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Emma Stone may be one of Hollywood's most sought-after young actresses, but the brassy star of The Help and Easy A wasn't always so confident in her craft. Unlike most of her self-possessed characters, Stone recently admitted that she used to suffer from recurring panic attacks.
In Vogue's July cover story, Stone, 23, explains how the attacks began when she was only 8 years old.
"I was just kind of immobilized by it," she explains. "I didn't want to go to my friends' houses or hang out with anybody, and nobody really understood."
Stone (who appears opposite her boyfriend Andrew Garfield in The Amazing Spider-Man) recalls how despite the anxiety, she was able to work through her childhood panic with years of therapy and an introduction to comedy theater. Acting, she explains, helped loosen her up.
"[Being on stage] gave me a sense of purpose. I wanted to make people laugh," she tells Vogue. "Comedy was my sport. It taught me how to roll with the punches. Failure is the exact same as success when it comes to comedy because it just keeps coming. It never stops."
The actress says that when she was 14, she prepared a Power Point presentation to convince her parents to let her drop out of high school to focus on auditioning for roles. Obviously successful in her transition to acting full time, Stone still suffers from occasional bouts of anxiety.
During the Spider-Man shoot, she reveals, Stone had a very specific coping mechanism: baking.
"I think I felt really out of control of my surroundings," she says. "I was just baking all the time. It seemed like it made me feel, if I put these in, I'll know what the outcome is."