Kristen Stewart has called her turn as a teen runaway-turned-stripper and prostitute in “Welcome to the Rileys” the most personal performance of her career. According to director Jake Scott, audiences will see an entirely new side of the “Twilight” superstar in the indie flick.
“It’s an emotionally naked performance,” Scott told MTV News at the Sundance Film Festival. “She really exposed herself in that way.”
One way in which she didn’t expose herself was in the flesh. While Stewart does show off some skin onscreen, she never appears fully in the nude, nor do any of the scenes play as sexy. Instead they’re dark, often sad portraits of a young girl forced into compromising situations and the pitiful men who prey on her vulnerability. Highlighting these story elements, rather than salacious ones, was something Scott set out to accomplish.
“I don’t think the film’s about a stripper,” he said. “I think the film’s about a damaged child who happens to be a stripper. I actually de-emphasized that part of it. It’s too easy to get caught up and seduced by the idea of the stripper.”
Scott and Stewart did do some research in New Orleans . They visited strip clubs and talked to the dancers, learning their stories as a way to present an accurate portrait of a teen in crisis. “Some of them were more reliable than others,” he said. “Kristen actually ended up working with a girl who was a very good, useful guide for her. She went and danced in the strip club. She learned the ropes.
“She went for it,” Scott added. “She got dirty. I think she was dying to do something like this. I think it comes across, to really investigate something outside of her life realm.”
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Check out everything we’ve got on “Welcome to the Rileys.”
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