelicals. So if I could pull something back it would be the actual religion specific part of it."

"What you heard in the bathroom the other day wasn't true at all."
"Yes, but I'm not the one you have to answer to for your depraved behavior. There's a higher power that will judge you for your indecency."
"Tom Cruise?"
"I hope for your sake that God has a sense of humor."
"Oh, I have 17 years worth of anecdotal proof that He does."


The cast of Easy A also features Amanda Bynes as the leader of the 'Cross Your Heart Club.' Penn Badgley is the one classmate who gets what Olive is up to. Thomas Haden Church plays her teacher and mentor.

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