The beloved teen comedy turned 10 this week. Here, Gluck revisits one of cinema's most iconic "faking it" scenes.

By Lauren Huff
September 18, 2020 at 08:30 AM EDT
Credit: Screen Gems

It's been a decade since Emma Stone and her pocketful of sunshine graced the big screen in Easy A — a comedic, contemporary take on The Scarlet Letter — which cemented the future Oscar winner's movie-star status.

To celebrate the film's anniversary, EW asked director Will Gluck (Friends With Benefits, Peter Rabbit) to break down a page from its wildest scene (and make some annotations, too).

As the sequence begins, we watch gay teen Brandon (Dan Byrd), tired of being bullied for his sexuality and in order to try and better fit in, initiate (very loud) fake sex with good friend Olive (Stone) at a party. To get the scene just right, Gluck had one note for his actors: The more physical, the better. "My big thing with them was 'Get as sweaty and as physical as people would be when they're having sex — without having sex.'"

1: "Emma smacked Dan many times, and initially, as I recall, Emma didn't want to smack him hard. And Dan is just such a trouper, telling her, 'You have to keep smacking me, you have to keep smacking me!' And if you watch the movie, those are real smacks…. But the only way that works is if they committed. And that was really fun."

2: "This was also the time that Emma had her fake asthma attack. She was jumping up on the bed so much she started getting physically sick. We had to stop filming. She said she had asthma. A doctor came, treated her, and at the end she said, 'I don't actually have asthma; I'm just out of shape.'"

3: "To me, it is two people that have never had sex before trying to make noises so that other people would think they're having sex. Their frame of reference is what they think movie and TV sex is: loud grunting and yelling and very aggressive…. So it was like that was their version of what they think sex would be, and the funny thing to us the whole time is that the people outside the door also bought it and thought that's what sex was. One of my favorite parts is when [Brandon] gets confused and says, 'Oh, is it supposed to smell?' because they have no idea. He has no idea if it would smell. For him it's like, 'I have no idea, I've never done this before.' It's a very innocent sex scene. It's one of the most innocent sex scenes I've ever done, for sure."

4: "I remember that Emma Stone's brother was on set, because he was one of the extras of the guys going, 'Yeah!' when they come out of the bedroom. So it was weird I think having her brother hearing her have fake sex."

A version of this article appears in the October issue of Entertainment Weekly, on newsstands now or buy it here. You can also find a special edition of the issue at Barnes & Noble stores beginning Sept. 25. Don't forget to subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.

Related content:

Easy A

  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • 94 minutes
  • Will Gluck