Philippine Daily Inquirer by Ruben V. Nepales
LOS ANGELES. MAYBE KRISTEN Stewart is finally getting used to media attention. In our recent talk, the “Twilight” series star was still shy but she seemed more at ease fielding questions.
Kristen gave answers that were well thought-out, sometimes correcting herself in mid-sentence. She was still often serious, but that’s her nature.
And she looked her best in this latest encounter, wearing a beautiful, sexy mini dress and high heels.
The actress sounded very excited about being cast in “On the Road,” Brazilian director Walter Salles’ film adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s 1957 seminal book about the Beat Generation that was listed by Time magazine as one of the 100 Best English novels from 1923 to 2005.
Kristen plays Marylou, wife of Dean Moriarty (played by Garrett Hedlund), the catalyst for most of the developments in Kerouac’s largely autobiographical tale about the era’s jazz music, beat poetry and dalliances with alcohol and drugs. She is excited to work with Salles, whose credits include “The Motorcycle Diaries” and “Central Station.”
She was also upbeat about the choice of Bill Condon (“Dreamgirls,” “Gods and Monsters”) to direct “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn,” the fourth and final book in Stephenie Meyer’s best-selling series (which will be split into parts 1 and 2) and of her character, Bella Swan, maturing in the story.
Of course, she spoke about “the boys,” Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner, and about kissing the latter for the first time in “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse,” third installment in the franchise. The following are excerpts from our interview:
Tell us about the movie that you’re about to do.
Kristen: It’s “On the Road,” based on the Jack Kerouac novel that was my first favorite book in eighth grade. It’s insane [realizing] that I’m playing Dean Moriarty’s wife. She’s an iconic character and so is he.
How do you relate to the Beat Generation’s carefree, nonconforming lifestyle?
Kristen: That has nothing to do with rebellion, really. The people who lived that lifestyle were typically men. It was easier and much more acceptable for them to do that. My character is really different and weird for wanting to live the way she’s living. But just on a really basic level, the story breathes jazz … No story ever felt as free to me. It is also cool to read about it because it takes place at a time when mass conformity was the only option. To have such a courageous book about that period is cool and interesting, and so far away from anything I have to deal with. It’s so exciting.
Her answers to some Eclipse questions are kinda spoilerish! Watch out!
Can you talk about Walter Salles?
Kristen: Walter hired me based on a meeting that we had. We sat down and had lunch a long time ago. It was right after I did “Twilight.” It took a long time for them to get “On the Road” up and running. I’ve spoken to Walter again recently. He’s very excited about everyone’s faith in the project. He’s one of the greatest indie film directors. For an actor, this role is so coveted. It’s funny when he called me up. He was like, “Thank you so much. I appreciate your faith in and commitment to this project.” I was like, “Are you kidding me? I’m like vibrating—I’m so excited.” I can’t stop telling people about the project.
How has your relationship with Robert changed over the course of making these movies?
Kristen: Considering that I’ve made all these movies with Rob, he’s become a good friend of mine. I care immensely about Taylor and Rob because we are in a very similar situation. We have really grown close. We can be honest. We’re not worried about offending each other …
How do the three of you make light of your situation, that you’re always being hounded by the paparazzi?
It’s really funny when they fall down all over each other because they’re running backwards to try to get your picture. So whenever you see me looking really happy in a paparazzi shot, it’s probably because I’m laughing at them. The boys get a kick out of that because it’s just funny. But we really don’t dwell on that because it gives more people to talk about and that defeats the entire reason for avoiding them.
Is it easier, though, when the three of you are together?
Kristen: It’s nice because you feel untouchable, unlike when you’re by yourself
—“Oh my God, my bones are being whipped clean right now” (laughing). But when I’m with the guys, it’s easier. It’s nice to have two people who are in the exact same situation. You can say to other people, “Oh, I’m really nervous about this. It’s going to be a big deal.” But the boys are like, free. They go, “That’s exciting, though. Aren’t you excited? You’ll be great.” The boys are like good luck. They know exactly what you’re going through. It’s nice to have them.
What are your thoughts on marriage?
Kristen: I just don’t think about it. I guess I’m totally different because there are some girls who grow up planning their weddings and who can’t wait to get married. I just don’t have that. I have a really great family. I want my own family, too, but I don’t know who I’m going to marry.
What was the toughest scene to shoot in “Eclipse”?
Kristen: The most difficult scene happens on a mountaintop right before the battle is about to break. Bella kisses Jake and I was really weirded out by that because, in order to play it, you need to justify it. The way I’ve been playing Bella, there just isn’t a justifiable reason for her to do that. It was scary to play because I didn’t know how it was going to fade naturally into a kiss. I just never understood that, like I just couldn’t wrap my head around betraying Edward. That was what was so cool about the scene—that whole story really surprised me. She tries it and she’s just wrong. It’s absolutely desirable and it’s a good path. He’s definitely good for her and it has taken this long and it took that kiss to make her see that.
Then five minutes later, she has to go and talk to Edward about it because he has literally heard and seen everything. It is really an adult, very scary, not so nice thing to deal with because it’s not as perfect as she had thought. She really has feelings for more than one person. It takes the fantasy away from how great her love for Edward is and that’s just life. It’s a sad moment but it is what it is.
What was the fun part?
Kristen: I didn’t get to do any stunts. I was always jealous of all the action that everybody got to do. It was fun doing the tent scene between the shirtless behemoth (Jake) and you know, the thoughtful white person (Edward). I wasn’t supposed to know what they were talking about but I was supposed to let it filter in a little bit. I was just saying like, if I heard any bit of this conversation, I’d be like, bing, awake—“What are you talking about?” So it was fun to hear them level with each other.
What are you looking forward to about filming “Breaking Dawn”? Do you feel that you have the maturity?
Kristen: We are going to start that in November. Bella becomes a wife and a mother. If “Breaking Dawn” was its own movie, it would be much more difficult to play such a young wife and mother. But because I have been with Bella since she was 17, it has been a progression. What’s cool to me about the series is, it takes her a long time to get to that point and she loses a lot. Then she gets it back. She makes decisions that require you to really know and trust yourself. She achieves that. She’s very straight up and honest about everything.
I’m also excited because, luckily, I know the guys so well. We’ve all taken the journey. It will be odd because I’m so young but I feel like Bella was written so completely. She’s such a young matriarch. She’s so clearly grown into that position. All of the hints are there. I feel like it’s going to be cool once she actually gets pregnant and is going to have a kid. That’s the thing that makes her click into, “Now, I am an adult.” When people get married, they aren’t necessarily completely changed. But having a kid is definitely going to change Bella. All of that is going to be really interesting and crazy to play.
What do you think of Bill Condon directing these next two movies?
Kristen: I just met Bill. I have a really good feeling about him. He’s a really fantastic writer and he’s made great films. The way he talks about “Breaking Dawn” is very inspiring and contagious. I’m excited. I can’t wait to start.
Bill was talking about bringing the series back into the first person narrative, like “New Moon” and less “Eclipse.” More “Twilight.” The books are Bella’s story. We get to explore the story instead of just tell it as quickly as we can. There’s going to be so much more nuance. I am so glad that it’s two movies now because we’re not going to lose as many details as we have in the past. Bill is going to be really on top of the whole thing which is awesome. He really loves the characters and the story.
There’s a lot of talk—or wishing—that you will play the title role in the American movie adaptation of “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo.”
Kristen: I haven’t read the book yet but everybody’s telling me that I should read it. I think I’m working during the time they’re making the film. I’m going to be working for the next six months. I have “On the Road” and then “Breaking Dawn 1 and 2.” So unless they push … but they haven’t approached me.
Is it true that you’re going to be in a play?
Kristen: I would love to, but it’s not true. I never had any experience with that. I have other things that I want to do like make my own movies. I’d love to write and do other things, charity-wise.
But right now, I want to focus completely on being an actor. When I was younger, I was always saying, “I’ll do other stuff. I’ll go to college. I’ll do this. I’ll do that.” But no, I’m an actor. That’s what I love to do.