It's over. The Twilight franchise draws to a close with the release of Breaking Dawn Part 2 which means unless Stephenie Meyer changes her mind, we're saying goodbye to Bella, Edward, Jacob, and the assorted sparkling vampires and werewolves we've been visiting on the big screen since the release of Twilight back in 2008. And with the end of the series, the film's cast - including the series' leading lady, Kristen Stewart - are handling the press duties and talking about their characters and the Twilight world for the last time.
Stewart, who's never appeared comfortable during the Twilight press conferences until Breaking Dawn Part 1, seemed a little more at ease at the final LA press conference for Breaking Dawn Part 2 as she answered questions ranging from what item she took away from the set to what she'd buy Bella for Christmas.
Kristen Stewart Press Conference
What was it like to play both the human and vampire side of Bella sometimes on the same days during the shoot?
"I was really lucky to have played human Bella for so long. The best aspects of every vampire, all of their gifts, everything that makes them really special, is just an enhanced version of what they were when they were human. So, I really did get to play an incredibly well-rounded version of a vampire just because I actually got to take those steps for real. I think that if you were to take the fact that she becomes a vampire completely away, it is just a more realized version of who she’s been the entire time. I think it’s why it really touches so many people, too. It really does represent that stage of life where you’re full, pumping, bubbling over with something maybe you can’t put your finger on. If you're the type of person in this case, I’m not trying to make a huge thing about the girl thing, but she’s a girl who has faith in themselves enough to not ignore those feelings and find out why they’re there. People kind of think she’s nuts the entire time. 'Bella's always losing it; she’s making very odd decisions.' But they’re fully informed by feeling. Now, it all makes sense. She can stand up and go, 'I told you! It was worth it! We held on for a reason.' It’s really satisfying. It's a lot of fun. It’s also like breaking her in like a car. How fast does it go? It was fun."
Did you keep any props or parts of your costumes as a memento of the series?
"Yeah, the rings. The rings were really important to me. Her mother gives her a moon ring in the beginning. It fully and completely reminds me of Catherine Hardwicke, every time I look at it. I'm trying to think of anything else... Other than that, she’s not really into 'stuff'. There aren't a whole lot of props, so that was probably it. The rings - but those are really, really extremely important to me. I love those things."
When did you realize how big this series was going to be?
"It’s grown so much, even recently, so I don’t know if we ever really realized to the extent that it’s gotten to, but Comic-Con, for me, was the first time I was ever hit with a wave of human energy that was like, 'This is not a normal movie.' It felt like something that was so very much our own. That first dose of sharing it, that first dose of looking up and seeing that something that’s really affected you and moved you does the same things to other people was mind-blowing. It’s the coolest thing about the job, actually, because you have that on set with a director, an actor, anytime you like something you're going to like it more. After that it was like, 'Whoa, we're really going places.' It was really exciting. I was excited and incredibly overwhelmed, admittedly, but it is kind of the greatest part of the job is being able to share that."
Now that Bella is a vampire it looks like you finally got to do some kick-ass stunt work. Can you talk about that? How much did you like doing that kind of thing?
"I broke my thumb maybe like the first or second day of our really intense, action-y type stuff so that was really frustrating. But, it was fun. I think I got a little taste of it when we were in Italy. The physicality was so important then and it finally became important again. I don’t know. What can I say? I’d been on the sidelines for so long, just itching, going like, 'God, I think I could do that pretty well. I think I could do that pretty well. I think those contacts are going to look pretty cool.' I was bursting to do it, which I think is probably why I broke my thumb. I was a little overzealous."
Bella’s life is paused as an 18 year old and she's still so young. If you could pause your life at one moment in time, what age would you be?
"I’m not there yet so I'm not sure. I don’t know yet. I can’t wait to get to that point, but I don’t know. Somebody actually recently asked me that and I couldn’t answer them either, so I do apologize. It’s the most boring answer ever. It’s probably pretty telling that I haven’t gotten to that point yet."
How did Bella’s journey parallel with your own journey since you’re very similar in age?
"I don’t know. Without taking any of the truth out of this, it’s so sort of general. It’s about that period where you’re like, 'Wait, do I go with this or is that crazy?' I think that ultimately the answer for me is absolutely! You question yourself along the way, constantly, and I don’t think you should ever stop doing that necessarily. You should constantly question everything. Push harder. But I think it just gets a little easier. I don’t know. I definitely feel a little bit more realized. A lot more, actually. Maybe it’s just by chance that we happen to be the same age. It’s a tough one because she lives so many years in such a tiny little period of time, that's only because of the story so it’s kind of hard to put yourself there completely. But, I think I’ve grown up a little bit. I don't know."
What effect have these movies had on your career choices? Did it speed up what you've done?
"A question that I can’t answer is, 'What do you want to do next? What is your dream role? What are you really looking into? Where do you see yourself?' It doesn’t make any sense because that's like such an outsider’s perspective. You’re going, 'Why don’t people look at me like this?' Until you see it, what are you responding to? You’re responding to other people’s perspective of you, which is so weird, and why a lot of actors do what they do - and I don’t get that. I think things have fallen in my lap and I’ve gotten incredibly, insanely lucky to get the right feelings and meet people that share them. If I can keep doing that, I’ll be a happy girl. It’s always a pretty impulsive thing because you can read a fantastic script that's not necessarily...it might not be in you to do.
One thing that I don’t think I do is play characters. I find that as soon as you start claiming that you be someone that you’re not, you’re crazy. I think scripts can really surprise you. You go, 'Wow, I did not know that I would response to something like that. I did not know that I had that in me.' And so the process of making the movie is just finding that and digging a little deeper. I think that's why maybe I’ve played parts that are really similar to me because I’m young. I wanted to explore things that were more apparent to me. Now, I’m getting to the point where I want to dig a little deeper. You can shock yourself a little bit with this, and that’s what I would like to do."
Without giving anything specific away, what do you think when you saw the ending for the first time?
"I actually saw it a while ago and I wish I had a better way of saying this: it’s crazy. It’s so crazy! I saw it again recently and I just saw the final cut, and nope, it was a really good thing that no one was around. My favorite thing about Bill [Condon] is that he understood; he really put his finger on what drives this thing. He wasn't shying away from anything. Not to make it sound not sappy but this thing is romantic. It is what is attractive about it. It is so sort of stirring. I think if anyone was going to try to be cool about it, it just would have been a shame. I think that could have been so easy for so many people to do. Bill lent himself to it so fully, and I think you can see that at the end. You can tell that he’s a huge fan of the story and everything that’s been going down. It’s a nice little knife twist, as well. Like, 'Really? It's over?' I love that thing. I think it’s really great. I love Bill for doing that."
Playing a mom in this, how did that make you look differently at your own mom? What did that open up for you?
"I don’t know. I think that it might be something that you’re born with or not born with. Some people have really, really strong natural instincts and strong desires to be a mom. It was one of my favorite things about the story from day one, there was never enough about that in the script for me. Luckily, Stephenie [Meyer] has really been heavily involved in this last one, especially. She was on set every single day and it was something that we were really together about.
How has it changed me? I don't think it's changed much. It was one aspect of her that I was really most excited to play. It feeds into the vampires have slightly more animalistic natures - it was perfect for it. What better way to show that? I have a great relationship with my mom and she can be a bit feral when it comes to being a mom. I think that's kind of just what it is."
Are you ready to have your own kids?
"Dude. I can’t wait to be a mom, but I can wait."
"It’s nice to not be alone in that, I guess. But there are a lot of people that are exceedingly famous, and I guess we share the movies. Another really common question is, 'How is it going to be to walk away from this?' I genuinely feel like I don’t have to walk anywhere. That’s what I love about this job is that you hold these things. I wouldn’t have done it in the first place unless it was something that I was going to always carry, and I think they feel the same way. They tell me they do. In terms of having that one person that understands what it's like, they're are a lot of exceeding famous people and they all get it."
Are you glad it's over finally?
"I’m so happy that the story is told. You have no idea. Usually, you’ve got five weeks or five months to look at a schedule and go, 'That day is coming up. Now that day is coming up.' We had five years. The fact that this thing is out and it’s not weighing on us anymore, I’m super excited about that. But I don’t want it to sound like I’m excited just to be done with the experience because to be honest it’s such a particular tone. You do reshoots, conversations with past directors, it just falls right back into that. It’s a feeling and I will definitely miss that, but again I feel like it’s not going anywhere. Anytime something's brought up or you see someone... I mean, it is sad. It is strange, but it's normal. Things shouldn’t stay stagnant. You’ve got to move on."
Would you be open to doing another film that's a series?
"Yeah. It depends. It’s hard to sign on to something before you know what it’s going to be."
What if they wanted to sign you up for four or five films? Would you be open to that again?
"My guess is that probably not. But not because... I think it's just really rare to find something that lends itself to that. I would also probably want to know where it was going. I don’t know. I’ve never really been a huge fan of any comic book. As of now, probably not, but never say never."
With the holidays coming up, what would you give Bella?
"Oh, Bella, what do you want for Christmas, girl? I don’t know. What do I want to give her for Christmas? I don't know. She’s not that into stuff. In fact, she hates presents so I would mail her something."
Is there anything that Bella has done that you’d like to do?
"I would love to be able to run that fast. That would be fun. We were really able to get close to most experiences that she had. We always wanted to push it as far as we could. But then when I was standing on the treadmill, being drug behind a truck in the woods and I know that this isn't even going to make it in the movie because it’s fairly ridiculous... Honestly, that's one of my favorite parts of the entire series is that first hunt. Just going. I didn't really feel like I could go, so if I could do that..."
Would you like to live forever?
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