Kristen Stewart - "I have a fiery personality."
The heroine of Twilight, the romantic series of a whole generation has become, at 22, the highest paid actress in the world. She's also the face of the "Florabotanica" fragrance by Balenciaga.
One morning, in the suit of a Parisian Palace, Kristen Stewart, green eyes, slender figure, is anxious to start. "No dictaphone!" she ordered in a strong voice, in all her 5 ft 4 glory. "Take notes! Use your memory! Invent things!" The interview isn't starting really well. But she burts out laughing. She was joking. The heroine of the romantic series, Twilight, for which the latest chapter just came out in theaters, has been playing Bella Swan for five years, this young teenager in love with a 104yo vampire, who brought her success. (...) Today, Kristen is still going strong with her head held high. Here's what she had to say...
TALK TO US ABOUT BELLA SWAN.
In this new movie, she's not the young & shy romantic teenager that we've seen anymore but a vampire, dreadful warrior with eyes red like blood... She now runs at the speed of a cheetah & wins at arm wrestling with monsters three times her size... To prepare for this role, I had to follow an exhausting physical training. It's also the first time that I played a mother: My daughter is also a vampire that talks & walks when she's 1 month old and is 3 ft tall.
WHAT DID YOU FEEL WHEN YOU WERE FILMING THAT LAST TWILIGHT?
MELANCHOLIA OR RELIEF?
I had a lot of fun: There were 100 vampires on set, it felt like Halloween. The ground was covered with red contact lenses that we were losing constantly. At the time of the first Twilight, I was barely 17: None of us were expecting something like this. We grew up together with each movies, we were there for each other and it helped a lot. These five years helped me grow on a personal level.
THE SUCCESS OF TWILIGHT ALSO OPENED A LOT OF DOORS FOR YOU IN THE WORLD OF CINEMA.
Absolutely. I have access to more important roles: Marylou in On The Road by Walter Salles... The novel by Kerouac has always been important to me. I love Marylou, she is funny, intelligent, uninhibited. I fought for years so this movie could get made. And before we started filming, I had my own road trip with a few friends..
DO YOU RECOGNIZE YOURSELF IN HER?
Yes and no. I'm neither a leader nor am I someone who like to set trends, and unfortunately, I'm not someone who has this impulse which forces other artists to create so they don't get devoured by their inner demons. But I have a fiery personality, an absolutist side, sometimes strict. I impose some rules on myself: I choose strong characters I can indentifiy with, hypersensitive, tortured. I need to be honest with myself.
WHAT IS YOUR DEFINITION OF HONESTY?
It's hard to explain. Listen to my heart & my guts. Do something I deeply believe in even though I make mistakes. But how do you second guess something in which you believed in so much? Knowing who I am is what matters the most to me, and it's the work of a lifetime. It's also necessary to have roots: values, instilled by your eduction.
HOW WERE YOU AS A CHILD?
I was wild, very shy. At school, people were calling me "the wall". I had ADHD. I quit school at 13 & stayed at home. I loved cooking. If I hadn't been an actress, I would have probably been a chef. But I've always had the world of cinema in my blood. I was almost born on a set. I loved following my parents around [Father: a stage manager and television producer / Mother: a script supervisor] on sets. I started acting when I was 9.
WHICH STAGES WERE THE MOST FORMATIVE?
Panic Room by David Fincher. I played the diabetic daughter of a divorced mother (Jodie Foster). I was 10... Looking back, I realize that I got really lucky, even if I wasn't really good enough for the part. Jodie encouraged me. She is an example for me. I always think of her when I'm shooting a movie, of her integrity. Another important movie for me was "Speak", in which I played a traumatized teenager who gets raped. For the first time, I felt like I wasn't really acting but I was pouring out my emotions. And then, there was this encounter with Sean Penn & Into The Wild. Sean gave me the push to be a part of the independant cinema that I've always loved.
DO YOU HAVE OTHER ROLE MODELS?
Yes. Charlize Theron with which I filmed "Snow White & The Huntsman". I admire her choices, her way of transforming herself in every movie, her kindness - It's someone I can confide in. She's not a diva at all. She thinks of herself as an element of a movie. Other than that, someone I'd love to be like is... Brigitte Bardot. I couldn't have thought about someone more different than me!
RECENTLY, PATTI SMITH SAID: "KRISTEN IS VERY CHARISMATIC. I WOULD LOVE HER TO PLAY MY ROLE IN THE MOVIE ADAPTATION OF MY BOOK 'JUST KIDS".
Patti Smith is a strong woman, real, deeply moving. Her words really move me. It's true that I have a passion for music. I've been playing guitar since I was little, I have a collection of Fender Telecaster & Gibson. My father used to be a hippy and he taught me how to replicate the chords of Neil Young & Bob Dylan songs. I write songs that are similar to small scripts & that I only share with friends - All musicians. But you can hear some of them in Into The Wild & in The Runaways. I'd love to record a rock album.
HOW DID YOU FORGE YOUR STYLE THAT IS SO PERSONAL?
I am simple California girl who mostly wears jeans & hoodies. But I also love high fashion designers, particularly Balenciaga, the textures & cuts look like art. I accepted to be the face of Florabotanica, because of its androgynous & mysterious chemistry, and the bottle is almost a work of art on its own. This fragrance has an edge to it. If I was a fragrance, that's what I would like to smell like.