Kristen Stewart: “I like people who shock me”The actress is proud of her Twilight years, but now she shoots with Woody Allen – and dreams of being a tree on wheels.
Kristen Stewart made her name in the multimillion-grossing global hit Twilight when she was just a teenager. Since then, the LA-born actress has achieved what few manage: to combine financial success, mainstream popularity and critical acclaim.
It’s clear she has a strategy, but it doesn’t seem to involve a management team and endless meetings. Stewart follows the people who keep her interested, sweats off the bad times and ponders life’s big questions.
THE RED BULLETIN: Now you’re 26, how do you feel about the Twilight Saga film trilogy that made you a teenage superstar?
KRISTEN STEWART: I’m proud of those movies. I don’t want to distance myself from them, if that’s what you mean.
From the outside, it looks as if you’ve consciously altered your career trajectory: since the Twilight Saga, you’ve done acclaimed art-house features, won a French film award. For your upcoming movie, Café Society, you worked with Woody Allen…
But I’ve brought the same energy and emotional investment to every project.
So, what makes you say yes to a film? Money? Fame?
People. I want to work with people who get me going.
In what way?
There is this addictive energy that passes through a group when you all love the same thing. When you share that, you’d have to be a sociopath not to let it touch and affect you. I have so much faith in that feeling, I’ll always follow it, even if it means missteps.
What kind of people have that effect on you?
I like to surround myself with people who can shock me, which is true of all my friends. They’re not lazy or complacent; they’re demanding, but also ready to give.
When did you first start going after those types?
At 14 or 15, which was the stage when I started thinking, “I’m not as cool as I could be, or as smart or challenged. I need to meet people who can help me achieve that.” That’s not easy…
Of course not.
Which is why, in high school, I was friends with people who others didn’t want to be friends with.
Who did you avoid?
I’ll give you an example: years ago, I went to a party with some friends – they were still in high school – and I felt so uncomfortable. It was just a room of people not speaking. I mean, they were talking, but they weren’t saying anything!
Do you still get socially uncomfortable today?
I get uncomfortable when I feel I’ve been misinterpreted. I’m not saying that anyone’s perception of me is necessarily wrong, but what I strive for is to be understood. I want my points to be understood, which means I have to be clear on what they are. I’m comfortable as long as that feels true.
Do you have an antidote when things are going badly?
Physical activity is the best way to feel connected and alive again. Just sweating. It helps you hit reset when you can’t get out of your head or you’re having an anxiety attack. It’s like, “Dude, go outside and take a run and I guarantee you that your body is more powerful than your mind.” That’s so true.
So adrenalin always works?
Not necessarily. I write poetry and play guitar, too. Someone once asked whether I identify more with a tree or a car…
Neither exclusively. There are positive and negative things about both. The tree has roots and doesn’t change on a whim. Then again, times change, so ideas should, too. Life moves forward constantly. The car never stops moving, but it doesn’t stop to think about things. To cut a long story short, I’d like to be a tree on wheels. Or an electric car that has to plug in once in a while. I’m not necessarily ‘born to run’. You can’t keep searching endlessly; some days, you need to just walk in the sun.