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The fame game
Before Kristen enter enters the main function room in LA’s Bel Air Bay Club, they’re complaining about the free canapes and moaning about the lack of cooperation they’re received from the star dung past interviews. And, as soon as she sits down, you can sense them tense up, preempting a clash of sorts. She’s also clearly nervous and it shows when she stumbles over her answers, and stutters on more than a few responses.
But Kristen’s grown up a lot since her last few press encounters, and she’s not nearly as cagey, which means after a while everyone starts to visibly relax. There’s little doubt that this is her least favorite part of the day job – talking to strangers – but when I ask if she thinks the lack of anonymity is worth all the success, she replies positively. “Yeah, I definitely think its worth giving up being able to go … buy soap,” she says with measured sincerity. “Even though I wanna do that so bad sometimes.”
With a messy jet-black mane, and dressed down in grey skinny jeans, hi-tops and a T-shit, Kristen manages to pull-off casual cool with style. You can’t help but get the impression that she peeled most of her clothes off her bedroom floor that morning, but somehow, she still gets away with it. She’s only 5’4″, has a very petite frame and doesn’t exactly command the room with her presence, but her beauty is disarming. In fact, it’s hard to picture anyone else in the role of this Snow White (Riley Keough, Felicity Jones and Dakota Fanning were all rumored to be shortlisted)
Although she’s done a number of indie films, Kristen is back in familiar (if daunting) big-budget movie territory with this epic action-adventure, in which she plays Snow White alongside Charlize Theron’s Evil Queen. When describing what she thought of the Oscar-winning actress, Kristen appears shy and respectful. “My first impression? I was really nervous and intimidated to meet her. She’s one of the main reasons I wanted to do the movie. I think she’s stunning at what she does, and I also really respect her as a woman. She’s funny and quick and she commands a lot of attention. You can’t help but look at her when she walks into a room.”
Kristen’s come a long way since her break-out role in Panic Room playing Jodie Foster;s daughter. When asked if she asked if she can see any parallels between Snow White’s development from an innocent woman, and her own personal joinery over the past few years, she doesn’t rebuff the analogy. “Yeah, I’m 21 years old now. I mean, I haven’t felt the switch, like, ‘Oh wow, now I’m becoming [a woman] but things are a bit easier. I can relate to becoming more comfortable with being older.”
A charmed life
Although some onlookers might consider Kristen’s life to be something of a fairytale, she’s not completely convinced, but she’s quick to point out she considers herself extremely fortunate. “It’s weird to talk about, but if a fairytale is just going, ‘Wow, I can’t believe that this is happening, it’s so great, it’s like an ideal version of what life should be,’ then definitely. But at the same time, fairytales are all wrapped-up with destinies, and I don’t know what I’m going to do … but definitely, absolutely, life is very good.”
She’s a little cagier on the idea of real-life Prince Charmings though. “I don’t know. I think that for some people there’s just one, but I don’t think that there are rules that apply. If life had rules like that it would be so much easier.”
Her development from awkward teen to stylish spokeswoman hasn’t been missed on the fashion world, with designers clambering over each other to dress her. In January, she was named the face of the newest Balenciaga fragrance for women. “Kristen Stewart embodies the modernity of the new Balenciaga fragrance with her unique sensibility and intelligence,” Nicholas Ghesquiere, Creative Director of Balenciaga said at the time. “From her early appearance in Panic Room to her independent choice of Welcome to the Rileys, I’ve always sensed her progressive character. I’ve always wished to collaborate with her, knowing that she shares the radical spirit of Balenciaga.”
Her ‘radical spirit’ was very much on the set of Snow White when, during a stunt, she ended up punching Chris Hemsworth, who plays the Huntsman, in the face. “She’s tiny right? But that was a big punch,” explains Chris, who’s clearly still smarting from being knocked out by a girl, more so than the injury she inflicted. “She punched me in the nose. There was this fight scene where we first meet – it’s quite rough – and she swings a punch at me, and I’m pretending to be hit, and then this one time: bam! I was down. I thought my nose was broken, it sounded like it was. She freaked out a bit, but then I think she has a private little laugh, she felt kind of proud that she’d knocked somebody out. She said she’d never hit anyone before, but I don’t believe it.”
Kristen, for her part, is sticking to her original claim. “It didn’t feel great. It was one of those situations where you’ve done something you’ve never done before and you realize it has a great effect. I feel horrible about that because he was in quite a lot of pain, but it was funny and makes for a funny story at least.”
It also sends a warning to anyone who thinks they can mess with this particular movie star, press included. She’s not afraid to throw a punch, and she’ll always be the one who has the last laugh.