Kristen Stewart went from child star to international teen idol when she landed the coveted role of main character Bella Swan in The Twilight Saga.
Since then, Stewart has continued to make headway in Hollywood with roles in films like Adventureland, The Runaways, and Snow White And The Huntsman. Now the 22 year-old steps into the shoes of Bella for the latst film in the series, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2.
In the film, Bella, now married to vampire Edward Cullen, played by Robert Pattinson, makes the choice to become a vampire. Kristen talks about what it was like to play both sides of the character.
“I was really lucky to have played human Bella for so long,” Stewart says, “The best aspects of every vampire, all of their gifts, everything that makes them really special, is just an enhanced version of what they were when they were human. So, I really did get to play an incredibly well-rounded version of a vampire just because I actually got to take those steps for real. I think that if you were to take the fact that she becomes a vampire completely away, it is just a more realized version of who she’s been the entire time. I think it’s why it really touches so many people, too. It really does represent that stage of life where you’re full, pumping, bubbling over with something maybe you can’t put your finger on.”
“If you’re the type of person in this case, I’m not trying to make a huge thing about the girl thing,” she adds, “But she’s a girl who has faith in themselves enough to not ignore those feelings and find out why they’re there. People kind of think she’s nuts the entire time. ‘Bella’s always losing it; she’s making very odd decisions.’ But they’re fully informed by feeling. Now, it all makes sense. She can stand up and go, ‘I told you! It was worth it! We held on for a reason.’ It’s really satisfying. It’s a lot of fun. It’s also like breaking her in like a car. How fast does it go? It was fun.”
Stewart talks about what she kept as mementos from working on The Twilight Saga.
“I kept the rings,” she replies, “The rings were really important to me. Her mother gives her a moon ring in the beginning. It fully and completely reminds me of Catherine Hardwicke, every time I look at it.”
“Other than that, she’s not really into stuff,” Kristen continues, “There aren’t a whole lot of props, so that was probably it. The rings, but those are really, really extremely important to me. I love those things.”
Kristen talks about how she realize how huge The Twilight Saga had become.
“It’s grown so much, even recently, so I don’t know if we ever really realized to the extent that it’s gotten to,” Stewart believes, “But Comic-Con, for me, was the first time I was ever hit with a wave of human energy that was like, ‘This is not a normal movie.’ It felt like something that was so very much our own. That first dose of sharing it, that first dose of looking up and seeing that something that’s really affected you and moved you does the same things to other people was mind-blowing.”
“It’s the coolest thing about the job, actually,” she continues, “Because you have that on set with a director, an actor, anytime you like something you’re going to like it more. After that it was like, ‘Whoa, we’re really going places.’ It was really exciting. I was excited and incredibly overwhelmed, admittedly, but it is kind of the greatest part of the job is being able to share that.”
Stewart talks about the stunt work she got to do in this film as Bella in vampire form.
“I broke my thumb maybe like the first or second day of our really intense, action-y type stuff, so that was really frustrating,” she says, “But it was fun. I think I got a little taste of it when we were in Italy. The physicality was so important then and it finally became important again.”
“I don’t know,” Kristen adds, “What can I say? I’d been on the sidelines for so long, just itching, going like, ‘God, I think I could do that pretty well. I think I could do that pretty well. I think those contacts are going to look pretty cool.’ I was bursting to do it, which I think is probably why I broke my thumb. I was a little overzealous.”
With Bella as a vampire, she is now immortalized physically as an 18 year-old. Kristen was asked at what age she’d like to forever be physically if she could.
“I’m not there yet, so I’m not sure,” Stewart says, “I don’t know yet. I can’t wait to get to that point, but I don’t know. Somebody actually recently asked me that and I couldn’t answer them either, so I do apologize. It’s the most boring answer ever. It’s probably pretty telling that I haven’t gotten to that point yet.”
Stewart was also asked about how her own journey as an actress has paralleled with Bella’s.
“I don’t know,” Kristen replies, “Without taking any of the truth out of this, it’s so sort of general. It’s about that period where you’re like, ‘Wait, do I go with this or is that crazy?’ I think that ultimately the answer for me is absolutely! You question yourself along the way, constantly, and I don’t think you should ever stop doing that necessarily.”
“You should constantly question everything, push harder,” she adds, “But I think it just gets a little easier. I don’t know. I definitely feel a little bit more realized. A lot more, actually. Maybe it’s just by chance that we happen to be the same age. It’s a tough one because she lives so many years in such a tiny little period of time, that’s only because of the story so it’s kind of hard to put yourself there completely. But, I think I’ve grown up a little bit. I don’t know.”
Kristen talks about how she reacted to seeing the ending for the first time.
“I actually saw it a while ago and I wish I had a better way of saying this: it’s crazy,” Stewart says, “It’s so crazy! I saw it again recently and I just saw the final cut, and nope, it was a really good thing that no one was around. My favorite thing about Bill [Condon] is that he understood, he really put his finger on what drives this thing. He wasn’t shying away from anything. Not to make it sound not sappy but this thing is romantic.”
“It is what is attractive about it,” she continues, “It is so sort of stirring. I think if anyone was going to try to be cool about it, it just would have been a shame. I think that could have been so easy for so many people to do. Bill lent himself to it so fully, and I think you can see that at the end. You can tell that he’s a huge fan of the story and everything that’s been going down. It’s a nice little knife twist, as well. Like, ‘Really? It’s over?’ I love that thing. I think it’s really great. I love Bill for doing that.”
In Breaking Dawn – Part 2, Bella and Edward have a child named Renesmee. Stewart talks about what it was like to play a mother in this one and how it made her look differently at her own mother.
“I think that it might be something that you’re born with or not born with,” she says, “Some people have really, really strong natural instincts and strong desires to be a mom. It was one of my favorite things about the story from day one, there was never enough about that in the script for me.”
“Luckily, Stephenie [Meyer] has really been heavily involved in this last one, especially,” Kristen adds, “She was on set every single day and it was something that we were really together about. How has it changed me? I don’t think it’s changed much. It was one aspect of her that I was really most excited to play. It feeds into the vampires have slightly more animalistic natures – it was perfect for it. What better way to show that? I have a great relationship with my mom and she can be a bit feral when it comes to being a mom. I think that’s kind of just what it is.”
Kristen was asked if she was ready to have her own kids now.
“Dude. I can’t wait to be a mom, but I can wait,” Stewart says.
Stewart talks about the bonds she has formed with her co-stars Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner.
“It’s nice to not be alone in that, I guess,” Kristen says, “But there are a lot of people that are exceedingly famous, and I guess we share the movies. Another really common question is, ‘How is it going to be to walk away from this?’ I genuinely feel like I don’t have to walk anywhere.”
“That’s what I love about this job is that you hold these things,” she continues, “I wouldn’t have done it in the first place unless it was something that I was going to always carry, and I think they feel the same way. They tell me they do. In terms of having that one person that understands what it’s like, they’re are a lot of exceeding famous people and they all get it.”
Kristen was asked if she was glad that the The Twilight Saga is finally over.
“I’m so happy that the story is told,” Stewart says, “You have no idea. Usually, you’ve got five weeks or five months to look at a schedule and go, ‘That day is coming up. Now that day is coming up.’ We had five years. The fact that this thing is out and it’s not weighing on us anymore, I’m super excited about that. But I don’t want it to sound like I’m excited just to be done with the experience because to be honest, it’s such a particular tone.”
“You do reshoots, conversations with past directors, it just falls right back into that,” she adds, “It’s a feeling and I will definitely miss that, but again I feel like it’s not going anywhere. Anytime something’s brought up or you see someone… I mean, it is sad. It is strange, but it’s normal. Things shouldn’t stay stagnant. You’ve got to move on.”
Stewart talked about the possibility of doing another film franchise.
“Yeah,” Kristen says, “It depends. It’s hard to sign on to something before you know what it’s going to be.”
Asked was whether she’d do them if they had as many films as The Twilight Saga.
“My guess is that probably not,’ Stewart says, “ But I think it’s just really rare to find something that lends itself to that. I would also probably want to know where it was going. I don’t know. I’ve never really been a huge fan of any comic book. As of now, probably not, but never say never.”
Also asked is what Kristen plans on doing next.
“A question that I can’t answer is, ‘What do you want to do next? What is your dream role? What are you really looking into? Where do you see yourself?’” she replies, “It doesn’t make any sense because that’s like such an outsider’s perspective. You’re going, ‘Why don’t people look at me like this?’ Until you see it, what are you responding to? You’re responding to other people’s perspective of you, which is so weird. And why a lot of actors do what they do, and I don’t get that. I think things have fallen in my lap and I’ve gotten incredibly, insanely lucky to get the right feelings and meet people that share them. If I can keep doing that, I’ll be a happy girl. It’s always a pretty impulsive thing because you can read a fantastic script that’s not necessarily…it might not be in you to do.
“One thing that I don’t think I do is play characters,” Stewart adds, “I find that as soon as you start claiming that you be someone that you’re not, you’re crazy. I think scripts can really surprise you. You go, ‘Wow, I did not know that I would response to something like that. I did not know that I had that in me.’ And so the process of making the movie is just finding that and digging a little deeper. I think that’s why maybe I’ve played parts that are really similar to me because I’m young. I wanted to explore things that were more apparent to me. Now, I’m getting to the point where I want to dig a little deeper. You can shock yourself a little bit with this, and that’s what I would like to do.”
Stewart was asked what she would think Bella would want as a Christmas gift.
With the holidays coming up, what would you give Bella?
“Oh, Bella, what do you want for Christmas, girl? I don’t know.” Kristen says, “What do I want to give her for Christmas? I don’t know. She’s not that into stuff. In fact, she hates presents so I would mail her something.”
Kristen talks about what she would like to be able to do that Bella can.
“I would love to be able to run that fast,” Stewart answers, “That would be fun. We were really able to get close to most experiences that she had. We always wanted to push it as far as we could.”
“But then when I was standing on the treadmill, being drug behind a truck in the woods and I know that this isn’t even going to make it in the movie because it’s fairly ridiculous…” she continues, “Honestly, that’s one of my favorite parts of the entire series is that first hunt. Just going. I didn’t really feel like I could go, so if I could do that…”
Stewart was asked if she would like to live forever.
“No,” Kristen replies.