The meaning behind Emma Stone’s Taylor Swift reference at the Oscars during Best Actress acceptance speech

Emma Stone dropped in a poignant reference to a Taylor Swift lyric during her acceptance speech for the Best Actress trophy at the 2024 Academy Awards.

The now two-time Oscar winner was accepting the prize for her starring role in Yorgos Lanthimos’s dark fantasy-comedy Poor Things.

A visibly shocked Stone, 35, began her speech by saying: “My voice is also a little gone. The other night, I was panicking – as you can kind of see, it happens a lot – that maybe something like this could happen.

“And Yorgos said to me, ‘Please take yourself out of it.’ And he was right, because it’s not about me. It’s about a team that came together to make something greater than the sum of its parts. And that is the best part about making movies. It’s all of us together.”

“I am so deeply honoured to share this with every cast member, with every crew member, with every single person who poured their love and their care and their brilliance into the making of this film,” she continued.

Stone then thanked her family, including her parents, her brother, and her husband Dave McCary. “I love you so much,” she said. “And, most importantly, my daughter, who’s gonna be three in three days and has turned our lives technicolor. I love you bigger than the whole sky, my girl.”

The last line is in fact a reference to a lyric from Swift’s song “Bigger Than the Whole Sky”, which features on her 10th studio album Midnights (3am Edition).

Stone and Swift are known to be close friends in real life, having met when they were both teenagers; Swift’s song “When Emma Falls in Love” is widely believed to have been written about Stone.

Emma Stone accepting the Best Actress award (AFP via Getty Images)
Emma Stone accepting the Best Actress award (AFP via Getty Images)

Fans have widely interpreted “Bigger Than the Whole Sky” as being written about grief or the loss of a loved one, with many theorising that the song is about miscarriage.

Stone’s Best Actress win saw her beat rival nominees Lily Gladstone, Carey Mulligan, Sandra Hüller and Annette Bening to the award.

Overall, the Oscars was dominated by Christopher Nolan’s biopic Oppenheimer, which won Best Picture, Best Actor (for Cillian Murphy), Best Director (for Nolan), and Best Supporting Actor (for Robert Downey Jr) among other accolades.

The ceremony was hosted by late-night presenter Jimmy Kimmel. Early in his opening monologue, a joke from Kimmel alluding to Downey’s history of substance abuse drew an uncomfortable reaction from the Iron Man star.

A live performance of “I’m Just Ken” from the film adaptation of Barbie served as one of the night’s highlights, as did a powerful acceptance speech from The Zone of Interest filmmaker Jonathan Glazer.