THE PRICE TO PAY TO BE BELLA
She stares at you angling her head sideways and says again what she has been saying many times: “My age is irrelevant. What we are does not depend on how much time we have been on earth.” Anyway it’s kind of impressing that, at the age of 21, Kristen Stewart’s life is bound to Bella’s one. It’s stunning to think about the coincidence of falling in love in fiction and in real life: the passion between Robert Pattinson and her, although they never confirmed officially, looks to be stronger than anything.
Did you always like vampires?
-Yes, cause they are pretty dangerous. And we girls like to take some risks.
Does it make you sad to know that everything is about to end?
-It’s strange tot think that we won’t have another one to shoot. But both me and Rob felt it had to end at some point the last book is divided into two movies so we couldn’t go on further than that. I mean, it’s sad but not sad at the same time. And you just need to appreciate what it’s been, without regrets. That’s what it was like the last day of shooting: it just flew away, we were both tired and couldn’t wait to go home. “Today is another day.”
In Breaking Dawn part 1 and 2 Bella is going through a lot. Starting from the birth.
-And also the wedding and the supernatural growing of the creature. In one only movie there are happening things that people don’t even face in the whole life. I remember I often found myself thinking “Wow, this is too much.”
Why is Bella so obsessed by Edward, since he’s kind of negative for her…?
-Actually she’s just being strong and brave: she chooses to stay for something that really has a meaning for her. She could run away from it but she just stays and faces it even if it’s stronger than her apparently. She perfectly understand that she has to fight for something that is not about Edward anymore. What happens is not about the two of them, and that’s why they are in conflict.
And you, Kristen? Have you ever hated Edward?
-I felt some very negative feelings and happened to wish he stayed away from me. Some themes like domination and masochism come through really clearly here. I really liked Bella instead, even when she turns in some kind of wild animal: she’s protective.
Cause she’s a mother.
-And cause her feelings are more intense than anything she ever felt before. I think Bella is the strongest one; Edward would have screwed it all up many times, even though in theory they both want the same thing.
So she basically cares about him most?
-That’s not the point. But, unlike Edward, she’s aware of what could come.
And she’s lighter and more positive about it.
-He just has no hope; she, as I think may happen to many mothers, has some kind of divine and supernatural intuition. She just knows that it will be fine at the end and that’s why she takes the weight of what is going to happen. Someone suggested that Bella is not such a good example for young girls but I don’t agree: maybe if you watch it superficially you can think that but not if you read the books.
The birth brought up some discussions: many consider it as an anti-abortion choice. Did you talk about it on the set?
-Of course. We hope that the public won’t stress the ideological view of it. Bella herself has no clear ideas about it. She’s not that religious: she simply fights for something beautiful and inevitable. It’s like destiny.
The birth scene is a bit truculent. Won’t it be hard for the younger fans to see their heroine going through such a hard thing?
-Well the scene is supposed to have some impact and be scary. Bella comes really near to death and she’s really willing to do anything. A strong scene but necessary.
What about the sex scenes? They are explicit in the movie while they are barely mentioned in the book.
-It’s Twilight’s first time. While we were shooting I reflected about what we were doing. Then I watched the movie and it looked intense but not disturbing. Above all they say a lot about the strength and the passion between Edward and Bella.
In the movie you get married and have a child. What about real life?
-It’s not so unreal that a girl of my age has a child: one of my best friends just became a mom. I’m not dreaming to have a child really soon but I had no problems relating to the maternity.
Aren’t you afraid to be trapped in Twilight?
-Right now I have the feeling I’ll never stop answering questions about it. I’m really bound to Bella: I generally love the idea of following a character evolution as I did with her. Losing her right now, when I have the feeling to know her best, makes me a bit sad. And I’m pretty sure it will be the same for the fans: they won’t be able to separate me from her, not completely. But it’s clear that professionally I have to get away from this.
How much did it cost to you, speaking of personal renounces, to play Bella?
-Today it’s very hard for me to do what I really want to do. It’s strange: from one side I’m so proud of my job, from the other side it’s my job itself to stop me from realizing some wishes like just having a walk or a trip with a friend. The pressure from fans puts me in a bad position sometimes cause I’m like an open book and it happens that someone asks “Hey Kristen , honey, what’s wrong?”. At that point I just feel like crying.
The price of fame, in your case, is pretty high.
-And there’s another difficult aspect for me: with people you have known forever you are used to show yourself without being afraid. But if you happen to say something stupid in public people will start thinking you are stupid or something.
It must be annoying.
-And what is even more annoying is that people look me in the face and assume to know everything about me. That’s why I often feel the need to be alone.
Please, tell me one funny thing about it.
-Well it’s funny that at the very beginning no one would really bet on me: not even Jodie Foster, who I worked with in Panic Room. She said she didn’t expect it.
Did you keep in touch?
-We happen to meet each other sometimes. She’s always been protective and maternal to me, and what she tell me every time is: “keep in touch. There are so many things I’d like to teach you.” It’s an opportunity I don’t want to let go, even if in this period I’m full of business to do, cause she’s and amazing person and pro. I learned a lot from her, in terms of actors professional ethic and of the way you should threat people when you are famous.
-With great respect.
How do you see your future, Kristen?
-I dream about playing great roles, in a magic place where life flows fluently, everyone loves me and are indulgent on me.
DON’T MAKE ME FEEL LIKE A ZOO ANIMAL
“I don’t think I’m cut out for this. For sure I am not to be a star, maybe not even an actor. There are people desiring success from early age and do everything to be famous. If they can, when they get into a room they get full attention. And that moment of satisfaction justifies all the hard work and the compromises done to get there. But I didn’t do that. I just found myself in this situation. If I walk into a room and everyone is staring at me I don’t feel at ease. I feel like an animal zoo sometimes and it’s not such a good feeling.”
Maybe Robert Pattinson should have thought about it before accepting the role of Edward in Twilight, which brought him to be rich and famous, not to mention idol of fan girls all over the world. But he doesn’t seem to be falsely humble. He is everything but a star, spontaneous and smiling as he is, for the way he shows himself for the exclusive Gioia interview: half-shaved head, a shirt that surely has had better times and a pair of pants that can’t even be defined as worn-out. Someone who wants to lie would dress better, I think when I see him.
Don’t you care about the label now that you are famous or you have always been like this?
-I feel stupid wearing jacket and tie and, unless it’s required, I dress casual. I like the idea of being seen as I really am. Also I always looked on too elegant people.
-It’s for a movie, Cosmopolis. It’s done now but I kept the cut. I like it and find it interesting.
Twilight is over. Are you willing to change your life?
-I don’t know yet. I haven’t been only a vampire these years so it’s not like my career is over.
Didn’t you get bored playing always the same role?
-Let’s say it wasn’t simple because it’s a vampire nature not to be expressive all the time. There are lots of things he can’t do: beside his love- almost obsession- for Bella, he can’t have impulses, urges, feelings. There’s the risk you end up doing always the same things e often, after a scene, I happened to stop and having the feeling I had just repeated the previous scene. But we always tried to privilege the originality.
If you weren’t a main character of the series, would you have been fan of it?
-Probably the answer to this will put me in troubles. The truth is I don’t know. I’ve always been against the commercial sagas. I think I’d like the movies themselves but I can’t understand why people are so crazy about it. And actually I always enjoyed most the poor movies.
At the beginning there was lots of skepticism about you: fans didn’t like you. And now…
-They are not interested in who I am, what I do or how I act. They care about my face. If my face was pretty much as they had imagined reading the book, then it’s fine. Then, after doing the first movie, your face becomes the character and the problem is solved. Thinking about it it’s kind of sad.
Comparing Twilight and Remember Me I have the feeling that the second one – haggard boy, beard, cigarette, glass in a hand- was nearer to you. Am I wrong?
-No. When I read the script I identified with the character straight away. Usually movies with a young character are all the same: there’s a kid knowing nothing about life and learning everything during the movie. In Remember Me you could feel there was something different behind it. I started with the idea of playing myself cause I found his lifestyle and moods similar to mine. Then I changed direction: playing yourself is impossible.
It’s not for John Malkovich.
-I think it is. We can play the person we have created and is perceived by people but we can’t be ourselves on the screen.
What do you mean with “perceived by people”?
-In my case Edward, the vampire. People don’t talk about me, don’t shout at me, don’t rip their hair off for me: they do it for Edward. The come to see him so I try to get away from that name. I run away, get in a car and am another person. They look at you but see only what they want to see.
Did you imagine you’d have all this success?
-No, it was crazy and unexpected. I remember one day, in Munich, at the Olympic Stadium, I was in front of 30.000 people came there for a ten minutes press conference. It was the most ridiculous thing I ever lived. If you start thinking they are there for you and you start convincing yourself to be fabulous, you’ll get crazy for sure.
Don’t you feel fabulous?
-Not at all.
Not even a bit?
-No. If you start feeling like that then every morning, when you stare at yourself in the mirror, you should repeat yourself you are the best person in the world. On the contrary, I often think I have the complete opposite personality required to bear the weight of fame.
So why did you decide to do this job?
-When I started no one watched my movies. And the ones who watched them didn’t even notice me but my work, the role I was playing. I acted not even thinking about the career or the effect. Today lots of people think to know me even if they never met me in their heads they know what to expect according to what they assume to know about me.
So what’s your survival strategy then?
-The best thing an actor can do is to live in the most absolute reserve. Which is impossible considering I have to be interviewed by people like you to promote a movie. Then, when magazines can’t find anything good, they make it up.
You don’t seem to be at your ease with it.
-Every time I’m in a crowd I take my mind off and think: this is not me. My body is here but my mind is somewhere else. And I always try to remember it’s a job, it’s not my life, even if keeping the control is hard.
Speaking of jobs, David Cronenberg came to you for his latest movie.
-Right when I was thinking I’d never work with great directors anymore. Often fame doesn’t help getting roles in good quality movies. But yes: Cronenberg came to me. I told him I’d take a week to decide and I was actually finding a way to tell him that I was not right for that, that I didn’t get the script and I wouldn’t accept it. The only way would have been to call him and say: hey I’m a nerd/loser. Then I thought I didn’t want to be that so I said yes.
Is it true you got a dog during the shootings?
-Yes, I found it nearby the set and I kept him.
Such a sweet thing coming from a vampire.
-Right. Maybe I was looking for a friend who couldn’t talk.
Scans + Translation thanks to Fiorels