Kristen Stewart Is MTV News’ #7 Woman Of 2009

'Twilight' star kept her indie cred with 'Adventureland' and broke box-office records with 'New Moon.'

Which stars had the biggest year? All this week, we’ll be unveiling our top nine men and women of 2009, counting down to the #1 man and woman on Friday.

7. Kristen Stewart

At 19 years old, she already has an amazing 23 films under her belt. Yet, Kristen Stewart entered 2009 with a lot of questions: Was “Twilight” a fluke? How would the notoriously press-shy starlet handle A-list fame? And would “New Moon” “kill” her , as she promised?

2009 Highlights: It all began in the snowy mountains of Park City, Utah, where a bundled-up KStew arrived at the Sundance Film Festival to discover that paparazzi were everywhere — quite a difference from early 2008, when she walked down the streets unbothered. The “Twilight” star was there to unveil “Adventureland,” a sweet coming-of-age drama that was well-received by critics and became a minor hit nationwide in April. Of course, 2010 will start out similarly for Kristen, as she’ll be at Sundance next month with two films.

As the “New Moon” hype continued to build, KStew kept her indie cred intact. In March, she played a teenager suffering from a fatal nerve disease in “The Cake Eaters,” a tiny character drama directed by Mary Stuart Masterson. KStew researched her role by spending time with real-life sufferers of Friedreich’s ataxia and admitted that although she had a busy year ahead, she was glad the “Twilight” sequels were all filming so closely together.

Then, of course, the real craziness began. First came the MTV Movie Awards, where Kristen helped unveil first-look footage from “New Moon,” shared a tender moment with Robert Pattinson and proved she’s every bit as clumsy as Bella Swan. Later in the year, Kristen would return for the Video Music Awards alongside Rob and Taylor, this time considerably more glamorous.

Somewhere in-between all that, as she continued to shoot “Eclipse” and “The Runaways,” KStew swung into San Diego’s Comic-Con to hang out with 5,000 of her closest friends and unveil her new Joan Jett haircut.

A few chaotic months later, Kristen was at the “New Moon” premiere, looking beautiful as she walked the red carpet , and astronomical box-office predictions flew . On the verge of the sequel’s release, Kristen took time out from hitting Hot Topic and had plenty to say about Rob’s newfound confidence, whether she prefers Edward or Jacob, her desire to “do nothing,” and how the filming gave her whiplash.

So how did that little “New Moon” movie do? Well, a record-breaking opening and worldwide devotion from half-a-billion dollars’ worth of fans will certainly make Kristen’s busy 2009 feel worthwhile. As she recently told us, KStew doesn’t take it all too seriously — but clearly, her fans do .

Which stars had the biggest 2009? Over the next week, we’ll be unveiling our top nine most newsworthy, controversial and fascinating men and women of the year. We based our list on factors like music sales, box-office performance, MTVNews.com headlines and traffic, overall reach (crossover singles, appearances in movies, licensing of songs for commercials, clothing lines, etc.), plus X-factors like “impact” and “buzz.” (And no, President Barack Obama didn’t make the list — we’ll leave that to the folks at Time.) This is by no means an exact science, but we think the list we’ve put together represents the men and women who helped make 2009 the most exciting and memorable 12 months in recent history.

We’ll be rolling out our list of the Top 9 Men and Women of 2009 two per day until Friday, when we unveil MTV News’ Man and Woman of the year! As always, we also want to know what you think, so weigh in with comments below, or upload them to Your.MTV.com!