Interview: Emma Stone And Teddy Geiger of The Rocker

Teddy Geiger and Emma Stone may have been born in 1988, but they kick out the jams as a faux teen rock band in The Rocker, a pithy tale of a washed up metal drummer. Geiger is a musician in his own right, while Stone earned her rock ‘n’ roll credentials watching Cameron Crowe films and pining for a job at Rolling Stone. In an interview, both kids (and yes, they’re definitely kids) made it clear that they’ve got big plans for themselves in the coming year.

How much of the music in the film was played for real and how much was movie magic?

Teddy: That was movie magic. I sang later but when we were making it I was singing along to the guy who wrote the songs. His vocal was on there. I think since we had the footage and then we did the singing after we could match it a little bit better to make sure everything fit well. So they synched it up real nice.

Emma, were you playing the bass for real?

Emma: I wasn’t actually playing the bass. I was playing the same notes. I learned how to play the songs but the sound of bass in the songs is not by my fingers.

How much is music a part of your lives?

E: I’m a huge music fan. I usually say that if I had been born with a musical inclination it would’ve been great. The Beatles changed everything for me and I wanted to be a journalist for Rolling Stone. I’m a big music fan in a Cameron Crowe way, kind of in a spectator way.

T: What are you saying about Cameron Crowe?

During those arena scenes in the film, did you get a sense of what it would be like to be in front of a bunch of screaming fans?

E: Teddy’s definitely experienced that, but I hadn’t so it was kind of crazy for me.

T: I had a 15 minute opening slot at one point in time but I was like terrified. This was not your glory moment onstage; this is like a kid freaking out on stage opening up for Hillary Duff. It was definitely cool because we were playing a really successful band so you got to act like you were really successful band, which was nice.

Was it difficult keeping a straight face and staying in character when working with Rainn Wilson?

E: It was a lot tougher than I thought it would be. I’m a big smiler and laugher in everyday life so I didn’t really realize how tough it was until I went and did my next movie. I was like, “Oh my god! I can laugh, I can smile! I’m not going to get in trouble!” It was interesting to really emote in that way.

Are you guys familiar with any of the 80’s rock bands, the big ones like Warrant and all that?

T: Poison and all those bands? Well it was funny because, well, Emma, you can explain this.

E: What?

T: How you were like, “I think they’re going over the top with the bands.” I was like “No, No, that’s what it was like!”

E: We were born in 1988!

Teddy, what do movies give you that music doesn’t give you and vice versa?

T: Music has been more a solitary, creative thing. The acting side of things and working in movies has helped me collaboratively with music in terms of helping me get ideas across to other people and making it more of a team efforts. Movies affecting music has caused me to collaborate a little bit better. And the music for movies, well I guess that’s helped me play more musicians.

You have a new album you’re working on?

T: Yeah, there are 33 songs online and the fans can go and listen and download those. They pick their favorite 11 and whatever the favorite 11 are will end up on my album, which will be out in September.

You’ve really embraced the Internet. A lot of artists and labels have had difficulty with that.

T: The guy who manages me is fairly forward thinking and is into utilizing the Internet. I think that’s good and I think that’s where things are moving. It’s nice for me because since my first album I’ve learned a lot about music and about the way I want to write my songs. I got to display a little bit more of a spectrum. 11 songs may not show everything I was trying to do whereas with the 33, the fans can see everything and pick what they like and don’t like.

Emma, you’ve done a lot of television. When you go to a movie set, is it different?

E: I’ve actually worked on a lot more films than TV now so I didn’t have a long term work experience like you do on a film. It definitely felt a lot slower. We’d be doing 2 or 3 pages in a day. Now it’s kind of a comfort. It’s nice to know you can focus more on that specific section, those specific lines, and not worrying about getting 16 pages out the way.

Emma, is it true you made a PowerPoint presentation for your parents to convince them to let you be an actress?

E: I was very lucky with the parents I was blessed with. I don’t think it could have worked out any better. They’ve always been so understanding of me and understanding of what I want to do. It was less about convincing them and more about expressing what I wanted to do to them. I never really had to beg and plead but the PowerPoint is a popular reference. I did sit them down with a PowerPoint and made them popcorn and cried.

You mentioned being able to laugh on the set of your next movie. Is that House Bunny? How’s working with Anna Faris?

E: She’s awesome. She’s incredible. I would love to work with her in the future. She’s great and so talented.

Who do you play in that?

E: I play Natalie, the president of the Zeta sorority. It’s 7 completely socially awkward girls who are about to lose their sorority charter because they don’t have enough members and they don’t have any of the social skills to gain more members.

Teddy, you’re ready to go on tour? Can you talk about it?

T: Right now it’s 33 shows. I’m assuming it’ll grow from that because the album is coming out in September and the tour ends in August. We’ll be booking more stuff and probably be out for a good year, on and off. It’s exciting but it’s also weird. I just moved out here a year ago and started putting a life together. Now I need to say goodbye again. It’s cool. It’s nice to have change and the cycle of being out the road and then coming back.

Emma, what would you like to do that you’re not doing now?

E: I’d like to produce. I’d like to come up with ideas and collaborate with people and directors and writers that I like, be a part of movies that have the same idea that the movies that impacted me have. I’d like to be able to do that for people.

Like what movies?

E: City Lights. Harold and Maude. Any Cameron Crowe movie. I love Cameron Crowe!