In the new critically acclaimed movie La La Land, Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling play star-crossed lovers struggling to make it big in acting and music respectively in, you guessed it, the City of Angels.
And though it’s hard to imagine Stone — who made it big in 2007 thanks to Superbad — facing the soul-crushing rejections her character Mia Dolan does in the movie, the Golden Globe-nominated actress told Buzzfeed that she actually went through rejection after rejection for years. Her words on how she got through it, though, are not exclusively helpful for actors — they’re pretty damn inspiring for the rest of us, too.
“I was kind of beholden to what auditions came in and whatever I could get,” Stone began, adding that she auditioned for “anything that [she] could go in for.”
“So I think, yeah, facing rejection day after day can be really, really tough…the things that I went in for with [casting director Allison Jones] over three years were things I wanted so badly…TV shows that would’ve gone on for years.”
And while enjoying a Kaley Cuoco-esque Big Bang Theory existence for a decade wouldn’t exactly be the worst gig, Stone is now grateful that none of those roles panned out — because without them, she wouldn’t be currently nominated for a Golden Globe. Again.
Gosling and Stone’s La La Land director, Damian Chazelle, essentially echoed Stone’s sentiments, with the former saying,
Of course it’s hard to relate Stone and Gosling’s career ups and downs with our own, because they’re incredibly famous, gorgeous, talented millionaires. But what they’re saying about rejection and “failure” is relatable to literally every person who has ever been rejected from a job (raises hand), whether that job is in acting, music, copy writing, coding, or something else entirely. Though it feels soul-crushingly awful in the moment, when a gig eventually does come through, it will feel so great that all of that time and energy spent feeling devastated over every single “no” will feel like a giant waste of valuable time.
So whenever we feel sad over a career rejection, let’s try to take it in stride and feel hopeful for the future — in La La Land and beyond.