Why Emma Stone Was Pumped To Gain 15 Pounds For Her New Movie

Emma Stone as Billie Jean King

Apparently, before one enters "Battle," they have to put on some muscle. Emma Stone, fresh off her Academy Award-winning performance in the utterly delightful La La Land, is about to face down gender inequality as part of the tennis drama Battle of the Sexes. But in order to play tennis pro Billie Jean King convincingly, Stone put on weight. And normally when you hear about an A-lister packing on pounds (or shedding them rapidly), it's some Method nonsense... glancing your way, Christian Bale. This time, Emma Stone was gaining muscle, and her trainer says it made the actresses' day:

We started doing training geared toward getting more weight and muscle on her, so it was a little more believable onscreen, and also for her mind and her character. ... She was ecstatic when she got on [the scale]. Most girls who get on the scale and gain weight freak out, [but] she had the biggest smile in the world when the weight started to increase.

Emma Stone's trainer, Jason Walsh, was basically explaining to People that she would need that muscle tone to play Billie Jean King, a tennis icon and a former World No. 1 tennis player who tore down gender stereotypes when -- in a highly publicized match -- she challenged blowhard competitor Bobby Riggs (who will be portrayed by Steve Carell in the upcoming Battle of the Sexes). The event was massive, earning a viewership of nearly 90 million people back in 1973. To many, this was the event that legitimized women's tennis, and helped put it on the level of men's tennis in a still-uneven era of professional sport.

This is also an exciting follow up project for Emma Stone, as the industry usually plays very close attention to how an actor follows up their Oscar win. With La La Land, Emma Stone bought herself credibility to get movies made, to pursue roles that might have been viewed as too difficult before. Battle of the Sexes made the rounds at the fall film festivals, and picked up mostly positive reviews. Check out the trailer below:

A newly buff Emma Stone headlines Battle of the Sexes alongside Steve Carell. Early reviews are singling out Stone and saying that she could make another run at a Oscar nomination for playing Billie Jean King on screen. Maybe that's why she was so happy to add the 15 pounds and produce toned muscles. If you are going to play the part, you better LOOK the part. See her in the role when the movie opens in theaters on September 22.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.