Emma Stone Is Woman Enough To Talk About Gwen Stacy’s Tragic Death

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Emma Stone Is Woman Enough To Talk About Gwen Stacy s Tragic Death gwen jpgOne of the most unexpected aspects of the Amazing Spider-Man reboot was replacing love interest Mary Jane Watson with Spidey’s less well-known lady love Gwen Stacy. Especially because unlike the redheaded MJ who seems to always end up with Peter Parker — except for that storyline where they change history — Gwen doesn’t make it.

Even though Gwen officially died in The Amazing Spider-Man #121 (an issue from 1973), I only just learned of her unfortunate death. Here’s how it happens: The Green Goblin kidnaps Peter’s girlfriend Gwen and holds her as bait to lure Spider-Man. The Goblin hurls Gwen off the Brooklyn Bridge, and Peter shoots out some webbing to catch her by the foot. But when he pulls her back up, he discovers that the whiplash from him stopping her in mid-air snapped her neck.

The shocking twist signaled one of the first instances in comics where a hero had failed so utterly. And imagine Peter’s guilt! It’s bad enough that Uncle Ben dies because of his inaction; Gwen’s untimely end comes when he actually tries to save her, in typical Spidey fashion. (Furthermore, he’s caught himself in the same way without much injury, because his super-strength allows him to brace himself the way a normal human couldn’t.)

Emma Stone Is Woman Enough To Talk About Gwen Stacy s Tragic Death Spider Man Death of Gwen Stacy jpgAnd even though I doubt that Marc Webb and co. will work Gwen’s death into The Amazing Spider-Man, it’s still something for leading lady Emma Stone to ruminate on. SFX magazine jumped right in, asking Emma if she factors this knowledge into her performance. Good for her for not deflecting the question but rather tackling it head-on:

As a character she’s more famous for the way she dies. Do you feel any sense of impending doom about her?
I think so. I have a kind of hyper-awareness of mortality. I always have, since I was a kid, and I think Gwen therefore has a tiny hint of that.

She knows what’s coming?
She doesn’t know what’s coming but she has a sense of it—just in the fact that her father goes out every day, and he straps the badge on and she doesn’t know if he’s going to make it home. As a child she always had this feeling that her father could die any day, so she had this constant reminder of death. And then her boyfriend is running out to almost die every day. She’s completely surrounded by death her entire life.

So is there part of you that’s looking forward to a really juicy death scene to play?
In some sadistic way! We’ll see. The story of Gwen is pretty amazing. It wouldn’t be Gwen without the full thing… the full Monty!

I imagine other actors who have a built-in death in their character’s source material might try to sidestep such canon or push to give their character a longer lifespan in the movies. But instead, Emma seems to have already made peace with the fact that she gets to play Gwen for only a limited time.

In that vein, she confesses that the major reason she took the role was to portray this blush of first love: “For the most part, selfishly, I just wanted to fall in love again for the first time,” she said. “I wanted that all-consuming, ridiculous, I’ve-never-had-my-heart-broken-before kind of love again that we’ve all experienced when we were young.”

The biggest irony in all this? It’s Gwen’s death that brings MJ and Peter closer together, which eventually leads to the relationship that casual Spidey fans know better than Gwen and Peter’s brief romance.