If you’ve seen 2007’s Into the Wild, you know Kristen Stewart is much more than Bella Swan. In the scene where she duets with Emile Hirsch, Stewart is beautifully understated and vulnerable and is a perfect example of what the 20-year-old actress is truly capable of — if given great material to work with.
Kristen recently talked with Back Stage while promoting her new indie film Welcome to the Rileys. The actress offers a glimpse into what she did to prepare to play Mallory — a potty-mouth runaway stripper opposite James Gandolfini (The Sopranos) and Melissa Leo (Frozen River) — including speaking with real-life strip club workers, reading books on homeless teens and learning to pole dance.
“You really don’t see it in the movie,” she told Back Stage. “I had bruises all over my legs, all up the sides of my body. I think we did everything we could to do it right. For the girls who can relate to a movie like this, it’s so necessary. We would be such frauds if we didn’t do the proper work.”
In addition, Stewart reveals that she auditioned six times and fought to play Jodie Foster‘s daughter in 2002’s Panic Room.
“I really fought for that part,” she said. “They made every kid that came up really work their asses off for it; it wasn’t a quick thing. I had to read for David Fincher numerous times, and every time there would be notes. It was really intense.”
She also revealed how she learned how to carry herself as an actress from Foster during filming.
Stewart also reveals how she first landed Twilight after a meeting with the franchise film’s first director Catherine Hardwicke, who revealed that the clumsy Bella was a stretch for Stewart.
“She is intense and powerful and athletically gifted,” Hardwicke said. “Bella Swan is clumsy. Kristen had to be the most awkward volleyball player in Twilight, but in reality she’s a superstar.”
Perhaps the best part of the interview is when Stewart says that her success via Twilight has afforded her with “the gift of yes” when it comes to selecting projects — she’s careful to only select roles that “completely speak” to her — but doesn’t want to misuse it to play carbon copies of Bella.
“It would be easy for me to greenlight a movie where I play the main part if I play a fairly normal-looking, pretty girl,” she said. “There are a lot of those movies. But if I wanted to play, say, a transgendered prisoner [in in-the-works indie K-11], which I really want to do, that doesn’t hold the same weight.”
Will you watch KStew in anything she does?