Stewart, 24, who became a fan favorite among young adults
alongside her then-boyfriend Robert Pattinson in the "Twilight"
films where she played a teen girl smitten with a vampire, has
turned to darker fare such as this year's Sundance film "Camp
X-Ray," where she plays a prison guard at Guantanamo Bay.
In her latest movie "Clouds of Sils Maria," which premiered at
the Cannes Film Festival, Stewart plays the personal assistant
of an aging actress dealing with the challenges of the film
industry's reaction to her getting older. The film also stars
Juliette Binoche and Chloe Grace Moretz.
In an interview with Reuters, the actress opened up about her
views on the fame game and dealing with perceptions.
Q: What drew you to "Clouds of Sils Maria"?
A: It happened to be the perfect project, timing-wise.
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 actress' assistant who then comments on that world
and how it works and how superficial it can be.
Q: Working with a European writer-director on this film,
was that a different mindset from working in America? Is there a
freedom that comes from working in Europe that you might not get
A: 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 want to say, not with any concern about how people are
going to react to it, whether you're going to piss them off.
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.
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 ... it can be
[to top of second column]
Q: Is it difficult to remain yourself knowing the industry is
pushing and pulling you this way and that, with the media often
giving you a hard time regardless of what you do?
A: I don't do what I do to ... control perception or make
people think a certain way about me. That would be traipsing all
over the experience of making any film.
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.
Q: Do you feel the pressure of needing to stay on top of the
A: I want to make movies one day, like absolutely I want to
direct movies. And I directed this music video (for indie band Sage
+ The Saints) 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 going to 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, yes,
that's not something to complain about. It's incredible that I can
do that. It's just kind of weird. It's different.
(Reporting by Mike Davidson for Reuters TV; Writing by Piya Sinha-Roy
in Los Angeles; Editing by Mary Milliken and Jan Paschal)
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