Kristen Stewart: The actress on the road to glory
The Twilight heroine didn’t let people suck the blood out of her. Kristen Stewart is “On The Road” to glory, the new screen adaptation of the masterpiece by Kerouac that will be presented at Cannes. We me her.
Kristen Stewart changed a lot. Since she appeared to the (very) huge public, in 2008, as unsuspicious Bella Swan in the first movie from the “Twilight Saga” series. One, like the other, went a long way. The character discovered the joys of sex (We had to wait for the 4th movie, we imagine it was faster for Kristen), She lived fully her love for a vampire (Stewart can no longer deny her real life relationship with Robert Pattinson, her better half on screen), & went through loneliness & wickedness. As for the actress herself, she had her transition to adulthood under the spotlight. She was 18 during the first movie. Now, she’s 22, still appears to be a teenager, and kept in her voice that tone of cool distrust that clashes within a Hollwood densely populated by robotic pin-ups, and today, she has that look in her eyes, of someone that is determined, self-willed. But we see something surprising as well, someone sexy. During our photoshoot in the mountains of Topanga Canyon overlooking the beaches of Malibu, the actress is a ease & strikes a pose with that detached & wild look that is her trademark. A break, while we wait for the sun to set, & we we settle down with a few cigarettes to talk about the movie that promises to be a turning point in her career. She knows it and she talks about it with passion; “One The Road” is the role of her – young – life. “When Walter Salles chose me to play Marylou,” she remembers, “I was 16. It was my favorite book, the role that I couldn’t pass up.” Brought up in Los Angeles by a father who is a TV Producer & mother who is a screen writer, Kristen Stewart “grew up on set”. “I was always roaming around, and I was dreaming for a job that would allow me to be part of the process. It led me to be an actress, totally by accient. It’s on the job while working with amazing directors that I learned to like it.” She is 11 when David Fincher lets her play Jodie Foster’s young daughter in “Panic Room”, she’s is 17 when Sean Penn gives her a small role in “Into The Wild”. She was an actress for so many years before she became a star, and the transition was not easy. “The first few times I was recognized in the street, it was a complete surprise,” she says. “It may sound naive, but until “Twilight,” the ‘celebrity aspect’ of the job had completely escaped me. I suddenly found myself facing this unhealthy interest that relates more to the “pop culture” than to movies; people come to ask you for a picture or an autograph because they saw you on the cover of a gossip magazing, but they have no idea what movies you were you were in. This is disturbing. “
Today, she’s found the solution: “Accept the idéa that everyone is a little weird [...] Anyway, when things do not affect you, it’s as if they didn’t exist in the first place.” So, that’s it for the ‘Fame game’, actively ignored. For roles, however, it’s a different mechanism. The opposit in fact. To give life to her characters, Stewart asks nothing but to be completely carried away, she wants to be moved, overwhelmed. “To embody someone, you have to feel things for real, you have to be somebody else… It’s a mysterious process that takes time. I am often frustrated when the director yells “Cut!” before I’ve reached that moment where I feel inside of me that I succeeded in bringing the right emotion to life.”
When she talks about her job, her eyes light up, her voice gets deeper, she starts fluttering her hands around and hits her chest to mimic the intensity of an emotion. There is something sexual in her description of acting, this quest for the ultimate moment where you let go, which leaves her completely drained if she is interrupted before the paroxysm.
She’s delighted by the friendship she shares with her partners from “On The Road”, Garrett Hedlund (an irresistible Dean Moriarty) & Sam Riley (mind-boggling in the role of Sal Paradise, Kerouac’s alter ego). The fact that her relationship with her colleague Robert Pattinson went beyond the strict limits or work is no longer a mystery. But, lucid, Kristen has fun with the fact that she’s shared strong moments with someone on screen, without anything else happening outside the set. “We live this very intense moment & when we meet the next day it’s like.. ‘But, who are you by the way?’” The cinematic equivalent of a one night stand!
Desire, frustration, envy … Kristen Stewart has a carnal relationship to comedy, and we understand what Walter Salles saw in her before anyone else did: a brut sensuality that makes her perfect for Marylou, the only girl that boys tolerate by their sides in “On The Road”, a young, a free spirited woman, sassy, lost. Absolutely all along the movie, Stewart gets around a lot without false modesty, revealing in each shot, way more than a breast or a bit of ass. Besides, her most intense scene is played while she’s fully clothed; she’s dancing for several minutes with a bewitched Dean Moriarty, a frenzied & furiously sexual moment where they both end up being sweaty & disheveled. Torrid but never lewd, it’s a real performance.
Becoming somebody else, live fake experiences but feeling real things… “I wouldn’t be able to tell you what makes me want to act & pretend to be somebody else all the time,” she admits, “Wanting to tell stories to people, but I learn so much from movies I make… It changed my life. It’s a strange desire, a weird impulsion.” We knew her as upright & passionate, and we were more than the surprised to see the beautiful rebel tie the knot with Balenciaga, who recently made her their new muse. She says she became interested in fashion after “years of forced learning”: “I used to dress for red carpets by obligation, until I that day where I realized that it was a big chance.” So when Nicolas Ghesquière asked her to join him, she jumped on that occasion. “I decided to ignore the superficial side of the fashion world. However, Nicolas is one of the coolest people I know. Hearing him talk about his work, be him, among people like him who like to make beautiful things, it’s incredibly stimulating for me.” Make a collaboration out of every professional experience, It’s Kristen Stewart’s creed, a wise, young woman who is struggling to extricate herself from the depths of misunderstanding that “Twilight” put her in.
After “On the Road”, she’ll be playing in another movie this summer, with “Snow White & The Huntsman”, a movie based on Grimm’s tale, with a big budget & magistral special effects. She portrays a feisty & pire princess. That will convince the last disgruntled people, who chose to see her as a fleeting starlet, that she’s here to stay/last, and begin her transformation before the release, in November, of her final chapter of Edward & Bella’s adventures, which will set her free for good, from the grip of this vampire movie. The metamorphosis has just begun.