P. Claire Dodson
December 18, 2016 10:21 am
Steve Granitz/Getty Images

No matter how old you get or what field you’re in, it feels like there’s always pressure to be doing the thing that’s going to get you further towards where you want to be, especially where your career is concerned. Even celebrities aren’t immune to this pressure, as Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone’s career doubts prove all too well.

Early in her career, Stone (who dropped out of high school to move to Los Angeles) was going on auditions for years before her big break in Superbad. “Nothing really worked out,” Stone told BuzzFeed in an interview promoting her new film La La Land. “So I think, yeah, facing rejection day after day can be really, really tough.”

Stone’s character in La La Land undergoes similar bouts of rejection on the path to following her dreams, as does co-star Ryan Gosling, who believe it or not ALSO had a lot of real-life struggle with becoming a successful actor. “It’s so fragile, your sense of yourself, when you’re young,” Gosling said to BuzzFeed News.

And despite these frequent career setbacks, both learned to be grateful for the opportunities they didn’t get as much as the ones they did. “It is funny how the things that happen in your life can feel terrible in the moment but lead you to those places,” Stone said, referring to the TV roles she didn’t get that would have kept her from Superbad if she had ended up getting them.

It’s proof that even though it feels like taking the “wrong” job or missing out on a “dream” job seems like the worst thing in the world, it can end up being a great thing — a thing that might lead you to where you really want to go.