LOS ANGELES – Kristen Stewart, in a short, bright-colored dress, was a welcome sight in the centuries-old Arundel Castle in West Sussex, UK. She did a few cool dance moves before sitting down for this recent interview.
We thought that was a good sign—the usually shy actress shimmying, looking very modern in orange and blue, inside a castle that was founded in 1067 and rebuilt between the 1870s and 1890s. In our previous interview with Kristen, she had indeed appeared confident.
But we would see soon enough that Kristen was back to being shy. Maybe it was because the grand, massive interiors didn’t exactly invite cozy, assured talk. The setting was in keeping with the movie she was promoting—“Snow White and the Huntsman,” the directorial debut of Rupert Sanders. In this second movie to be released about that fairy tale this year, Rupert benefits from the casting of Kristen and Chris Hemsworth in the title roles, and Charlize Theron as Queen Ravenna.
The interview did not lack for some amusing moments. The famous phrase in the Snow White tale, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all,” prompted questions about Kristen’s “relationship with the mirror.”
“I feel good when I look in the mirror,” she said in mock seriousness.
Beauty routine? “I do wash my face,” she deadpanned. Her secret? “I use Proactiv,” she quipped in a TV commercial voice and tone. “It keeps my skin so clean. It helped my skin so much when I was growing up. If you ever have acne, young lady, buy some Proactiv.”
In separate interviews, both Charlize and Chris told us that what struck them most about Kristen was her pure, obvious love for acting.
“I started wanting to act in movies because I wanted a job on a set,” explained Kristen, whose mom is a script supervisor. Her dad is a TV producer.
She added: “My parents did it and I thought it was cool. It was so cool that I was getting to talk in rehearsal with the director and the other actors. I was observing for a long time even though I was really young. Suddenly, I was part of it. I was reveling in that, having a good time and not thinking about it too much. A few projects changed my mind about it.” She became a full-fledged actress.
Kristen aims to be a director someday but, for now, she’s happy and content being an actress. “I want to make movies, for sure,” she admitted. “I haven’t found the story I want to tell. I love being an actor so much right now. It’s such a loaded period for me.”
She’s very grateful that a certain franchise has given her some clout to green-light projects, although she was careful not to come across as “arrogant” in her influence. “There are a few things that I’m very inclined to see happen. The ‘Twilight’ movies put me in this position where we can make things happen. Like I’m doing this movie called ‘Cali’ and it’s about the Valley. I am from there. I’m working with Nick Cassavetes and I’m so excited about that. I don’t want to sound arrogant right now, but to make something happen is really awesome and cool.”
It was not too long ago that a very young Kristen was winning praise for holding her own, amid the presence of Jodie Foster, who played her mom in David Fincher’s “Panic Room.”
“Jodie was like a crew member,” she recalled. “It was great to have that as my first example of a big movie star, because I’ve definitely worked with a few who don’t behave like that.”
Our unusual setting, away from the usual hotel interview venues in LA, elicited a question about where she would like to hie off to. “I have gone to a lot of places but I have not done a whole lot in those places,” she replied. “That’s a typical story for actors who do a lot of press junkets. We’re going to Madrid on a press tour. I’m really excited about it for whatever reason. I had such good time the first time I was there. I didn’t sleep when I was there for the first ‘Twilight’ tour. I’m so excited to go back to Madrid.”
Any other place? “Egypt,” came the quick answer.
E-mail the columnist at [email protected] Follow him at http://twitter.com/nepalesruben.