Kristen Stewart sizzles in Breaking Dawn and it was no easy feat, she told Movie Fanatic. Because director Bill Condon was filming two films at once, many days found Stewart getting inside Bella’s head as a newlywed, a newly-turned vampire and as a pregnant woman.
Stewart flew in to Los Angeles to talk about Breaking Dawn after taking a break from the London set of her latest film (don’t miss our first look at The Snow White and the Huntsman trailer). She has been playing Bella for years now and as the conclusion is near, the normally stoic actress -- we find -- is quite moved by the end of an era.
Movie Fanatic: Is there a piece of Bella that will stay with you forever?
Kristen Stewart: I’ve always felt like you really project yourself onto that character. I’m pretty wrapped up in her. If you’re the type of girl to identify with Bella then you’re just kind of on her. So it’s really hard for me. I genuinely had to justify every decision she made the whole way through. Sometimes your characters in films do things that you wouldn’t do. But for her, somehow I could not disagree with her ever and I didn’t. I think we’re pretty similar at times but then it’s hard to say.
Movie Fanatic: Since you shot Breaking Dawn non-linearly, was it difficult to play Bella at some very challenging moments in her life completely out of sequence?
Kristen Stewart: It really was everywhere within each day. Shooting two movies at the same time completely out of sequence, it wasn’t something that we initially were concerned about -- keeping sequences intact scheduling-wise. I think what that gave me is that she’s always looking into the future and thinking about what she’s going to achieve. In this movie she does get everything that she wants. She’s very much in her own head. Basically, what I’m saying is being able to play a vampire, a human, a woman who’s pregnant, a woman who’s about to get married, literally, sometimes within the same day -- or sometime in the same week, everything felt more important and more relevant to me. Everything felt very close. So I think if we did it more systematically it just wouldn’t have been the same. Everything was happening all at once and it was so overwhelming that it was good. It gives you that energy every day.
Movie Fanatic: Walking down the aisle in the wedding scene, what was on your mind? Was it firmly in the scene, or did you begin to realize this is the beginning of the end?
Kristen Stewart: I had a million different things going through my head and what I kept telling myself was, “Stop, stop, stop. Like just do it. Actually have this experience because you’re just about to ruin it.” I think I was so in the right place to do it that I needed to just put the dress on and go and stand there and walk and see everyone. I know the story so well. The most common question for actors is “How do you remember all your lines?” It’s literally the last thing I think about. If you know the story so well, they just come out. If someone asks you, provokes you in the right way, that’s like what it is. So I just kept telling myself, “Just find yourself in this moment and appreciate it or else you’re going to look back and go, gosh, why didn’t I just take that ride? Like just do it.”
Movie Fanatic: How does playing the literary based Bella compare to the fairy tale of Snow White in Snow White and the Huntsman?
Kristen Stewart: I guess a million comparisons could be drawn but the one thing that sticks out in my mind is they really both are, in different ways, matriarchs, very strong, strong matriarchs, that need to find that position. And you see the whole process. But it’s so different. And them both being icons, it’s funny. I didn’t grow up on fairy tales. I know everyone says, “Have you seen this thing? It’s so cool. We’ve all grown up with this story. It’s a retelling.” And I’m like, “Not really, I didn’t.” I also didn’t grow up with Twilight. So for me, these things are sort of being put on these characters. Right as I think, “Wow, this is important,” everyone goes, “That’s important.” It’s like, “Okay, cool.” I’ve gotten really lucky on that one. I didn’t know that going in to either of these. I mean I know Snow White, obviously more so than Twilight, was expected to be more important to people because they know it.
Movie Fanatic: Outside of Twilight, what types of films are you attracted to?
Kristen Stewart: Movies that I’ve done between the Twilight films, I’ve just been really lucky. They’ve been very different, not because I’ve meant them to be, literally because the things that I was drawn to happen to be different from the Twilight thing. It’s really hard for me to answer questions like that because right now is the first time in a long time that I haven’t worked or haven’t known what I was going to be doing. And I don’t want to rush it because I want some time off to figure out what I’m interested in, like what my interests are. Not to say that I’m just going, going, going all the time, not at all, it’s just that I do want a little time to really figure out what I really, really, really want to do.
Movie Fanatic: What is your take on the fact that the teenage Bella gets pregnant in Breaking Dawn?
Kristen Stewart: It’s funny, it’s such a far-fetched story and all, but it’s really not if you just compare it to somebody who’s my age and not in agreement with people that think they’re making the wrong decision. That’s such a common position to be in. Of course, this movie does have every milestone, well not every, but it crams a lot of milestones into one movie. It was almost like within this series it doesn’t last for a very long period of time but it was a much more full experience than you really would ever get to have with something about a girl that age, because of her unique situation. I really did get to live like 10 to 15 years in those four to five, because everything is so important obviously and speeded everything up which makes everything, especially questions like these, very unreal. Basically, yes, I had all of those experiences. I definitely looked down [at the baby bump] and figured “Geez.” And also, my favorite image, every single time I think about this installment, I just think about a cat in the corner, claws out, belly swollen, like, “Stay away from me.” It’s so cool and I could really identify with that.
Movie Fanatic: You inspire a lot of your fans. Can you process how you have inspired a lot of women through your portrayal of an icon of theirs in Bella?
Kristen Stewart: It’s hard, I hate when people say, “What advice do you want to give your fans?” I don’t even know how to explain this. People that I look up to, you find people in life that are common to you. It’s like, “Yeah, I’m like you.” Everyone chooses differently. It’s just weird to think, “So, why are you better?” I’m literally being sane, which is why it’s so cool. I thank them too. The same reason they like me, I’m sure I like them. It’s common, common ground. Because I’m placed on this pedestal, it looks like, “Oh, it’s so incredible for you that way.” It’s not really because it’s so weird. Trust me. I’m like, “Come on up, you’ll see.” There’s really no difference.
Movie Fanatic: How has your friendship with Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner helped you guys get through the mayhem that is being part of the Twilight franchise?
Kristen Stewart: I can’t imagine what this movie would have been if I didn’t have really, really solid and growing relationships with them. Also, a common question is “So, are you guys a big family? Do you always talk to each other?” Yeah, but it’s more like the idea that when I don’t see Taylor for a while, suddenly I go, “Agh.” And I take my phone out. It’s not like I see him all the time or every day. It’s just that when you work with people like that, you can give so much, you’re so comfortable and you can do no wrong, and so they’ve got you. I think we all just got along, and it shows.
Movie Fanatic: So, we’ve already established that the wedding scene was pivotal. What do you make of Rob’s assertion that it was a real priest and you and he are in fact married?
Kristen Stewart: [Laughs] Honestly, that’s the first I’d heard of that. He (the priest) couldn’t even remember the vows. I think he was nervous. He was great. It’s just that he kept saying our names as well. And I think he also called me Bella Elizabeth, or something, but he definitely messed up my middle name. Basically that’s a funny story to come out of all of this because that wasn’t my memory of it. And was he even necessarily a real ordained minister? I’d like to find out [laughs].
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