Ellen DeGeneres Claims She Was the First Choice to Play Emma Stone’s Character in La La Land

Photo of Ellen DeGeneres Claims She Was the First Choice to Play Emma Stone’s Character in La La Land

Emma Watson wasn’t the only Hollywood star who almost nabbed Emma Stone‘s role in La La Land. Ellen DeGeneres was also considered to star in Damien Chazelle’s whimsical musical — at least according to her.

The 58-year-old host debuted some “exclusive, behind-the-scenes” footage from the seven-time Golden Globe winner on her show Wednesday, except it showed DeGeneres as Ryan Gosling‘s love interest.

“When we were casting up the movie, part of the appeal to me was that you know they’re going to be a couple. You can see them and imagine them together. It was like Fred and Ginger or Bogart and Bacall — a classic Hollywood screen couple,” Chazelle explains as the clip shows DeGeneres being literally swept off her feet by Gosling before planting a kiss on his cheek.

Producer Marc Platt also adds his praise for the stars of the film.

“You have two actors who have an on-screen chemistry that I think is one for the ages,” he says.

DeGeneres even donned a wig to resemble red-haired beauty Stone in the film, although the talk show host didn’t get to show off her singing and dancing chops.

In the end, the filmmakers picked winners in Stone and Gosling. Both actors picked up Golden Globes for their performance in La La Land earlier this month. The duo previously costarred in 2013’s Gangster Squad and the 2011 romantic comedy Crazy, Stupid, Love.

“I think Ryan and Emma were the perfect actors for the roles,” Chazelle said at the PEOPLE / EW / InStyle Portrait Studio at the Toronto International Film Festival. “I think it’s their emotions and their behavior that really just carries an audience – even an audience that’s not really into musicals – through the movie. So it was a huge burden on their shoulders to create that through-line, but that’s what I needed and that’s what they did.”

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