LOS ANGELES — The next big-screen Snow White knows a little something about tough young women facing overwhelming stress.
“How do I compare Bella from ‘Breaking Dawn’ with Snow White?” she poses. “I guess the only actual comparison — and a million could be drawn — is that they are both very, very strong matriarchs that need to find that position in life. They’re both icons.”
The 22-year-old “Twilight” veteran put her vampire leanings on hold to star in “Snow White and the Huntsman” (opening Friday). The film takes the classic fairy tale and expands it into the story of the Hunstman (Chris Hemsworth) who gets his orders to take “the fairest of them all” Snow White (Stewart) into the woods and kill her.
He winds up protecting her and then helping her in an epic fight to rid the kingdom of the evil Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron).
“I didn’t grow up on fairy tales,” Stewart says. “People kept saying to me, ‘Oh, like us you grew up with this story.’ My answer is, ‘No, not really. I didn’t.’ But then again, I didn’t grow up with vampires either.
“Both of these tales were given to me through scripts,” she says. “I’ve been really lucky. When it comes to Snow White now I think I know her better than most because there really is such a back story behind what’s a simple fairy tale.”
Her inspiration for the role came from an unlikely source.
“I had Adele on my iPod all the time while doing Snow White,” she says. “I choreographed whole marches with the army behind me to Adele in my one ear.
“Adele is really good for the Snow White story. Almost oddly good. She hits the nail on the head for me, and her words are incredible.”
Stewart also has a little film called “Breaking Dawn, Part 2” out this fall. It’s the last in the “Twilight Saga” films. “We shot both movies
at the same time completely out of sequence,” she says.
The finale brings Bella to a satisfying conclusion. “Bella is a woman who is always looking towards her future and what she will achieve,” she says. “Ultimately in the last movie, she gets what she wants. She is finally a vampire/human woman who is married and a mother. She’s important and relevant.
“So much happens to her that it was a bit overwhelming,” Stewart says. “But it gave me so much energy every single day to tell the rest of her story.”
After Bella, how will she avoid typecasting? “The movies I’ve done between ‘Twilights’ have been very different,” says the star of “Welcome to the Rileys” (2010), “The Runaways” (2010) and the upcoming “On the Road.”
“The things I’m drawn to are very different. I don’t want to rush a career,” she says. “I want to have time to find out what my interests are in this business.
“I don’t want to just be going, going, going all the time in life. I think you get to a place in life where you don’t know yourself. I really want to figure out what I really, really want to do.”
Who she wants to do all this with remains a topic off-limits. Yes, she’s seen everywhere with her “Twilight” co-star Robert Pattinson, but she won’t talk about her private life. “I like to keep a really, really low profile,” she says.
Stewart will discuss something she does cherish. That’s the pile of letters she gets from younger fans who have dubbed her characters their inspiration.
“I love that I have an impact on women and girls,” she says. “I also hate when people ask me, ‘What advice do you want to give your younger fans?’ I don’t want to give them advice. Everyone should choose different.
“I’m no better than anyone else. I’m literally that same questioning young woman. I don’t want to sit on some pedestal. I like to be on ground level.”