Arizona is beaming with pride over hometown girl Emma Stone being nominated for her first Academy Award for her role in “Birdman.”  Stone’s rise to stardom began at the Valley Youth Theater several years ago where Producing Artistic Director Bobb Cooper worked closely with the star.  Cooper says he knew from

Emma’s first performance on stage that she was a gifted actress “who had something special.”  He goes on to say “she just had a wit about her, a comedic timing about her and a passion for what she was doing.”  Stone was with the Valley Youth Theater in Phoenix for nearly five years before heading to Hollywood and making it splash in breakout roles, “Superbad” and “The House Bunny.”   Cooper says Stone is a “genuine” and “truly gracious” person – and “what you see is what you get!”

Cooper, who has remained great friends with Stone during her epic career, gushes about the “Birdman” actress.  He was one of the first to text her a congratulations on her Oscar nod and joked with her that he would be available as her date for Oscar night.  He says Stone 
Stone’s reaction to her nomination is pure gold! She says “Well, this is surreal. I am completely knocked out. Thank you to the Academy for this incredible honor. I am very proud and lucky to be a part of Birdman and can’t believe it came to this. I am so f***ing excited. Are you allowed to say f*** when you’re making a statement for the Oscars? I’m just really f***ing excited.”   

The 87th Annual Academy Awards will broadcast live from Hollywood on February 22.

Kris Dugan