Much like Britney Spears, she began “Twilight” at the beginning of this year as not a girl, not yet a woman. Although she had the best pedigree of any of her co-stars (“Panic Room,” “Zathura,” “The Messengers”) and was already regarded as a fast-rising Hollywood star, Stewart was still young enough to require a shortened schedule and on-set educator. After celebrating her 18th birthday with the Cullen clan by her side, such restrictions were lifted, and now Kristen is ready for her November 21 graduation to full-fledged leading-lady status.
Bringing things full circle, Kristen spent the weekend attending the taping of MTV’s “Spoilers” TV show and sitting down for one last “Twilight” Tuesday interview. In it, she revealed her thoughts on Bella’s perfect theme song, falling down on her butt and why she loves nerds.
MTV: Kristen, after all this time, “Twilight” is finally coming out! It feels like we’ve all been talking about it for, like, a year.
Kristen Stewart: We have been talking about it a lot. It’s so funny. It’s so funny doing an interview with you, because you started them.
MTV: Yeah, well you’re the one that turned me on to ["Twilight"] back at Sundance when we were talking about “The Yellow Handkerchief.”
MTV: So, how has your life changed professionally and personally in the last 11 months?
Stewart: It hasn’t changed personally. I’m kinda tripping out [professionally], because I’ve always been in a position where I love films, and they don’t have money, and I’m attached to them forever — and I just get too old or uninterested in them. I don’t get to realize some of the parts that I would love to play. But now I can get projects off the ground; I can get them made.
MTV: That must be awesome to have a little bit of power, and now know you can use your power for good.
Stewart: Yeah. I mean, I can use it for myself.
MTV: What are the top five reasons why it’s good to be Bella?
Stewart: Well, it’s not that easy to be Bella; that’s the thing. It’s really fun to examine the characters from an outside perspective, but to play the parts, they’re very wrought. She’s found something that she feels she can’t live without, and that’s very scary. [As for reasons,] well, I get to kiss Edward Cullen, and … ah, I don’t know.
MTV: If “Twilight” were coming out with a different actress playing Bella, would you be jealous?
Stewart: Yeah, I totally would. If I were completely unaware of the project, I don’t know if I would have picked up the book. I read, but I’m so boring. I read, like, classic literature, and I go to used bookstores. … I would have to see the movie, and who can know how the movie would’ve turned out [with someone else]? But I was driven very strongly by something in the story to do it. I can only do a film if I feel entirely compelled by it. But I’ve seen that in other films, where I’ve been like, “Whoa, I could’ve done that!” and I think I would’ve had that same feeling.
MTV: It’s strange to think that if Catherine Hardwicke hadn’t come after you to be in “Twilight,” you may never have read it.
Stewart: Yeah, I think I was cast first. I read the script before I read the book, and I accepted the part before I read the book. I read the script, did the audition, got the part, then read the book, and the script is a very cleverly condensed version. I mean, it is 500 pages! But we do capture the essence [of Stephenie Meyer's book], and there’s nothing in the book that I felt sad about not being able to portray in the movie.
MTV: If you were to wake up tomorrow and find yourself as a student at Forks High, who would you want to date?
Stewart: Probably Eric. But that probably wouldn’t end up well. I don’t know why.
MTV: I feel bad for Eric.
Stewart: I know! I love Eric. He’s smart, you know? I like nerds. I would only go out with dorks.
MTV: If you could give Bella her very own theme, what song would you choose?
Stewart: “Who’s That Lady?” [by the Isley Brothers]. No, I have no idea. Are you kidding me? Something really self-deprecating. Like, I don’t think she’d walk around with entrance music. She’s not that type of girl.
MTV: Bella wouldn’t walk into the cafeteria with a boombox on her shoulder, playing her theme song?
Stewart: [Laughs.] No, no.
MTV: There are lots of tender moments in the movie, and I think you can tell a lot about a person by which scene they find most romantic. So which is yours?
Stewart: When they try and have their first conversation with each other. It’s maybe not romantic for them in the moment, but I think if they were ever to think back on the first time they spoke, that would’ve been like “Whoa! Wow!” Like, look what has happened since then — it’s very telling. That [moment] really informs a lot, when they sit and they try to talk to each other in the bio lab. It’s, like, impossible. One thing I find interesting about the story is that it’s not an easy love. It’s romantic that they try so hard, that they have no choice, but to have to really push it when it’s really difficult, like total sweating and dying, I can’t leave. That’s pretty romantic.
MTV: You’ve worked in some critically acclaimed dramas, including “Into the Wild,” “Undertow” and “In the Land of Women,” but this is a big blockbuster aimed toward teenagers. Are people correct when they assume “Twilight” would be the easier job?
Stewart: This was a really tough movie for me. I had to be very exposed, very cracked wide open. To be able to pull this movie off; you have to be bare. There are very fundamental ideas expressed here. ["Twilight"] would be so cliché and trite if they were fabricated emotions — it would be like “Oh, I love you!” “Oh, I’d die for you!” [Such lines] are sort of lame, but when they’re said a certain way [it can work].
MTV: Have you read “Breaking Dawn” yet?
Stewart: I’ve heard all about it, but I haven’t moved on from the first book. I needed this big period of breathing room. You live something for three months, and if I picked up the second one, I’d have to start doing that movie right now. I couldn’t sit on it for so long.
MTV: Well, surely you’ve heard of some of the crazy stuff that is coming Bella’s way in the fourth movie?
Stewart: Yeah, pillow-biting and feathers flying? She gets older, you know? I like that it matures, and it’s not like all one-note. It really goes somewhere.
MTV: Obviously, Bella Swan is a clumsy character. But there’s a scene in this movie where you go down on your butt, and I didn’t see any kind of quick-shot trickery to work around a cushion on the ground or something. How’d that work?
Stewart: No! I stuffed, like, a little pad in the back of my jeans [and that was it]. But they did some weird thing. There was something to look like ice. They poured it all over the concrete, and it was very slippery. But it wasn’t hard to fall on my butt. [Laughs.] I’ve done it before.
MTV: How many times did you have to do it?
Stewart: Several times. But I love doing [stunts]. Many times in the ballet-studio [fight scene], I would do a fall a couple of times or hit my head on the pillars a couple of times, and I wanted to go back and watch [the video playback]. I was like, “That’s crap! That’s crap!” And then, I just literally flung myself into the pillar, and I was like, “OK, we can’t do that again. But we got it!” I like that.
MTV: Sacrificing yourself for your art.
We’ve got the biggest exclusives from tomorrow’s blockbusters today. Check out the premiere of MTV’s “Spoilers” on Friday, November 14, at 7:30 p.m., for first looks at “Twilight,” “Watchmen,” “Bride Wars,” “Bedtime Stories” and “The Day the Earth Stood Still.” And before the most-anticipated film of the year, “Twilight,” opens November 21, we’re celebrating with 10 Days of “Twilight,” featuring exclusive interviews, scenes, photos and more.
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