Emma Stone’s wannabe character in La La Land took years to get her big shot… here stars reveal how long they battled for fame

IN Oscar-nominated movie La La Land, Emma Stone plays a wannabe actress who suffers years of rejection before her big break.

Many stars experienced the same thing.

Here they tell GARTH PEARCE about their battle to make it.

AP:Associated Press
Emma Stone and Ryan Gosling in Hollywood smash La La Land[/caption]


Sandra Bullock

Array
Sandra Bullock in Speed with Keanu Reeves[/caption]

FROM: Arlington, Virginia

AGE NOW: 52

LA LA LAND MOMENT: Speed, 1994

Sandra says: “Living in Hollywood taught me some harsh lessons.

“I would sometimes lie on the floor of my room, feeling I was a loser and everyone hated me.

“For years, my type was out of fashion. I was either ‘too ethnic looking’ or ‘not ethnic enough’. Or ‘not mainstream’, and ‘too edgy’. They tell you this stuff to your face.

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Sandra says living in Hollywood taught her some harsh lessons[/caption]

“I never wanted to move to Hollywood because I guessed it would be tough.

“But I had done a lot of waitressing jobs in New York and, at last, I had a little TV job in Los Angeles.

“Struggling to make it in LA for so long was not very healthy for the mind or body.

“Some days I couldn’t even get out of bed.”

TIME IT TOOK TO FIND FAME: 3 YEARS

Renee Zellweger

Columbia Tristar
Renee Zellweger with Tom Cruise in Jerry Maguire[/caption]

FROM: Katy, Texas

AGE NOW: 47

LA LA LAND MOMENT: Jerry Maguire, 1996

Renee says: “The toughest part of being unknown in Hollywood is that nobody cares.

“I got a job carrying cases of beer to the bar and stocking the freezer at a place called The Three Clefs and I cleaned up after young Hollywood.

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Renee says her early years in Hollywood was a very frightening time[/caption]

“I rented a grungy little one-room apartment above a garage. I was scared to death by the leap of faith I’d made – and that fear never went away.

“It was a very frightening time.”

TIME IT TOOK TO FIND FAME: 3 YEARS

Naomi Watts

Mulholland Drive was Naomi Watts’ breakout role

FROM: Australia, but born in Britain

AGE NOW: 48

LA LA LAND MOMENT: Mulholland Drive, 2001

Naomi says: “I lived in ten different rooms in Los Angeles over the years, worrying about what my next job would be.

“Messages would come back after auditions for work: ‘She’s not sexy’… ‘not funny’… ‘too intense’. All those insults, chipping away at my confidence.

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Naomi thought her time in Hollywood was over before Mulholland Drive[/caption]

“My agent finally said: ‘I know you are a good actress but you keep on freaking out the casting directors.’

“I sat there and sobbed my heart out. I was the wrong side of 30, had been struggling for years and was very much at a low point.

“I honestly thought it was over for me just before Mulholland Drive.”

TIME IT TOOK TO FIND FAME: 12 YEARS

Cameron Diaz

Cameron Diaz and Jim Carrey in The Mask

FROM: San Diego, California

AGE NOW: 44

LA LA LAND MOMENT: The Mask, 1994

Cameron says: “From the age of 16, I modelled for six years and that really helped to prepare me for Hollywood.

“I watched girls get screwed up on drugs, gain weight, lose weight and get stuck in places like Japan because they could not clear their debt to leave.

“I saw people completely lose it – their career, themselves, everything.

“It was lawless. Hollywood life is exactly the same.

“You can get swept aside and no one thinks twice.

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Cameron says modelling for six years prepared her for her time in Hollywood[/caption]

“I rented an apartment – more like a storage space – and spent every penny I made so I was always broke.

“I got lucky because the first film I was offered, The Crow, had lots of nudity and a rape scene.

“Had I taken the role, I may never have worked again.

“Then came Jim Carrey and The Mask.

“Whenever actors talk about luck, they’re 100 per cent right.”

TIME IT TOOK TO FIND FAME: 5 YEARS

Michelle Williams

Film Company
Michelle Williams and Heath Ledger in Brokeback Mountain[/caption]

FROM: Kalispell, Montana

AGE NOW: 36

LA LA LAND MOMENT: Brokeback Mountain, 2005

Michelle says: “I was living in Hollywood at 16, thanks to TV series Dawson’s Creek.

“It is a place with no boundaries, no limits, no rules.

“It is weird, dangerous and insidious.

“I never really knew who I was with, who I had been out with and what was in my glass.

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Michelle says Hollywood is a place with ‘no boundaries, no limits and no rules’[/caption]

“I was doing it all at once – trying to rent an apartment, trying to work out what ‘good credit’ meant and hook up a phone service.

“If you throw a frog into boiling water, it will die instantly.

“But if you put it in water and turn the heat up slowly, it will die without knowing.

“That’s how life in Hollywood can be. I hated it.”

TIME IT TOOK TO FIND FAME: 8 YEARS

Kim Cattrall

Film Company
Kim Cattrall and Sarah Jessica Parker in Sex And The City[/caption]

FROM: Liverpool, moved to Canada as a baby

AGE NOW: 60

LA LA LAND MOMENT: Sex And The City, 1998

Kim says: “I moved to Los Angeles at the age of 19 to work at MCA Universal and rented a studio flat with an old VW Beetle, which kept on breaking down.

“Los Angeles is brutal towards women – a lot of abuse. And the older you get, the worse it gets.

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Kim says Los Angeles is a place that is brutal towards women[/caption]

“The first question is, ‘What does she look like?’ And then, ‘How old is she?’

“I hung on in there, through the loneliness, three broken marriages, living for a time back in New York, dealing with the frustration over the quality of work offered and just that nagging, daily question, ‘When will it ever happen for me?’”

TIME IT TOOK TO FIND FAME: 20 YEARS

New trailer for La La Land starring Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone

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