Emma Stone Says She ‘Butchered’ the Never-Aired ‘SNL’ Sketch She Really Wanted to Do

Emma Stone Says She ‘Butchered’ the Never-Aired ‘SNL’ Sketch She Really Wanted to Do

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“Julio and I met at SNL,” says Emma Stone on the A24 Podcast while talking to her friend Julio Torres, director of Problemista and one-time sensitive oddball in residence at Saturday Night Live. While Torres was on staff at SNL, he teamed with Stone on two memorable filmed pieces, both directed by Stone’s eventual husband Dave McCarey. “The Actress” starred Stone as a “very dramatic” actress trying to figure out her backstory in a gay porn video. 

But the duo’s sensibilities really merged on a sketch about the latest edition to Fisher-Price’s Sensitive Boys line. Torres had only been on the job about four weeks when he wrote what Stone calls “the brilliant ‘Wells for Boys.’” 

“No way you’re going to remember this,” Torres told Stone while assuring her that he loved “Well for Boys.”

“I love ‘Well for Boys,’” emphasized Stone.

“But,” said Torres, “my heart was set on a different sketch.”

Stone knew exactly which sketch Torres was talking about. “Of course I remember ‘The Silver,’ are you kidding me? Your direction was like, ‘You're like Nicole Kidman in Birth.”

The sketch never saw air — damn you, Lorne Michaels! — but the premise sounds like comedy gold: A woman is having a dinner party and brings out the good silverware. But this is no ordinary woman. She can hear the silver “and it’s driving her insane,” says Torres. When someone takes a bite, she can hear the fork scream. She can hear the pain of the ladle. It’s the sacrifice the silver makes to serve the well-to-do people. 

Stone blames herself for “The Silver” sketch never seeing the light of day. “I really let you down at that table read, because I was in love with this Silver Woman idea,” she confessed. “It was so specific the way it needed to be played, and when you’re at these table reads, it’s five hours, and you’re reading how many sketches?”

Forty-something, figured Torres. That takes a lot of mental energy, especially when Torres was directing Stone to have a slow-motion mental breakdown a la Kidman in Birth. “And it was a very dramatic performance, as it is in most of your work,” Stone added. “Like Tilda (Swinton) in Problemista. None of this is taken lightly. Your approach to comedy is, while it might be absurdist …” 

“You have to believe it,” explained Torres, finishing her sentence. 

“You have to believe it with your whole heart, and it has to be life or death,” Stone concluded. “I was wrapping my mind around this, and I felt like I completely butchered it and that’s why we didn’t get to do it. And I hope that one day we can go back and do it again.”


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