Kristen is SO cute in this interview! She talks about “hiding” behind fake glasses and Still Alice.
CANNES- France — In the opening scene of “The Clouds of Sils Maria”, presented at the end of the 67th Cannes Festival last Friday, Kristen Stewart’s character, Val, is clearly stressed-out. As the train snakes up the winding mountain route of the Swiss Alps, Val is juggling with her multiple jangling cell phones, cursing the bad connection, and trying to deal with the barrage of undesirable media, pestering directors and dramatic news that will dramatically change her entire schedule.
In the film, Stewart plays the part of a low-key bespectacled personal assistant to the glamorous Maria Enders, a fortyish famous actress, brilliantly portrayed by Juliette Binoche. It’s Val’s job to arrange every infinitesimal detail, from making sure that Maria is on time for her Chanel gown fittings to endlessly walking the actress through the lines of her script.
Highly praised for her subtle performance by the Cannes critics, Kristen Stewart says she’s glad to have had a chance to explore the other side of fame, with all the ambivalence and fascination about celebrity culture that the part required.
“The reason this movie was made was not to make a statement about how superficial media can be, but it was a lot of fun for me to be the one to say it,” says Stewart. “Obviously, I’ve had more experience with the media, so it makes it funnier.”
“I don’t a have a personal assistant right now,” the actress says, “but I have had one in the past and I definitely understand the dynamic. The difference is that I never had such a co-dependent relationship.”
Going on what Stewart has experienced “in real life”, she says, there were moments during the shoot when the actress coached her co-star, Juliette Binoche, to make her performance more believable. “When we were getting out the car to walk up the red carpet, Juliette just like opened the door and started to get out. I said, ‘what are you doing? A star would never do that!’”
At one point in film, Stewart’s character, Val, hotly defends the hell-raising young starlet Jo-Ann Ellis (Chloe Grace Moretz), who is to play opposite Maria in her upcoming new role in the theater. Contrary to Jo-Ann’s reckless tabloid-baiting bimbo image on you tube, Val tells Maria that she shouldn’t judge the straight-out-of-rehab actress so harshly.
“She doesn’t want to be swallowed up the Hollywood machine,” Val says. How has Kristen Stewart managed to dodge some of the trappings of celebrity culture?
“When I take on a role,” says Stewart, I really like to think, and I do not care what people think about them afterwards. I really want the experience. I think a lot of actors—not good ones—are just product oriented, as is the business.”
“American movies are so packaged and delivered,” she continues. “They think for you. Like the stories in the tabloids—they’re so easily consumable. But that said, I love big American movies—they’re my foundation, what I grew up on—and I still want to do them.”
“Kristen is so powerful and has such a strong presence,” says French director Olivier Assayas. “I wrote a part in this film hoping it would be remotely interesting for her. I honestly didn’t think she would do it. I thought that the subject would be too touchy, but she liked the idea.”
Stewart says that she was thrilled to accept a role in Assayas’ film after such a long dry spell. “I didn’t make a movie for a really long time because I didn’t get offered anything that I liked. I didn’t work for two years.”
“I want to start directing,” the actress adds. “It’s still way down the line but I’m going to start dinking around and making shorts. You learn by making mistakes but that’s definitely what I want to focus on next.”
Do you like the pressure of Cannes?
Definitely. It’s a different energy and not like a normal premiere, where it’s just friends of the studio or whatever. There’s a very real chance people are going to be vocal about if they like it or not. It’s exciting. I think people are more interested and people talk about the movies afterwards – they’re not just going to the screening so they can go to the party afterwards; they actually want to see it.
In The Rover, your character Rey learns how to shoot. Are you comfortable using guns?
Not really, I’m not that big of a fan. I just think it’s weird people having guns, it’s kind of silly. [Laughs] I mean, I think people should just get rid of them altogether.
How do you feel about violence in films?
I’ve never really liked films that have reveled in violence. I just think it’s kind of gross. I don’t know – I don’t want to see somebody being tortured.
You star alongside Guy Pearce. Was it fun? Was he intimidating?
No – but he’s really strong so when you’re being thrown around, it actually hurts quite a lot. [Laughs] And he was in it the whole time.
He’s recognized as a good actor. Is that important to you when you work?
Yes, 100 per cent. I hear some actors saying they didn’t read reviews or care about it and I just think they are making it up. Everybody cares about whether people think it’s good.
Did you like shooting in the Australian Outback?
I loved it. It’s so strange and there’s nothing for miles and it’s peaceful.
Do you like loneliness and open spaces?
Yeah, I like open spaces. And also incredible stars as well.
Do you get to be alone as much as you want these days?
Yeah. Well, yeah, but not like that, where you are really alone.
Have you finished with blockbusters such as the Twilight Saga?
It’s [just a case of] waiting for the right director. Nothing has come up. That’s not saying I don’t want to do it, but blockbusters take a really long time to shoot as well so I think you have to really, really, really, want to do it. There’s a lot of pressure and you just don’t get that many interesting parts in big movies, especially for young guys. It’s just the same thing every time.
There’s a lot of comic book adaptations at the moment. Is there a character you’d like to play?
I was never really that into comic books when I was a kid so I don’t really have that connection. You also have to work out like tons. It’s just a big hassle. [Laughs]
Can you tell us anything about your new project with Olivier Assayas?
It’s a true story about a bunch of thieves who rob a shop in Chicago without realizing that it’s a front for the Mafia. It’s quite simple story but it’s so densely written and it follows the real story incredibly well. It’s incredibly realistic and real ensemble thing. It’s really cool; really, really cool.
Will that bring you back to Cannes?
Hopefully. It seems like a bit of a Cannes movie but it’s really brutal. But it does feel like a totally un-cliché gangster movie, which is totally difficult do to.
You sang on Twilight and also compose music. Will you release a record one day?
I want to make one, I just don’t know about releasing one. I don’t know, I can’t really deal with criticism very well and I’ve already got it coming from one angle. I don’t feel the need to get it from somewhere else.
“It’s annoying that people think, ‘Oh, is this the role where she’s going to show everyone how she’s grown?,’” Kristen Stewart told Indiewire last Friday in Cannes. “I’m not trying to show anyone anything.”
The actress was feeling a bit defensive following the world premiere of her latest post-”Twilight” indie, Olivier Assayas’ “Clouds of Sils Maria,” and you can’t blame her. Ever since shooting to worldwide fame after being cast as Bella Swan in the “Twilight” franchise, it’s arguable that no actress has received more attention — often for the wrong reasons — than Stewart.“I’m not trying to show anyone anything.”
Up until the first “Twilight” entry, Stewart had endeared herself to many with her bracing work in films such as David Fincher’s “Panic Room” and Sean Penn’s “Into the Wild.” As soon as “Twilight” hit the scene, turning her into a supernova overnight, she became better known for her romance with co-star Robert Pattinson than her craft. She kept busy working in between the five “Twilight” installments, appearing memorably alongside the late James Gandolfini in 2010′s “Welcome to the Ridleys,” and in 2012′s “On the Road,” which also premiered at Cannes. But it’s been her post-”Twilight” projects that have drawn the most attention to the actress — attention she’s trying her best to manage.
First came the Sundance prison drama “Camp X-Ray,” and now “Clouds of Sils Maria,” in which Stewart shares the screen with Juliette Binoche, playing her character’s overworked assistant. “Clouds of Sils Maria” was better received by critics, yet both were met with countless articles on how Stewart fared in the film, and whether her performance boded well for a long career ahead. (Just last week, Criticwire ran an article titled “Will Kristen Stewart Finally Get Her Due With ‘Clouds of Sils Maria’?”) Despite her many years the business, Stewart still finds herself having to prove that it’s her talent that got her to where she is today — not the twihards.
That struggle was evident during a roundtable interview Stewart did with select press at Cannes the afternoon following the competition screening of “Clouds.” No longer visibly press-shy as she was when promoting the first few “Twilight” films, Stewart took to the roundtable with a passion that was palpable in the way she articulated her candid responses to each question. It’s clear there’s some fight in her. Below are the highlights:
She doesn’t think of her projects as “products.”
“I am obsessed with ignoring the idea that we’re creating products. I really choose every single project I do based on the desire, and based on really just wanting to experience making that story happen.”
She’s using her celebrity as a tool.
“I just directed this music video with my friend, and it’s going to be made to be something that it’s not. It’s something I did in four days, it was a fun little story, and it’s going to get more attention than whatever it’s supposed to get. I think it’s just something to play on. If you can’t change it, then don’t be afraid of it — push harder!”
She loves blockbusters just as much as small indies — as long as they’re good.“It’s so possible to make a [big] movie that is meaningful and truthful.”
“It’s so possible to make a [big] movie that is meaningful and truthful, and putting it in a sort of heightened setting, to really take ideas that mean something to us but making them more effective by putting them in an odd world. Using conventions to make things hit harder.
“I also just like really like big movies. I’m American, I grew up on them. But I also want them to be really good. I think that that’s totally possible. When you’re not completely product obsessed, I think it’s possible.”
She’s doesn’t get too close for comfort with her assistants like Juliette Binoche’s character in the film.
“I have had an assistant. While we were making the ‘Twilight’ movies, I did a movie in between each of them, so I needed someone who I could ask things like, ‘Can you go help me buy some toilet paper?’
“I haven’t gotten as close. I have seen it though. It’s something that’s familiar to me. Actors become super isolated. Again, I’m not fucking complaining about it. But you have a very unique perspective on things because people don’t talk to you. They feel like they can’t come up and say, ‘Hi.’ Suddenly you’re incredibly lonely. So people hire friends for these jobs, and then the lines get blurred. They’re your co-worker, your employee, your associate, your friend, your mom sometimes.
“In the case of the film, what I think makes it interesting is you have these two women who are codependent and obsessed with each other in many ways. And they don’t fit into the normal categories of what we all know relationships to be. Our relationship should have a category. What the movie is about is having a very unique relationship in a very esoteric world, and having a really hard time gauging why it’s happening and how to deal with it. Knowing that it’s unhealthy and you should be getting those things elsewhere, and how that polarizes you and how at the exact time, it brings you so fucking close together.”
“I got this because of this film,” Stewart said after being asked about her new tattoo on her right forearm. “I gave Valentine [her character in the film] tattoos for the film, so I had transfers made. You don’t know anything about Valentine, it’s all about Maria [Binoche's character]. And that’s a huge aspect of the story, is that she never focuses on herself. They never talk about her life, ever. I wanted to show little indications of, ‘Who is that?’ Instead of just playing an assistant that was generic. She has interests, she’s going to places, you just don’t know where they are. And so I got so attached to this one that I got it.”
“This is part of ‘Guernica,’” she said of the tattoo itself. “It’s a Picasso painting that I saw when I was 18 and in Madrid. It fucking floored me and it’s the first time I responded to a piece of art like that. It is just perfect for me. I love what it makes me think of. It’s like ‘keep going, and keep the fucking light on.’”“Think anything about me, do NOT think that I don’t care.”
She’s doesn’t consider herself to be a “performance-y” actor.
“I’m just the type of actor, and there are different types, who’s not all performance-y. I know a lot of actors that fucking love it. Like right now they’d be captivating you. It goes against my grain. Those things don’t go together for me, which makes it hard sometimes.”
She feels she was misunderstood when she rose to fame.
“I’m not saying that anyone’s impression of me is wrong (that would be a silly thing to say), but initially I was deemed very ungrateful, like I didn’t care. It’s a thing. Think anything about me, do NOT think that I don’t care. It was because I was nervous and I was freaking out that everyone was fucking staring at me.”
She knows how to deal with her fame now.
“I totally have changed, just in the way that I can deal. It’s not like they were right, but they weren’t wrong. I don’t think I was conveying myself as easily. I was just totally overwhelmed. The impression just wasn’t as spot on. I’m a little older and I’m more experienced with it. It’s easier to talk to you guys about it. But initially, it was just kind of impossible. When you’re put on the spot and you can’t think — it was a ridiculous version of that. It blew up in my face. It’s hilarious that the perception is that I don’t care, because when that was happening, I was like, ‘Oh my god, no one cares more than me!’
She’s not in it for the fame.
“With some people you wonder why they’re still doing what they’re doing. What is driving you at this point? The job takes a toll, a thing I think the movie is about. You’re giving so much of yourself all the time. It’s not something in your genetics that you retain. It can really kind of destroy you, constantly thinking about what people think about you. People who want to be movie stars… it’s such bullshit. That type of life is a huge driving force in so many actor’s lives. But they wont be happy people at the end, ’cause they’re not doing anything for themselves. They’re always satisfying.”
She thinks actors are “weird.”
“If you don’t have anything to put in, you’re not going to give a lot out,” she said of her craft. “Go out and live your life and show us something that you’ve learned. I’ve worked a lot. It’s not like I’ve taken breaks. It’s not breaks that helps, it’s managing input and output. Most people live their lives happily. The impulse to make stuff is not in everyone. Most people who have that impulse are weird. They need to take care of themselves.”
Article (translation from @LeRPattzClub)
“Do you happen to know if Leos Carax is around? ” asks Robert Pattinson ingenously. ( White shirt and khaki moth eaten T shirt) when we mention Juliette Binoche and “Les amants du Pont Neuf”, one of his favourite book. We explain him that Monsieur Merde ‘s daddy is not a party goer at Cannes but it’s likely to come across him every morning, at the moment to eat a croissant and drink a coffee in a pub in the 10th arrondissement . “Wow , are you joking?”. Rob seems to be ready, immediately after we leave him, to jump in a High Speed train, to head to Gare de Lyon. A movie with Carax and Pattinson? Why not? Nothing seems to be forbidden for the British actor, who became a star with the Twilight saga, who was sucked the lifeblood out by the paparazzis since his relationship ( and breaking out) with Kristen Stewart, and today he’s wooed by the most prestigious directors in the world.Look by yourself : Lawrence of Arabia for Werner Herzog ( already shot) , explorer with James Gray ( to be shoot next year), gangster in Chicago in the 70s for Olivier Assayas and a role to be determined yet in Harmory Korine ‘s upcoming project… And of course, Two movies this year at Cannes film Festival : in the official competition with David Cronenberg ( but this time he’s the one to drive the limo) and at the Midnight screening in the beautiful The Rover from the australian David Michôd : “Honestly it was really what I was expecting. I’ve been working like crazy for 5 years and I’ve been trying to tie relationships with directors I admire”… The unfolding of the battle plan seems indeed irreprochable.“Robert is an extremely malleable actor, very smart, nice and easy to direct” adds Cronenberg. As for David Michôd, he was impressed by his ability to show initiatives ” He arrived at the screen tests with a precise idea of what would his character be . It was astonishing”. And don’t forget his friendliness and his singing sessions, in the evening , in the middle of the desert, around the fire – He strangely become shy when we ask him what kind of music he likes to play.By the end of the interview, he finishes the entire bottle of water ( a lot have apparently been drunk last night) and moves away towards a new destination ( Café des Arts, 80 street Belleville, Paris 10th arrondissement . But hush hush, we didn’t tell you anything)