KRISTEN STEWART blows her reserved reputation to smithereens with one of her most challenging roles to date.
The Twilight star plays a teenage stripper in forthcoming flick Welcome To The Rileys.
She learnt to pole dance - and even got offered a JOB as a stripper while visiting a club to research her role.
Yet in her most famous part as Bella Swan in the hit vampire romances, she does nothing more raunchy than kiss and generally keeps her curves covered.
Thanks to the series, she gained a reputation for being moody and conservative - an image she has maintained off-screen by turning up at premieres in grungy clothes.
So the 20-year-old American admits she was "shocked" she had no problem dressing in fishnets and little else.
She says: "What surprised me most was probably the fact I was so unaware that I was walking down the street with my robe open, wearing fishnets and just not caring at all. I had no inhibitions, I wasn't scared."
And she reveals that learning to pole dance was no easy feat - and that she got so bruised she considered having some of them covered up, fearing they would look fake.
Kristen told The Sun: "I learned how to pole dance even though you only see it for a second in the film.
"I got bruises in rehearsal. It really hurts. You don't realise that of course it's going to show.
"I mean, there were so many that I wasn't sure, like, do you keep all of them - or is that too much - or is it going to look hokey?"
In Welcome To The Rileys, Kristen plays 16-year-old sex worker Mallory, who is befriended by grieving father Doug Riley, played by The Sopranos' James Gandolfini.
He and his reclusive wife Lois (Melissa Leo) are still struggling to cope with the death of their teenage daughter eight years earlier.
There is nothing sexual about Mallory and Doug's relationship - Doug just wants her unconventional company.
To research her role, Kristen read books about the experiences of sex workers and even ventured into the world of lap-dancing clubs to watch strippers at work.
Accompanied by director Jake Scott - the son of top British moviemaker Ridley Scott - she turned up at a fully nude strip club where a man, who didn't know she was a famous actress, offered her a job.
She revealed: "I went to my first strip club and the guy was like, 'You have to come back later if you want a job.'
"They must have thought Jake was my pimp.
"But it started there. You just think, 'Well, gosh, I'm the luckiest kid from the valley', and, as well formed as the script was, it gave me the impression that it was really whole and real - but what do I know?"
Kristen says the clothes - or the lack of them - were also important to getting into the role.
The actress, who first came to public attention at the age of 12 in the Jodie Foster thriller Panic Room, reckons flashing the flesh almost became normal while making Welcome To The Rileys in New Orleans.
She said: "Clothes help. It always helps putting it on.
"I think what was cool about the costume is that I don't really think a whole lot when I think stripper, to be honest.
"A lot of people have certain ideas about how they must be and I didn't really have any.
"I always sort of imagined that they would be kind of sexy, at least, or something because that's sort of their job. But on the contrary you're exposed so often that you're entrenched.
"I mean, literally, you imagine never wanting to take off a trench coat and just living in New Orleans - and it's hot there.
"And also the stuff was really dirty. Everything helps. The make-up, sets, obviously."
Kristen, who is from a showbiz family - her dad John is a television producer and her mum Jules a script supervisor - was 18 when she made the film.
And she was glad the film took a while to get going as it meant she felt ready for the role. "I had known about this for a while before it got up and running and I'm really glad that it took a while to do so because I think I was old enough to play the part as opposed to not ready. I think that earlier on I would've shied away from too much.
"So it was shocking to find myself in situations like that and just being completely fine with them."
Kristen, who has also starred in the Sean Penn-directed Oscar-nominated flick Into The Wild in 2007 and as Joan Jett in The Runaways, admits she finds it hard to leave behind the characters she plays. Mallory the stripper, it seems, really affected her.
She said: "It's sort of like every experience you have in life shapes you, makes you who you are and some of the most monumental experiences in my life have been working on films and playing parts.
"And this one more so - I don't want to compare them - more than normal.
"I think it had an effect on me." Welcome To The Rileys, which does not have a UK release date yet, is not her only shocking role. In the biopic of Jett's first band, The Runaways, Kristen's character was seen taking all kinds of drugs.
Kristen, though, denies she is deliberately trying to shed the conservative image of the Twilight saga.
Twilight's writer Stephenie Meyer is a religious woman who made sure that Bella and her vampire boyfriend Edward Cullen did not consummate their relationship until they were married.
Kristen said: "The few things I've done in between the Twilight movies have just coincidentally been very different.
"But I haven't been like, 'I'm going to just shock everybody right now and do something completely different.'
"It's always been totally informed by something that speaks to you and you need to do it and that's what it is."
The final instalment of the Twilight saga, Breaking Dawn, is being released as two films.
They are being made at the moment and part one is scheduled to be in cinemas in November next year. Kristen says she was thrilled to be back working with fellow cast members including co-star and real-life squeeze Robert Pattinson, who plays Edward.
She said: "I'm really lucky to have my cast on the series because as soon as we get back on set together, you always think it's going to be hard to get back there.
"But it's not because we've all wanted to tell the story for so long and it's finally going to come to fruition."
Read more: TheSun.co.uk