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"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, 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."
She got a tattoo after making "Clouds of Sils Maria."
"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."
Franchise actors these days often will tackle the small and the quirky in an attempt to get us to see them differently, or just to shake things up.
Few have done that lately with the diligence of Kristen Stewart. As the “Twilight” series began to wind down several years ago, Stewart began using her leverage to try on all sorts of on-screen guises, including the teenage Marylou in Walter Salles' adaptation of “On the Road,” a tough-minded soldier in the military drama “Camp X-Ray” and, as of its Cannes premiere a few days ago, a personal assistant to a famous actress in “Sils Maria,” a drama about the performing life from the French polymath Olivier Assayas.
According to the director, at least, it is a role that will change radically the actress' public standing. “I think people will have a completely different notion of Kristen after this movie,” Assayas said in an interview. “They'll see all the places she can go."
The dialogue-heavy “Sils Maria” (the name comes from the Alps town where much of the action takes place) centers on an aging Euro-actress queen Maria (Juliette Binoche), her assistant Val (Stewart) and their interactions during a turbulent time in Maria’s life, as she loses someone close to her and also is preparing to star in the revival of a stage version of a film that made her career.
This time, though, she’s playing (somewhat hesitantly but at the behest of Val) the piece’s elder role. The younger part will be inhabited by Jo-Ann (Chloe Grace Moretz), an outspoken Hollywood up-and-comer whose franchise parts have given her an outsized popularity and tabloid celebrity.
Ironically for one of the most famous Hollywood faces on the planet, Stewart appears here as one of the few personalities who isn’t a celebrity. Ostensibly a simple assistant, Val nonetheless takes on a much bigger part in her boss’ life, advising and accompanying her on trips and forming a dynamic that is both intimate and occasionally disturbing, particularly as the two retire to a villa in Sils Maria to figure out Maria's next step.
Stewart actually was given the choice by Assayas to play Jo-Ann, in what would have been a sly, if somewhat gimmicky, riff on her own career. But she turned it down, a decision the director hails as one of several bold choices Stewart has made.
“To me it shows how brilliant Kristen is,” Assayas said. “It shows how she understands the need to eradicate any confusion between her public persona and the characters she plays.”
Still, it wouldn’t be an overreach to read Val as channeling some of Stewart’s own story, very much at the center of the action but still often seen as a handmaiden to the more serious actors around her. (That’s at times rendered literally true here, as Binoche maintains her usual larger-than-life presence.)
Assayas initially believed he would have a hard time persuading Stewart to star in the film. “I really thought she wouldn’t do it, that it would be too scary for her. (He also allowed her to have some fun with her off-screen fame, giving Val a line in which she wonders why so many modern movies must contain werewolves.)
The English-language film, which IFC will release later this year, is part of a personal quest for Assayas, who created it as a response to a challenge from Binoche (with whom he collaborated on the 2008 family drama “Summer Hours”) to write layered female characters. He did Binoche one better, making a movie that he thought captured some of her own dilemmas.
“I wanted to write a part based on the person Juliette and not the movie star Juliette,” he said. It is not, it should be said, the first time he’s deployed an actress with full knowledge of how we perceive her. He attempted a similar experiment with Maggie Cheung in his early-career “Irma Vep”; the Hong Kong actress played herself in a fictional story about her arrival in Europe to shoot a remake of a silent-film classic.
Assayas also has the movie industry on his mind here — specifically, modern Hollywood and the crucibles of young talent — via the Jo-Ann character (Moretz, prodigious and mouthy, as is her wont). Jo-Ann takes no guff from the tabloid media, even though her outbursts, entertaining and independent-minded as they are, could be seen as one more sign of a media-entertainment complex that has gone off the rails.
The director said these ideas grew out of his observations of modern actors in general, who increasingly need to survive on several planes, including “that third circle, the Internet, a place that isn’t your life and you really just exist as an avatar.”
That doppelganger effect probably isn’t going away for Stewart anytime soon. But with each post-“Twilight” role, things for her seem to become a little less about the tabloids and a little more about the work.
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From 'Les Inrockuptibles' (France)
"I'm shattered... but in a good way. I've arrived yesterday at the last minute from a shooting in New Orleans, and I'm leaving right after."
"Since I was 10, I consecrate myself to cinema and suddenly I find myself here among the elite.. I mean, wow."
"I am not used to revel, but here I want to turn around and say 'that's it, fuck, I did it'."
HQ portrait kstewartfans H/Quotes Source via @Gossipgyal Translation thank you.
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
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.”
Monday, May 26, 2014
Via @RandomJime FierceBitchStew thank you.
Watch more of Kristen's interview in these clips HERE
Transcript/Article of above link:
The star of "Twilight" Kristen Stewart was in Cannes on Friday (May 23) for the screening of Palme d'Or contender "Clouds of Sils Maria" and in an interview with Reuters Television on Saturday (May 24) she opened up about her views on money, fame and the Hollywood lifestyle.
In her latest movie, which also stars Cannes regular Juliette Binoche and "Kick-Ass" actress Chloe Grace Moretz, Stewart plays the personal assistant of Binoche's character Maria Enders who is an actress having problems with growing old and how the film industry reacts to her aging.
In light of her worldwide fame after starring in "Twilight" Stewart found it particularly interesting to play a role that had her commenting on Hollywood from an outsider's perspective. "It happened to be the perfect project timing wise. Just coincidentally I think the fact, you know, just my experience with my career how it's gone, you know, "Twilight" blew up, I'm extremely famous, it's interesting for me to play an actresses' assistant who then comments on that world, and how it works and how superficial it can be," said the 24 year-old.
Stewart's own frustrations with certain aspects of the Hollywood lifestyle were apparent when she revealed her view that moviemaking has become a "product oriented business" focused on making money which can have a negative effect on the overall quality of a film. "It could be so easy to be enticed by people kind of wanting to step in and tell you how to do things and, 'Ooh, you should do this'. And people wanna make...especially in the States it's about money. People make movies. It's turned into such a product oriented business that it kinda sucks because if we're gonna make...the work that we make will not be as good because we're always concerned about the end result rather than being motivated by the desire to do it."
Stewart praised Cannes' less market oriented focus and expressed her belief that there can sometimes be more freedom in moviemaking in Europe. "It's not absent in the States, but it's not prevalent to feel free within the film industry, to feel like you can say what you wanna say not with any concern about like how people are gonna react to it, whether you're gonna piss them off or whether you're gonna move...you're trying to move yourself. If you're moved, then other people will be moved. So, here, it seems like people are less afraid because again they're doing it for themselves. It's for the art of it, it's not to market things. It's just...it's a good feeling."
It seems clear from her words that Stewart values the artistic quality of filmmaking and ultimately has a high regard for the importance of movies and the great variety of messages they can put across to the viewer.
"You know, to make a movie is so ridiculous. We're going to go film each other pretending to be other people so other people can watch us pretending to be other people? It's insane. But if it's worth it and it's saying something like it can be...it can be transcendentally important." Although Stewart has made a significant range of movies since "Twilight", including the drama "Camp X-Ray" (2014) and "Welcome to the Rileys" (2010) in which she starred opposite James Gandolfini as a 16 year-old stripper, the actress will mostly be associated with her part in the vampire movies as Bella Swan. But she insists she is not making such a diverse range of films to change people's views of her.
"I don't do what I do to sort of like control perception or make people think a certain way about me. That would be traipsing all over the experience of making any film," she said. Stewart then went on to say she could not understand how actors can navigate a career simply doing it for other people. "It's just so ass-backwards to me. I don't know how people do that. I don't know how people tactfully traverse their careers. I don't know how they choose, 'Well, this is a different side of me people have not seen and so I will present that to them now'. It's like why are you doing this for other people? You should be doing it for yourself. And so I've functioned from that position since I started and therefore I really don't care about all that."
During her interview with Reuters Television Stewart also revealed she has ambitions outside of acting and has directed a small music video, but she is very aware that any creative project she is involved in, no matter how small it is, will entail a strong degree of critical scrutiny because of her worldwide status.
"I wanna make movies one day, like absolutely I wanna direct movies and I directed this music video and I was like it's just this dinky little thing and it's fun and I'm so happy to do it but it's gonna be a big deal no matter what. Even if I shoot it on a Polaroid camera people will be like, 'What did she do? Let's take a look'. It's like how about you give me a second to figure it out? So, yeah, that's not something to complain about. It's incredible that I can do that. It's just kind of weird. It's different," said the actress.
"Clouds of Sils Maria" failed to grab the Palme d'Or at Cannes' closing ceremony on Saturday (May 24) as the award went to "Winter Sleep", which was directed by Turkish filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan. Stewart's next projects include the Tim Blake Nelson movie "Anesthesia" and she will also be co-starring with Cannes' Best Actress award winner Julianne Moore in "Still Alice" which is currently due to be released in 2015.
Sunday, May 25, 2014
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