Kristen Stewart is moving on from Twilight, writes
Actress Kristen Stewart in a scene in The Twilight Saga:
Breaking Dawn - Part 2. Photo from MCT.
It's been five years since Kristen Stewart was plucked from
supporting player/indie-film obscurity and thrust into the
spotlight as the female face of the Twilight
Five years and, as of this month, five films will have
passed, as Stewart grew from someone The New York Times
labelled "a sylph with a watchful, sometimes wary gaze" into
the 22-year-old named by Forbes as "the highest-paid actress
in Hollywood" - earning some $US34.5 million ($NZ42 million),
according to estimates.
"It is a little strange, if you think about it, growing up on
camera like this. But I don't think about it," Kristen muses.
She can't put her finger on how she's changed as an actress,
"If nothing else, I should have gotten better at picking up
and putting down a lot of my inhibitions. It's all about
being impulsive and doing things that move you. I think I
dropped a lot of fears over the course of these films. But I
picked a few up, too.
And those new fears could be interesting to watch down the
road. Or not interesting at all."
She is guarded, as someone who has gathered the shrieks of
teen-fan approval, and the condemnations of teen fans upset
when she was caught cheating on her Twilight co-star
and off-camera beau, Robert Pattinson.
The "characteristic hesitancy" that New York Daily
News critic Elizabeth Weitzman noted in her acting is her
off-camera persona as well.
But Stewart, who apologised to fans over her indiscretion and
has apparently reunited with Pattinson, is letting it all
roll off her back - the fan sniping, the critical spanking
the Twilight movies have endured, being the most
widely impersonated actress of her generation, in horror
spoofs on TV and in movies.
Her goal, Stewart says, is to avoid becoming a self-conscious
actress, to keep the spontaneity in her work.
"I find that as soon as you start considering 'the fame
thing', over-thinking the career and all, you're putting
yourself outside of yourself and you start to worry about how
you're perceived. You worry about how some part you play or
how something you say is going to land ...
"I can't do my job if I do that. But I definitely see other
actors who love being famous so much that they do whatever it
takes to stay famous ... They're able to turn on the
charisma, the likability, when they have a movie coming up. I
can't. You're going to be so disjointed if you start living
through how other people perceive you."
It pays to remember how young she is, that she grew up in the
movies, making a mark as a child actress in Panic Room
with Jodie Foster when she was 12. Like many a child actress,
school was by correspondence course and college hasn't
figured in the equation. There's acting to be done, and
there's always time for college, like her role model, Jodie
Foster, if and when the acting career cools off.
Which won't be any time soon.
Ben Affleck has just cast Stewart as his novice con-artist
sidekick in Focus. Film-makers tried for more than 50 years
to turn Jack Kerouac's On the Road into a movie. When
Stewart signed on in a supporting role, director Walter
Salles got it done.
Stewart says she loves being an actress for hire, "of
fighting for a part, convincing someone that you've got
something they need".
But now, being rich and famous with proven box-office clout,
she's having to give up some of that freedom by taking
"It's strange to have the roles reversed, where I can be in
control of what I get to make. One thing that I love about
the job is having no control." But expect her to initiate her
own pet projects in the very near future.
She says she didn't realise the extent that Twilight
would shake up her life, not even after landing the role of
"There was no expectation that we would even get to finish
the whole series when we did the first Twilight," she
"On the set, it felt like we were making another independent
She and the rest of the cast had decided to be "religiously
faithful to the novels", not knowing how that might look and
sound on the screen.
Then the cast made its famous pre-release 2008 appearance at
San Diego's Comic-Con fan convention, "and we were hit by
this wave of energy, that was really baffling ... It was a
totally contagious experience, feeding on itself. That hall,
jammed with 6000 people, reacting that way, made me think
'this is not normal'."
Five years later, it still isn't.
Stewart says she's "relieved" the five-film series is finally
"If I say I'm excited the experience is complete, it's only
because I don't have that responsibility weighing on me
anymore. A typical movie, you've got a five-week or even
five-month commitment. This was five years. I'm going to miss
that 'I wonder how the wedding will look' ... Hopefully, I
will find that feeling in other projects."
Part of that feeling, she says, is the "tone, the vibe" of
The films changed directors and changed locations, but even
just gathering for interviews with the press in a hotel
"gives it this Twilight vibe - surreal."
But what will she not miss?
"Oh God, I will not miss having to be so ... perfect. I mean,
these vampires are just so ... perfect. I won't miss the
contact lenses, and I don't think anybody in the cast would
disagree with me there. And the face paint! To look like
marble, we just cake this stuff on ... I am more than happy
to leave that behind."