Kristen Stewart's been acting in feature films for a decade, but her starring role in Twilight is easily the biggest role of her career thus far. Stewart plays Bella Swan, a high school student and recent transplant from sunny Phoenix to the perpetually rainy Pacific Northwest. After relocating to Washington to live with her single dad, Bella finds herself drawn to Edward Cullen (played by Robert Pattinson), an extraordinarily handsome 17 year old with cold, white skin and eyes that change color. As Bella soon discovers, those aren't the only traits that set Edward and his siblings apart from the rest of the high school students... Edward and his brothers and sisters are vampires who live by different rules than the rest of their kind, the most important difference being they don't feed on humans.
Stewart and her onscreen love interest, Pattinson, took their roles in Twilight very seriously. Both young actors were determined to not just make another teen movie, but one that fully represented the world Stephenie Meyer created in the Twilight series of books.
Interview with Kristen StewartIs it true that Rob Pattinson proposed marriage to you?
Kristen Stewart: "Yeah. I mean, I don't know how serious he was, but yes."
How did that happen?
Kristen Stewart: "It just did. We spent a lot of time together, a lot of like really heightened time. We were tired a lot of the time."
You've already been out with the fans at the different premieres. How have the encounters been so far?
Kristen Stewart: "Entirely positive, but entirely overwhelming. It's sort of like I only have to deal with the fans when I go out to do those events and I just have to stand there for a minute and hope that I can keep a smile on my face, and hope that I don't run off at the mouth and say something stupid that they'll put me on a cross for. It's fine. It's good that they can be so passionate about something. I mean, I care about the book just as much as they do."
Have you been approached out in public, either at the airport or at a restaurant?
Kristen Stewart: "No. Really, no. Once or twice just like a very sort of quiet and polite girl will come up to me and say, 'Are you, because all of my friends are telling me that I'm stupid and crazy?' I say, 'Yeah.' And she's like [excited]."
Is there a sense of responsibility to what the book is and what the fans want when you're doing a movie like this and does that affect your performance?
Kristen Stewart: "I felt such a responsibility to the story first and to the character. If you don't get to play the part that really compels you, then they might die right on the page and no one gets to experience them as you have - and that was much stronger than my ideas about the fans. I didn't really know about the fans when I was making the movie. I had tunnel vision and I wasn't paying attention to that. And Summit, our studio, would always be elated on their set visits and everyone was in this celebratory mode this whole time. It was like, 'We haven't even made a movie yet. Have you even looked at dailies? Do you even know what this movie looks like yet?'"
"I also think that if you took into consideration everyone's idea of the character, considering that they project themselves onto it, I mean she's not distinct and you don't read her as like, 'Oh, wow. That's a character that I can really sink my teeth into.' She's the vessel in which you experience the story, through her. So you put yourself in that position and so I'm never going to satisfy everyone. I'd be playing the most disjointed character. It's really a self-conscious role. It's entirely Kristen in the situation. I didn't have a really distinct character to play. It's just this girl caught up in an extravagant situation."
In the book she's a much more passive character in that you experience Edward's story through her. And yet in the film it can't be that way because she's there and has to be living it.
Kristen Stewart: "Right. I can't think about that though because then it's very vain and you're thinking, 'Well, I hope that people like me as this character.' It doesn't matter as long as you're staying true to the story."
Was there a lot of internal debate with you about signing onto a film that could be a franchise?
Kristen Stewart: "I was ready to follow it for as long it decided to go. I would love to do the second, third and fourth. Again, it was that initial responsibility. I can only do a movie if I feel entirely compelled to it or else in every frame I'm just going to look confused."
So there wasn't any hesitation on joining a franchise and possibly being identified with this character for a while?
Kristen Stewart: "No. If this movie flops or if does fantastically I'm still going to be able to do This movie is either going to make it easier for me to keep doing the things that I've been doing for almost 10 years or it's going to drop me right on my ass and I'm going to keep doing the same thing that I've been doing, which are tiny little independent movies that no one sees. So, no. I just came off of a movie where I play a homeless kid, like a really damaged and really broken little kid and she looks nothing like Bella. In fact, she's a stripper. So I'm not worried about it and I never really was."
Can you talk about working with Catherine Hardwicke and what that process was like?
Kristen Stewart: "Catherine, she's actually quite hard to sum up. She's really eccentric. When you first meet her you're like, 'Wow, you're crazy.' I mean, I love this woman. There's something about her. It's hard, too, because this stuff is going to be written down and maybe it'll be taken in a different way, but she's childlike in a way where she has this understanding of fundamental emotion. She doesn't over complicate things. She takes them for what they are. You might be like, 'Wow, you're just a simpleton. You don't understand.' But it's not that. She's gone through and has cancelled it out. It doesn't matter, and she's gone back to the basics. She doesn't lack enthusiasm. She works twenty four/seven and is right there with you all the time."