Emma Stone and her mother Krista Stone, a triple negative breast cancer survivor, share an intimate pose in their Revlon portrait. By Steven Klein
By Andrea Mandell, USA TODAY
Stepping into a photographer's lens is old hat for in-demand Emma Stone.
Until recently, that is, when The Amazing Spider-Man star sat down to be photographed by famous fashion photographer Steven Klein (a longtime collaborator of Lady Gaga's) and found herself wrapped in her mother Krista's arms.
"It was so wonderful and special," says Stone, who shot the black-and-white portrait as a global brand ambassador for Revlon's first public service campaign, "Your Lips Can Save Lives." The PSA emphasizes the importance of talking to loved ones about cancer and promotes early detection.
Stone's mother, who was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 48 in 2008, is "about to hit her four-year-clear mark," says Stone, 23. "She still has surgeries to go, and that time period is always kind of present still. So doing that (photo shoot) was just - she's here. We're here together as mother and daughter. It was hugely emotional, and I think everyone on set knew that and was hugely supportive of that."
Stone recalls watching her mother brave chemotherapy for 25 weeks as a "really difficult, terrifying time." And it included a major lesson: "To me, as her daughter who was not going through that incredible struggle, I had this insane amount of clarity. My mind is so muddled all the time with the past and the future, that it was like an inexplicable jolt into the 'now' the whole time that she was going through this. Because I realized - all you have is the present."
Look closer at photos of Stone and you'll see a small tattoo on her wrist, one she got with her mother to mark beating cancer. "We got blackbird feet. It's from that (Beatles) song Blackbird: Take these broken wings and learn to fly. It seemed appropriate for the occasion."
Today, Stone is an advocate for "the importance of getting checked every single year, because a year before at her (mother's) mammogram she didn't have the tumor." Mother and daughter walked in the annual EIF Revlon Run/Walk for Women in New York in May.
These days, Stone has been happily out of the spotlight, "laying low," and hanging out in New York after wrapping months of promotion for The Amazing Spider-Man, which grossed a staggering $700 million worldwide.
What does recovery from a "crazy" global press tour look like? "You freak out for two weeks being in one place," she says with a laugh. "At least that was my experience, just sheer confusion for two solid weeks afterward."
Not that she's slowing down. Stone has the period crime drama Gangster Squad opening in January and Spider-Man 2 to make ( "that'll be next year"). And recently she signed on to work with one of her idols, Cameron Crowe.
"Other than SNL, working with him has been my dream for as long as I can remember," she says. "So it's pretty crazy to hear that out loud." Stone says the idea is based on Deep Tiki, a script Crowe wrote years ago when Ben Stiller was attached to the project. "I don't want to describe it quite yet because I'm a little knock-on-wood still. We'll see what the ultimate, final version is. But it's fantastic, I can tell you that."