Kristen Stewart ('Twilight')
'Taking Flight Once More!'
Beautiful, confident and intelligent eighteen-year old Kristen Stewart doesn’t suffer fools gladly. One who refuses to play the game, she has always been drawn to smaller films that impassion her.
'Twilight,' the hugely successful literary franchise, is a bigger movie for the actress, but playing the role of the isolated Bella who falls for a brooding vampire, was a role too irresistible.
Chatting recently with this confident and always outspoken actress, we first asked her is doing a big budget flick / character was weird for her; as taking on the indies was her usual route? [Stewart] "Well, it wasn’t so much the character. She’s not a very distinct – there aren’t many qualities about her that differ from mine. I mean, you really project yourself onto her when you read the book, because you experience the whole story through her eyes. I mean, you feel like you are her eyes. I think what it was for me, was that I read a synopsis of the story before I read the script or the book, and it was something that everybody was freaking out over. Like, “Everybody wants this role. Kristen, you have to read this."
"I was like “I don’t want to be a part of something that presents a completely ideological idea of love to young girls, and puts their female heroine in a position" - and this was just after reading the synopsis – “in a position that is just subject to, like, this man that is all-powerful and all-holy, smart, confident, and she’s just happy with that.” It was very shallow. It was really vain. When you try to sum up this movie in a couple sentences, it sounds trite and superficial."
"Then I read the script, and it was just the opposite of that. And the power balance between these two characters – I mean, apart from just wanting to portray such an epic love story, which I thought was ambitious – and such a dire love story. I like that idea. It was that she wears the pants in this relationship. I mean, you know, you have this guy who is 108 years old, and he hates himself. And he’s afraid of himself. And he’s afraid of her, and he’s afraid of his whole situation. And he’s just neurotic as all hell."
"Then you have this girl who is totally naïve to the entire situation. Yet she’s willing to submerse herself wholeheartedly, because she trusts herself. And I think a lot of people are like, “Oh, see? Well, that’s weak. That’s a weak character.” No! She wants it. It’s something that she’s willing to overcome. So – and my favorite thing about Bella is, she trusts herself. She puts a lot of stock in her feelings. I admire that."
What are the pitfalls to taking on something that has such high expectations from a core audience? "When I made the movie, I had no idea about all these fans’ expectations. And then all of a sudden they were shoved on me. Like, toward the end of filming I realized, “Wow. This is really” — I mean, you can go on-line and read all of it. But there’s something – I never believe blogs. They might as well be the same person writing over and over. You don’t know, really, how many people – but I care about the book just as much as they do."
You’ve signed on for all three, correct? "Yes. If they make them, absolutely."
With all this going on do you try to continue your education as much as possible outside of your formal schooling? "Well, I had classes, independent study, that were college prep classes. They were getting – they were putting me in the right position to have all my options open. Literally, of any school I wanted to go to. And I found myself feeling guilty every time I picked up a book that wasn’t for school."
"Or, like, I couldn’t ever sit down and write anything, because it was like – “You should be doing school.” I had such an enormous workload, that I hated it. And it didn’t make me happy. I found myself so stressed out, and just unhappy. And not really – I mean, I really loved home school. I really got a lot from it. But I got a lot from it once I dropped the structured courses. And I haven’t talked to you since I did that. I took up a very subjective course outline, or whatever and I get to sort of choose what I do. I don’t need the piece of paper – I don’t need the satisfaction of saying to people in interviews that I went to some snooty school. I mean, I have a future in academics - it’s just not a conventional one."
What do you want to do, academically? I mean, what is your ambition, academically, if you have any? "Not to accomplish anything. Like, not to produce anything, necessarily. But just to – every time I leave the country, I feel like an absolutely – just an ignoramus. But I don’t know a whole lot and I would really like more knowledge. But. What is in my future academically? I might work up the nerve to go back to school. But I don’t think I will – I mean, I don’t know. I’m a bit of an – I guess autodidact’s the word. I can sit in on classes. I just never want to be enrolled in a school. I can go crash courses."
You’re a very unconventional person. I guess you always had that about you. Do you think you will develop skills as a writer and progress within the business from there, perhaps? "I do want to work on writing, because – like, when I feel like acting is just living – I mean, really, nobody else can be a human better than anybody else. It’s really an entirely subjective, rooted in emotion, just feeling spontaneous, impulsive thing. Writing’s a skill. Writing is something that you can train yourself to know better. To know yourself better. And it’s intimidating as hell. I mean, I definitely will always do what I’ve been doing. I’ve also started taking a lot of pictures, and they help the writing. The pictures help the writing. I mean, I want to make books. I want to take pictures and then write all over the pictures. And then I don’t have to say a complete story, because I have the picture, and I have just a word."
What kinds of pictures? "Nothing specific. Just like – you know ... completely random ones," she laughs.
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