Which Actress Turned Down Emma Stone’s Role In La La Land?

emma stone ryan gosling la la land

by Katie Rosseinsky |
Published on

Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling are a match made in cinematic heaven. They won us over in Crazy Stupid Love, reunited as mobsters in Gangster Squad, and are had us falling in love all over again when La La Land arrived in cinemas earlier this year. So it’s somewhat surprising to learn that the film's director Damien Chazelle originally had a very different pairing in mind for his Hollywood musical.

When Chazelle’s project was first in development, Emma Watson was lined up to take the role of aspiring actress Mia – until another musical role got in the way. Once the actress was offered the part of Belle in the live-action Beauty and the Beast re-make, she changed her mind, and had to leave La La Land behind. Clearly, the prospect of being a bona fide Disney princess proved too tempting.

But would becoming a real-life Belle actually be better than acting opposite Ryan Gosling? That’s a question that Emma never actually had to ask. At this point she was slated to be co-starring with Miles Teller, who had previously worked with Chazelle on 2014’s Whiplash.

Toronto International Film Festival Emma Stone Ryan Gosling
Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling at the Toronto International Film Festival ©Getty

Teller’s negotiations ended up falling through and in a 2015 profile with Esquire, the actor told the magazine that he had received a call from his agent saying, ‘Hey, I just got a call from Lionsgate. Damien told them that he no longer thinks you’re creatively right for the project. He’s moving on without you.’ However, sources revealed to The Hollywood Reporter that there was more to the story, as Teller was reportedly holding out for a bigger pay cheque.

Speaking at the Toronto International Film Festival back in September, Chazelle addressed the film’s rotating line-up. ‘The casting of this movie during the six years it took to get made went through lots of permutations, and it’s true there was a moment where Emma Watson and Miles Teller were doing it,’ he explained, adding ‘Neither of those casting things wound up lasting or working out. But it was part of the up and down of this movie: that we were about to make it, we were about to not make it.’

With the film garnering rave reviews and an unprecedented clutch of Golden Globes, as well as BAFTA and Oscar nominations for both Gosling and Stone, we can only imagine that Teller and Watson are wondering what might have been… Here's to the fools who dream!

READ MORE: 12 Stars Who Turned Down Iconic Film And TV Roles

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