Wearing a Blondie t-shirt, black shorts and an orange leather jacket by Balenciaga, the actress agreed to answering our questions, apologizing for not taking off her sunglasses that hid "a terrible flu".
- How does one put themselves in the shoes of a fictitious character but based on a real person? The responsibility must be double, as you have to do justice to the book and to the spirit of the actual Beat Generation.
"Responsibility is the word that better describes it. That's how I felt when I was shooting this movie. I read the book when I was 14 and I can say it was the first time I enjoyed a book. Thanks to it, I realized I liked reading, and it also made me discover other authors that have really left a mark in my life. The book was the start of my adolescence, that moment full of emotions, passion and strong beliefs".
- There's lot of sex and drugs in the movie. Up to what point were you against facing those scenes?
"It didn't make me uncomfortable at all. I felt secured and protected. I felt like I owed it to the character. I'm very different from her, but I knew I had to lose all the inhibitions to do a good job. And I'm a very introspective person, whereas Marylou is much more open. I didn't mind the nudity and drugs. Actually, to be honest with you, I was almost looking forward to it...God, this is going to be great for your headline [smiles]".
- Would you say that what the characters experienced was more trans-gressive than what people do today?
"I don't know. Maybe doing drugs and having promiscous sex is considered more sordid today than in the 50's. I'd say that, for those characters, it was a way to fully express their life."
- Do you share that urge to live to the fullest?
"I think it's a fundamental feeling. That's why the book managed to connect many readers over the decades. It is usually liked by people who realize that their values, priorities and limits are different that those of the majority. That's something I join in."
- How do you live to the fullest with everybody's eyes on you?
"It seems impossible from the outside. But apart from when you're promoting, I feel completely free to do what I feel like doing. If you're true to yourself, there's nothing to be ashamed of. Whatever if people see you. They keep asking me what I feel, being I'm a role model of conduct for many girls and that stuff. I answer that if you want to be a role model you have to be true to who you actually are. If you think of how you would like people to perceive you, you're lying....and you're never going to be a model of anything."
- Aren't you afraid of fans turning their back at you at this new stage?
"It's not my problem. I do what I want and what I like. I'll say it again, the most important thing is being honest with yourself. If you try to be someone you're not, you'll end up being a combination of things that don't match together and being nothing..."
- But the risk of alienating your teen fans is something that must cross your mind when you agree to take part in a move like On The Road.
"I'm not aware of that. I got involved in this movie before the Twilight success broke out. I know you won't believe me, because it's what the entire world says, but there's no hidden tactic behind my decisions, even though everything seems planned. With Snow White and the Huntsman it must have looked like I was voluntarily distancing myself from Twilight, and that I'm winking at the indie audience with this movie. But it's not like that, I know it's difficult to believe but I'm being honest with you."
- Who drives your decisions then?
[hesitates] Sometimes it's about choosing characters that are strong women. I think we need more women like that now."
- Do you feel relieved now that you said goodbye to Bella?
"That's what everybody assumes, even though actually I really enjoyed Twilight. It's true that I could have lost my mind, but luckily it didn't happen."
- What are you talking about?
"The cinema is an odd experience, where you share great intimacy with thousands of people even if you don't know them. And with Twilight, it wasn't thousands, but millions of people. If such an experience doesn't affect you at all, you have a problem".
- We might get the wrong impression, but you seem intimidated by premieres and red carpets. Is it shyness or annoyance?
"It's not that I don't like it, it's just that is still shocking. What can I do? I feel uncomfortable in places where hundreds of people are looking at me. I often have to repeat myself 'focus, don't let your head wonder to other places'. I find it very easy to withdraw into myself and forget about the rest".
- You've been making movies since you were 9 and your parents are in the business. Do you think it helped you to take Hollywood less seriously?
"You bet, growing up in a family that works in the movie industry makes you feel a bit more proletarian. I feel like I'm a small part of a team, that's how I relate to my job. I know it'll sound very pretentious, but the entertainment industry doesn't attract me. I don't want to be part of that..I just want to make movies that are important".
- In your relationship with Robert Pattinson, would you say there's rivalry in your work, or rather emulation?
"There's no rivalry or competition. I'm very proud of him. Basically, we're both learning".
K-11, directed by Jules Stewart (better known as Kristen Stewart’s mom) will be on DVD and Blu-Ray April 23rd. The film tells the story of record producer Raymond Saxx, Jr. (played by Goran Visnjic) after he ends up in a jail cell unit for gay and transgendered inmates.
@LouiseSarah46 asked if you could see Kristen Stewart as a director in the future and what advice would you give her
JS: Absolutely. Again, don’t give up. You can do it. If you have the idea and you have the imagination, you can do it. For Kristen, I think she is brilliant and she probably will be a writer/director/producer in the future.
A lot of Kristen’s fans have embraced you and are now your fans. How does that feel?
JS: I think it’s awesome. I am so proud of my daughter. I think in today’s world, she just knocked it out of the park. I am thrilled that she is her own person. She is smart and funny — she is Kristen. She is a unique commodity in this world, and I couldn’t be more proud of her. I would back her up in any situation.
Do you have any plans to work together?
JS: I am not writing anything specifically for her. I would love to work with her. As a writer/director, it’s fun to work with anyone who is extremely talented, who brings more to the character than you could even imagine yourself, and I think Kristen is one of those actresses.
Will Smith may have found his next project — he is in final talks to star in the Warner Bros. con artist pic “Focus.”
Kristen Stewart was attached to also star in the pic but when Smith became engaged in the project, Stewart fell off with the feeling that the age difference between the two would be too large a gap.
Smith had been weighing the film for some time and has committed to joining it.
Written and directed by Glenn Ficarra and John Requa, who helmed “Crazy, Stupid, Love” for the studio, the story follows an inexperienced female con artist who teams up with a more seasoned male one. Denise DiNovi will produce.
It’s a sign of positive forward movement for Warners, which has been trying to get the project made since Ficarra and Requa brought them the script early last year. The original idea was to reteam “Crazy Stupid Love” co-stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone for the leads, but when Gosling’s schedule could not be worked out, Warners began looking at other candidates.
Sources say the studio loves the script but knew it would be tough to greenlight without a top-tier actor, so it began courting leads such as Brad Pitt and Ben Affleck. Affleck came close but earlier commitments got in the way.
Smith has spent several months considering his next project. Though he has several sequels in development, it appears he was looking for something new and original.
Kristen Stewart is no longer set to star in Focus, a Warner Bros. heist project being directed by Crazy, Stupid, Love helmers Glenn Ficarra and John Requa. And as Stewart exits, the project could be landing a male star in Will Smith.
Focus is a two-hander about a con man who becomes romantically involved with a novice. He is then thrown off his game when the former flame shows up just as he’s staging an elaborate con in Buenos Aires.
Requa and Glenn Ficarra wrote the script with their Crazy, Stupid, Love stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone in mind but when the actors were unavailable, moved to Ben Affleck and Stewart.
Affleck dropped out in December, causing a new search for a leading man. Sources say in recent weeks Stewart also quietly exited the project.
The Kristen Stewart we met in Cannes at the premiere of 'On the Road' is different. More daring, more free. And she does not renounce her fame. She knows what is the reason for her success: she's like her fans, that's why they like her. She tells us why she's a girl like the others.
Kristen Stewart (Los Angeles, 1990) has the look of an iconic person. At just 22, she has gotten into the skin of several legendary figures of the past and present. As Joan Jett of The Runaways (Floria Sigismondi, 2010), she approached the punk rock of the 70s to a young audience. With Snow White and the Huntsman (Rupert Sanders, 2012) breathed a contemporary determination to the heroin by the Brothers Grimm. And as Bella Swan in the pentalogy Twilight Saga she became the Juliet of a new generation. Now, in On the Road, an adaptation of the legendary novel by Jack Kerouac, Stewart plays Marylou, the lively travel companion of Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty. And despite all this history, she is still a young retracted girl finding her way to the microphones of journalists and the flashes of photographers, who she amazes -or desconcerts- with explosives looks. With her meet with FOTOGRAMAS at the Cannes Film Festival, the actress wears a shirt with the single cover of 'Picture This' of Blondie (design by Dolce & Gabbana), black mini-shorts, high heels and an orange Balenciaga leather jacket. There you have it.
"Each time I find out that is less hard for me to stand in front of a microphone," the actress confesses with that fast and choppy talking that has converted her in the perfect embodiment of post-adolescent angst. "Some time ago, I worried too much about protecting my privacy and I didn't know how to mark the boundaries. With the time, I have been adapting myself, letting out a little. Also, everything changes when you get to promote something you believe deeply in, as with my role in On the Road." Stewart tries to project a serene image: her words and reactions are restraint, yet her youthful momentum explodes in sudden outbreaks of excitement, as when she exclaims: "I think it's soooo ridiculous when an actor tries to sell himself like someone super interesting! Some people just end becoming their own media product. Before, I had a terrible shame that people could see me that way, so that's why I always tended to show tight."
Learn how to lose control
As with most of the young Americans, the novel On the Road was for Kristen Stewart a mirror in which to dump her longings of adolescence. "I always identified with the character of Sal Paradise, who is mostly an observer. I'm not the type of person who open roads. I am not a natural leader. However, in parallel, the novel awoke the desire in me to grow beyond my limitations, to be a little more like Dean Moriarty or Marylou." Thus, the film directed by Brazilian Walter Salles has allowed Stewart get under the skin of her former spiritual guide. Many people have the impression that Marylou was used almost as an object for the other characters, but in reality she received as much as she gave. For the actress, the key is how the character laughs. "When Marylou laughs, she does in a expansive and generous way, she wants to give and give for her to receive more and more. I, however, tend to laugh inwardly into myself. That small difference identifies two very different approaches to life," Stewart concludes.
These character differences made Stewart hesitated when approaching to the character of Marylou. "I was worried about not being able to lose control and let it go. Luckily I got it" (laughs to herself). "Usually I distrust of actors who boast that a character has changed them as people, but it is true that sometimes a character can reveal a part of yourself that was hidden. Interpreting Marylou has shown me that I can be like her." In this walk on the wild side of life, Stewart had to assemble a fictional trio with the actors Sam Riley and Garrett Hedlund. "In reality, the trio scene was simpler than the other sex scenes that were more intimate and intense. It was one of the first scenes we shot and was obsessed with talking like the real Marylou: I wanted to imitate the speech they had in the 40s. I was so worried about how my voice sounded that I almost forgot that I was half naked!"
The fame and Twilight
There are a few young actresses who have experienced the fan phenomenon so intense as Kristen Stewart has. What does the actress think about the legion of followers that idolize her fervently? "Celebrities tend to be placed on a different level than the rest of the people, but I would like to tell my fans: You love me because we are alike! We are equal!"
The message could be read as a call for help: it should be easy to live under the watchful eyes of the fans ... and the paparazzi.
Meanwhile, from the questioned altar that offers fame, Kristen Stewart feels any responsibility towards her followers? The actress appears cautious. Is aware that Marylou in On the Road-a girl eager to experience the spiritual and sexual freedom- is not an exemplary character in the traditional sense of the term: "People are free to choose their role models. I think if you're not old enough to see and understand a film like this, you should not see it."
And speaking of fans, it is impossible not to look back and remember the passing of Stewart by that whirlwind teen that was The Twilight Saga. "I vividly remember the moment when I realized it would be more successful than I expected," says the actress. It was at Comic-Con San Diego 2008: "I expected an intimate encounter with fans, I was convinced I had starred in a strange little film. And then suddenly appeared 6,000 followers absolutely dedicated! It was surprising and shocking." A star was born.
¿The maturity of the star?
There is no doubt that the work of Kristen Stewart in On the Road is a leap of complexity and maturity in the career of the young star. However, the actress maintains that he decisions "do not respond to a master plan: I have not too much tactful with regard to the design of my career." Stewart acknowledges that "my participation in The Twilight Saga has overshadowed the rest of my work," such as her role as Jodie Foster's diabetic daughter in Panic Room (David Fincher, 2002), his work on the orders of Sean Penn in the drama Into the Wild (2007) or his foray into the generational drama Greg Mottola's hand moving in Adventureland (2009).
To argue that hers is not a sudden turn, Stewart claimed other jobs that she did that involved committed thematics: "At just 13, I starred Speak (Jessica Sharzer, 2004), a film about the trauma that was dragging a girl who had been raped. Maybe I was so young to make a film like that, but I changed as an actress and it revealed the true potential of cinema. And then there's Welcome to the Rileys (Jake Scott, 2010), where I was a stripper teenager. If that is not an adult film" ... Stewart ends.
“They are all innately chic, but with their own edge,” Camilla told us of their A-list following, “Each [of them] are confident young women, who know who they are and like to mix luxe casualness into however they dress.” Rihanna, Kristen Stewart and Miranda Kerr are in the club, but has there ever been a favourite? “Kristen Stewart was certainly one of them,” the duo admitted, “It was just when the Twilight-mania had begun to really take a grip on the world and because of that moment, we had a huge response internationally.”
MPI Home Video has revealed that it plans to bring to Blu-ray acclaimed Brazilian director Walter Salles' On the Road (2012), starring Garrett Hedlund, Sam Riley, Kristen Stewart, Viggo Mortensen, Steve Buscemi, and Terrence Howard. The preliminary release date set by the studio is July 30th.
A young-looking 22 , she's practically still a kid. Her features appear even more delicate than they do on screen, and she's devoid of swagger, despite the black leather jacket she wears for an interview about "On the Road." The film adapts the classic 1957 Jack Kerouac novel tracking the thrills- and truth-seeking experiences of Kerouac and his postwar Beat generation nonconformist pals.
Stewart is enthusiastic, conscientious even, in discussing her character, Marylou – fictional stand-in for Lu Anne Henderson, teenage wife of Kerouac's muse, Neal Cassady – in "On the Road," which today starts a three-day run at Sacramento's Crest Theatre and is available on video on demand.
"She was very much an equal part" of the road trips that inspired Kerouac's novel, she said of Henderson. "She was such a formidable partner for (Cassady). She was his counterpart in that sort of crazy life."
Stewart first attached herself to the project at 17, after she met with director Walter Salles ("The Motorcycle Diaries") to discuss playing Marylou. She had read the novel at 15. Its story of curious young people finding kindred spirits spoke to her, Stewart said.
"What I loved about the book is that (it chronicles) an age when you sort of get to look up and you get to choose your surroundings," she said. "You get to find those people who shock you and also make you aware of those things about yourself that also shock and surprise you."
As she discusses this passion project, Stewart never comes off as sullen, sulky or downcast, as she can in television interviews. It's hard to reconcile this pleasant young woman with the one who draws Lohan-esque levels of scorn in the blogosphere, even though her reputation isn't one of hard-partying excess or courtroom tears.
But she did star in five "Twilight" films, which earned more than $3 billion in worldwide box office and inspired a fandom that bests any other in obsession with its stars. She also made highly publicized mistakes big (the affair with her married "Snow White and the Huntsman" director) and small (those painfully awkward talk show appearances).
Intense scrutiny and criticism became inevitable, and rarely has a movie star been less suited for it. Stewart seems genuinely uncomfortable in the spotlight. When attention focused on her begins to encroach on her personal life, she cannot fake being OK with it, she said.
"I will never kowtow" to media intrusions, she declares. But she's smiling as she says it. And she's fine doing press "when it makes sense – when there is context," she said. "I have no problem sitting here and talking about 'On the Road,' or Walter (Salles) or 'Twilight.' "
But just in case, she has girded herself for today's interview with a pair of Allen Ginsberg-esque tortoise-shell eyeglasses. They are not prescription, Stewart acknowledged, grinning and a bit abashed.
"They are just kind of an extra layer, for when you feel tired," she said. "I envy people that actually need them, because I don't want people to think I am a poseur or something. It is just an extra layer of 'get out of my face.' "
As a stager of tiny, daily rebellions, Stewart can relate to Kerouac, Cassady, Ginsberg and especially to Henderson, the novel's and the film's female representative of the Beat generation's sex, drugs and jazz-baby-jazz ethos.
Stewart researched her character's life thoroughly, listening to recordings by Henderson and meeting with Henderson's daughter. Stewart said she would like to dispel any idea that Henderson was a vulnerable figure in the Beat boys' club. She was just as sexually adventurous and committed to counterculture pursuits as the famously voracious Cassady (fictionalized as Dean Moriarty and played by Garrett Hedlund in the movie).
"I didn't want to just be ambience," Stewart said of researching her character. "It was always, 'What is she getting? What is she giving up? Is she being taken from?' And I would have to say, having gotten to know her daughter and listened to those tapes … there was nothing you could take from her. She was offering it up, and she was getting so much in return."
Henderson was "ahead of her time by 20 or 30 years," said director Salles, in San Francisco with Stewart.
Yet some fascinations are timeless, and thousands of young Stewart fans who never heard of Kerouac no doubt will arrive at "On the Road" by Googling "Kristen Stewart nude."
Playing an exuberant libertine means the clothes came off.
"There aren't too many scripts or projects that you come across and go, 'It just can't be done without it,' " Stewart said. Remaining clothed in the scenes in question "would have been really dishonest and afraid. All of ('Road') needs to be unabashedly itself and sprawlingly impulsive, and it needs to celebrate life in every way, and that's not by covering up."
Salles said Stewart's acting also pushes boundaries.
"She is constantly trying to reach the best performance she can give in every single take, and that is something I find admirable," Salles said.
Salles met with Stewart after two friends – director Alejandro González Iñárritu and film composer Gustavo Santaolalla – raved about her after seeing an early screening of Sean Penn's 2007 film "Into the Wild." In "Wild," Stewart plays a teen who shares a bond with Emile Hirsch's wanderer.
"I understood completely why they had been so impacted by her, because there is something completely magnetic in Kristen's acting in 'Into the Wild,' " Salles said.
Salles settled on Stewart for the Marylou role then, but it took years to secure financing for "On the Road," the shoot for which traversed Montreal, New Orleans, San Francisco and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta town of Locke (see sidebar) in trying to capture its Beat characters' travels.
Stewart said she now appreciates the delay, since she was not ready at 17 or 18 for the role's racier aspects. As the project sat on the back burner, Stewart became a household name through the "Twilight" movies and also showed range by playing real-life rocker Joan Jett in "The Runaways."
"Her work in independent cinema is very much driven by characters who enter uncharted territories and trespass boundaries that are not immediately acceptable to the culture of the time," Salles said.
Stewart's vibrant, sun-kissed Marylou offers a stark visual and philosophical counterpoint to Bella, her dark-haired, pale Pacific Northwest virgin-until-married and human-until-vampired "Twilight" heroine. But no Stewart role is a reaction to any other, she said.
"I am drawn very naturally and very intuitively to everything I have done, including my commercial films," she said. "I think it is the same thing for those ('On the Road') characters and the people who inspired those characters. They weren't trying to make a statement necessarily. At one point they obviously saw that what they were doing was a statement. But initially, they were just being who they were."
With the "Twilight" films complete, and after so much focus on a private life also inextricably linked to that franchise, Stewart appears to be entering a new chapter.
Or at least she might be. Stewart will not kowtow to any narrative for herself.
"I guess if I stepped outside of my own life and looked at it, you might put a bookmark in, 'Oh, there's a good time to put Chapter 3,' " she said. "But when you are actually living it, no. I don't do things for impact. I have never been able to step outside my career, or especially my life – and you should never, ever mistake the two – and shape it like it is this malleable thing."