Laremy Legel November 17, 2008
I was originally supposed to interview Kristen Stewart at Comic-Con. However, she hit a major traffic jam and missed all of the interviews. This was a shame, because I’d recently recommended her for the part of Cheetara in Thundercats and was fully prepared to broach the subject. Alas, it was not to be.
However, now that I’ve met her I get the distinct impression she’s not really into interviews or fame. I can hardly blame her. Interviews are the worst. Everyone asks the same questions (except me) and the process goes on for months. It would be enough to drive any normal person insane. Now that I’ve empathized with the dear girl, read on!
Question: Had you read the books before you were cast?
Kristen Stewart: No. I frequent used bookstores.
Question: Did you have any idea what you were getting into?
KS: It was all brand new to me until halfway through shooting. I didn’t realize people cared about it as much as I did. And that people would have something to say about how I did this.
Question: When did you realize people had an opinion about it all?
KS: It was mentioned in the beginning of filming. Rob had gone online and seen that people were outraged by his casting. And mine too. And we were like, “Wow … why?” It was a really slow progression because I didn’t believe everybody. I was like, “Yeah, okay.”
The first time I actually saw it in person and was like “okay, this is a big deal” was at Comic-Con. It was crazy.
Question: Do you approach this character as a metaphor, or just as a vampire love story?
KS: It sorts of represents everything that you go through when you’re at that age where everything is entirely heightened for some reason. Even the scene where he [Edward] sees her for the first time. What he wants to do is rip her apart and eat her. He’s just looking at her like this devil. And that could be some girl projecting. He could be really not looking at you, a lot of times because it’s a firsthand narrative how you experience the story — it’s very detail oriented in terms of what she’s thinking in every second. It can really be mistaken for all a fantasy, like she’s just reading into things. Also, with Rob’s character, the fact that he’s not this perfect man, this perfect vampire … he could have the vampire thing could represent anything holding over him. The fact that he’s a vampire IS really difficult, and really impossible, but it could be something else, so I think it is representative. I know that didn’t make any sense, but I’ve been talking all day.
Question: Do you still worry about fan reaction? Or do you just think you’ve done the best work you can and that’s it?
KS: I really have to say I feel very proud of the movie. I couldn’t have worked harder so I’m not going to be completely gutted if everyone … wait, no I would be gutted if everyone hated the movie. Especially those who really cared about it before we started. But there’s nothing more I can do. What I do is a very personal thing. I’ve never had to experience this … critiquing. My thing doesn’t usually effect so many people. So, no, I have to say boldly that I really don’t care.
Question: Have you had any interesting encounters with fans?
KS: No, not really. I know some girl knocked on Kellan’s door one day. He’s been talking about that. We’ve done a couple autograph signings, at bookstores. When you get to see a hundred and fifty fans, all walking by at the same time, you get to see them individually, one by one. I love it when they come by me looking with disdain. Or at least get across, “There’s nothing special. I know you’re sitting behind your little autograph table like you’re something special, but you’re not. And all I’m here for is his [Robert Pattinson’s] autograph.” And I’m like, “I know, I get it. Just go.” But other than that I’ve really not had anything. No.
Question: You guys did a great job with the music here. Especially that ending scene with Iron and Wine.
KS: I chose that song!
Question: Nice! Well, if you could play DJ for a bit, what other songs would you choose to slow dance with Rob Pattinson to?
KS: Well, I picked the Iron and Wine song because it just made me cry. We played it in a rehearsal. That scene, I’m fine in the scene. But we rehearsed it and I couldn’t get through it. Rob was like, “What’s wrong with you?” and I’m like, “We can’t listen to this song anymore.”
Maybe like … not the Astral Weeks version of “Beside You” by Van Morrison, but the one that was on The NY Recordings.
And uh, “Cul De Sac” by Van Morrison. I can’t think of five. I’m already pretty proud of myself [for three].
Question: Can you talk about the chemistry between you and Rob?
KS: If Rob didn’t get the part, if they didn’t think I was right about who we should cast, I couldn’t have done the movie. I probably would have done it if he never came in and just made it work with someone else. But he was the only guy who came in feeling like it. He looked terrified, and you could feel pain from him. He wasn’t just concerned with standing in a statuesque way and posing. He had the right things going on in his head and at the same time he was very responsive. He didn’t have this set thing that he was doing, he could see me.
Depending on what I did he would change his performance. I hate it when people are so structured that they’ve got what they’re doing down. But we could see each other. It was a responsiveness thing. I didn’t have that with anybody else. I was thinking, “Argh, everyone is lying to me. Why are you lying? Just have the balls to do it for real!” I’m not saying live the story. But be there while you’re there. He was the only one that did that. He’s a really hard worker. And I like that. I don’t like lazy actors.
Me and Rob are good friends. I’m not saying we’re really close; we’ve both been really busy after the movie. But when you go through something like that, when you go through three months with this common goal, when you can’t think of anything else for so long, we’re pretty good friends. He can take credit for my little obsession with Van Morrison too.
Question: Have you followed any of the criticism from the feminist perspective about Bella?
KS: Ugh. I’d love to talk to them. Really. When I read little brief descriptions of the movie, I was like, “I don’t want to be part of that.” I was working on something else, and I didn’t want to have my focus stray. It was like, “I don’t wanna be part of this very set unrealistic ideological of love and push it on every little girl because they’re never gonna get that.” But the vampire in our story is entirely damaged. Bella wears the pants in the relationship. She’s the sure-footed confident one. She’s naive to the world of vampires and everything like that, but she’s not doing it for him. It takes a lot of power and strength to subject yourself to someone completely, to give up the power. It has to start there. You’d be scrambling for it if you needed it. The fact that she is that, she is so trusting of herself.
It really has nothing to do with Edward and giving herself to him and being this weak damsel in distress. It’s very courageous what she’s doing. She’s believing what’s inside of her, driving her. It’s a very personal thing, what she’s going through. It really has nothing to do with Edward. So I don’t know why [the criticism].
Question: What do you think it is about the whole “you shouldn’t be with me” vibe that women fall prey to?
KS: Like, “You’re the only one who sees through that. I’ll help you.” That’s an innate thing. Things become cliches because they started out as truth. There’s truth in all of that. Why would everybody mention it and notice it if it didn’t actually exist?
Question: Do you draw on anything personally for this character?
KS: No. Nope.
Question: I noticed at Comic-Con there was this little moment where Catherine Hardwicke said you were really athletic, I saw you flinch because all the fans think of Bella as clumsy. Do things like that make you want to filter what you present to the fans?
KS: Yeah, you don’t want to be rash. I’m sure today I’ve made many offhand comments that are gonna outrage the fans. But it is a consideration. I have people listening to my every interview to make sure that I don’t undermine the success of their movie. It’s fine. It’s kind of annoying, I feel like there’s never a point where you can go back and say, “Hey, no I didn’t mean that, this is actually what I meant.” Once you say something it’s concrete.
Question: What do you make of the level of fan passion here? Is it strange to have people out there with tattoos of you?
KS: Maybe not of me, but of Rob. Seriously. I am the vessel, so you don’t really have reverence for the vessel.
Question: Do you feel responsibility to the younger fans who see you as a role model?
KS: Role model is such a funny thing. I’ve never had any real role models. There’s been people that I’ve idolized. Yeah, I guess people are looking for you to screw up. But I don’t think people are going to look to me to see what they should do with their lives. Like, “Kristen Stewart does crack, I’m going to do crack.”
Question: Would you clarify there, not that you’re saying you do crack …
KS: [Joking] No, I do crack. I smoke crack. Obviously. Did you see me at Comic-Con?
Question: Are you looking forward to a sequel?
KS: Yeah, absolutely. I felt an immense responsibility for the character. I’ve never had an experience of playing something for so long. This was one of the longest productions I’ve had. So to tack on two more, it would be interesting to follow her. Absolutely.
Question: What are people who haven’t read the books going to get out of this film?
KS: Probably the same things the fans will. They don’t get to see something that’s been in their dreams come to life, but you get the same story. We didn’t stray from the book. What I got from the book is that it’s a really dire, wrenching story. It’s not an easy love, it’s really quite impossible. It’s so reflective. To deal with the thought of living forever. I don’t know, it’s just a powerful movie. Besides the moral aspects, it’s just quite engaging, I think.
Question: Would you want to be immortal?
KS: No. I can’t deal with it. I would go mad. I can’t deal with the time I have now.
More interviews, articles, and photos in our Ten Days of Twilight extravaganza!
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