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Interview with Kristen Stewart on ‘The Twilight Saga: Eclipse’

Kristen Stewart photo from The Twilight Saga: EclipseKristen Stewart as Bella in ‘The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.’

© Summit Entertainment
Bella’s really coming into her own in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, the third film of the Twilight franchise, and Kristen Stewart’s happy to have been on the journey with her. Eclipsefinds Bella still being hunted by the vengeful vampire, Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard), while at the same time she’s nearing the end of her own time as a human and preparing to join the Cullen family forever as a vampire. Bella’s also dealing with having to convince Jacob (Taylor Lautner), who’s still in love with her, that she’s meant to be with Edward (Robert Pattinson) no matter the cost.Directed by David Slade (30 Days of Night) and based on the book by Stephenie Meyer,Eclipse is darker in tone than the first two movies, with not only the love story but the action taking center stage. At the press conference in Los Angeles to promote the Summit Entertainment film, Stewart talked about Bella’s journey and working David Slade as director.

Kristen Stewart The Twilight Saga: EclipsePress Conference

In this film Bella has to make a decision. Do you feel like that’s one of the biggest challenges in the movies so far?Kristen Stewart: “Yeah. There’s definitely the conflict in that she’s pushed to the point where the decision needs to made in this one. She does that in each movie, and what’s cool is that things change and as certain as she is sometimes and as absolutely gung-ho and young and courageous and brave as she is, she’s also willing to take a step back and go, ‘Okay, I’m going to reconsider my options and reconsider how I’m treating everybody.’ She acknowledges that she’s being a little bit selfish.”

“She makes the choice. I feel like the choice has been made. As soon she sees him in the first one it’s done, but it’s hard for her to get to point where everyone is going to accept that. And this is the one that it sort of happens in.”

Was there one scene that was really challenging for you? Maybe the action?

Kristen Stewart: “The action is absolutely everybody else’s responsibility. I just stand behind the people who are stronger than me. I didn’t get to run around as much as I did in the second movie, so the action wasn’t difficult. I guess one of the most challenging scenes would probably be kissing Jacob for real, finally for the first time and seeing that there was a different road to go down that was desirable as well. She’s got such tunnel vision, that Edward is the only thing for her – that’s a strange perspective. Then I have to go in and talk to Edward about it and it’s such a different dynamic than we’ve ever had. It was a different Bella. I had never had to play somebody who would’ve done stuff like that, so that was hard. And I was nervous as hell.”

Because of the kiss?

Kristen Stewart: “Just because of that moment and how different that kiss is to all of the rest of them in that movie, and how different they have to be. It is the most unique moment. It’s also a mistake, and I always say that Bella makes a lot of mistakes and she’s willing to own them. I think it’s cool to see her a little bit ashamed and at the same time scared. I think it’s a cool.”

Some suggest that the success of these movies has to do with forbidden love, loving a vampire and it’s mix with traditional family values. What do you think?

Kristen Stewart: “Right. I think that if you took all the mythical aspects of the story, that it would still stand as a really strong and interesting thing to be a part of. I think the whole vampire and the whole werewolf thing are really good sort of plot devices. All of the aspects of the vampire and all the aspects of a werewolf are fully encompassed by the humans, by Jacob and Edward. If all of that was gone, they would still be the same people. I don’t think it’s a big phenomenon because of the vampire mythical aspect. It definitely takes a good story and it raises the stakes and it makes it a little bit more interesting, but I think it’s just about who the characters are and how easy it is to have faith in them and be sort of addicted to them. They let you down a lot and then pick themselves back up. I don’t think it has anything to do with the vampire thing. I think that just makes it a little cooler.”

Can you talk about working with David Slade? He shot a lot of close-ups. Was there anything you had to adjust in your style of acting to compliment his filmmaking?

Kristen Stewart: “No. We’ve worked with the same DP now for New Moon and Eclipse and I always ask him, ‘Hey, how close are you?’ That’s something that David does intentionally, not tell you stuff like that which I completely understand because most actors are crazy and neurotic and don’t want to know the camera is up their nose. I didn’t do anything differently though.”

“You have to change a little bit every time that you work with a new director, but it’s cool working with someone different on each one of those. As long as someone has the same passion for it, as long as they’re into it, you have to do all this work. You have to reconsider all the ideas that had you been working with the same person you might just say, ‘Oh, we’ve covered that. We don’t need to go over that.’ But in this case I have to introduce my character to David. He meets Bella through me. We’ve done something already and it’s cool to let a new person into the fold. It’s fun.”

Now that you’ve done three of these are there things you wish had made it into the movie from the book that didn’t?

Kristen Stewart: “Yeah, totally. There are a million things. I mean every single time we watch one of the movies, especially when the cast watches it together, it’s always an incredibly frustrating experience. That’s why I’m glad that Breaking Dawn is going to be two movies, which I can finally say. So there’s going to be less of that, less of having to lose stuff. I know you want specific things, but I’m trying to think of one now but I can’t.”

Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson photo from The Twilight Saga: EclipseKristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson in ‘The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.’

© Summit Entertainment
What are your favorite and least favorite character traits that Bella has?Kristen Stewart: “I really don’t have one that’s my least favorite because as much as she can be [difficult], all the things that sort of annoy me about her are the things that I like about her. She always comes around and realizes that she can be a little selfish, I think. She’s definitely not naggy but she tries so hard not to be sometimes. I think sometimes, ‘Why don’t you just let yourself be?’ I think she picks at herself too much, but I can relate to that. I always say my favorite things about her is that she screws up a lot and doesn’t care and is like, ‘This is the way that life is and I’m young and I’m going on with it.'”

In the film Bella has an awkward conversation about the birds and bees with her father. Was that something that you had to deal with in real life?

Kristen Stewart: “No. I knew everything from word go. I was really mature that way. No. I mean I guess I probably had that moment. I guess that everybody does. I never had the talk. I could never have the talk. I didn’t need it.”

Bella doesn’t believe in marriage. Do you?

Kristen Stewart: “Yeah, sure. Whatever you want to do. I’m not ready to get married but I have a pretty great family and I’d like that, too, someday. Sure.”

In the tent scene you have two gorgeous guys talking passionately about you. What was going through your head during that? Were you trying not to laugh or were you asleep, thinking about the next scene?

Kristen Stewart: “It was so hot in that sleeping bag, literally, and then the takes are so long. That scene is eternal and I have nothing really to do in it, especially when we shot it. We got close-ups on two guys and we do mine and it’s completely separate. They run the lines a little bit, but I was playing halfway between being asleep and hearing bits. I couldn’t get my head around hearing that conversation because she’s really not supposed to. David was like, ‘Let it slip in. Hear a little bit and then fall back asleep.’ As soon as I’d hear any of that I’d be like, ‘Bing! What?’ So, that was difficult. But I just remember it being hot and in terms of being between those two guys, I’m always between those two guys. I think it’s really funny that Taylor [Lautner] always has to take his shirt off.”

What designer would love to see design Bella’s wedding dress and if you could dream it up what would it look like?

Kristen Stewart: “Well, Stephenie [Meyer] is absolutely in charge of that. I’m sure she has really specific ideas. I haven’t really thought about it. But I feel like Bella would definitely want something like really classic and really simple, too, but beautiful. I have no idea in terms of designers.”

Would it be white?

Kristen Stewart: “Yeah, or like creamy. But definitely classic, what the idea is behind the whole wedding dress. She doesn’t want to get married and because it means so much to Edward and because he has such different sensibilities and such different values, I think because she’s going to go ahead and go through with it, she’s going to give him everything. I think it’s going to be like a really beautiful and monumental wedding because he wants that. Usually it’s the opposite. Usually the girl wants it. It’s cute.”

Are you the type who rushes headlong into something that you want or are you more deliberate about your choices?

Kristen Stewart: “I guess it depends on what I’m making a choice about. For work stuff, I do what I feel and I don’t really worry about what it’s going to do afterwards. In terms of the way that I answer questions, too, and stuff like that, I guess I would be one of those types of people. I’m kind of a control freak though, too. I get really freaked out if I don’t know what’s going on and what’s going to happen. So I guess I’m a bit of both.”

Are either of these two characters, Edward and Jacob, good choices in men? They’re both a little obsessive and possessive. Are they actually good fantasy choices that young girls should have in their heads?

Kristen Stewart: “I don’t know. People always wonder if we should be giving little girls ideas of meeting the perfect man. If so many people have taken to it, it’s not something that’s been shoved into their heads. Everyone has that ideal, and especially little girls have this idea in their head that there is something that could be perfect for them in the end and that they can be better than all the rest of the girls because they’ll have the perfect guy who will never screw them over. Our movie isn’t perfect. None of our characters are perfect at all. They’re all so completely crazy and messed up and that’s why they go well together.”

“Again, they don’t make excuses for their weirdness and they accept each other for who they are. On paper I’m sure that if you were a friend of Bella’s you’d be telling her, ‘Yo, you better check your boy because he ain’t treating you well,’ or whatever. And Jacob, too, because he’s a nutcase. I think if you’re really in love with someone, then it doesn’t matter because that’s such an overpowering feeling and you’re willing to make sacrifices – and that’s our whole story.”

Can you talk about any other upcoming projects that you have aside from these movies?

Kristen Stewart: “I’m playing Marylou in On The Road. It was my first favorite book and that character is iconic and Walter Salles is directing it. I’m a huge fan of his and I’m doing that right after this press is over. In July we start a four week beatnik boot camp. It’s a small movie, too and so four weeks of rehearsal is crazy cool.”

Taylor just commented earlier that he’d never want to be in Bella’s situation, like in the tent scene. Is that situation something you’ve faced in your real life?

Kristen Stewart: “It’s hard to actually take details from your personal life and apply them a scene because, as much as you can identify with a feeling, you just get muddled. As soon as you start bringing your own stuff in it, it’s like, ‘No, that’s not right.’ You’re playing a different person. You can relate, but you kind of have to leave that stuff at the door.”

“It was hard, like I said before, for the same reason that it was hard to kiss Jacob, because it was so against everything that she’s always been. To shoot the scene felt good because she’s always wanted Jacob and Edward to level with each other finally, and it’s funny that it takes place while she’s sleeping between them. It was fun for me to shoot. I didn’t have a lot to do but it was fun to do because I liked the scene so much. I liked what finally happened in the scene, but I wish it wasn’t as hot. I was literally in a beanie and I was just sweating.”

Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner photo from The Twilight Saga: EclipseKristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner in ‘The Twilight Saga: Eclipse.’

© Summit Entertainment

Kristen Stewart: “I mean if you’re a fan of the books obviously I don’t need to give you any clues or reasons why you should go see the movie, but for someone who isn’t I do feel that these movies do stand alone. There’s a lot of back story in each one of them and so you don’t need to see the other ones to understand this one.”

“In this case I think it’s just kind of a more mature look at the same dynamic. The love triangle is definitely at its height and it comes to a conclusion as well. It ends here, and that’s been building up over the whole series. Also it has been more action than the other movies just because of the story. We have different vampires and everyone is trying to kill Bella again, but it’s more people and they all battle and stuff. For nonTwilight fans it definitely is a more dynamic movie, I think.”

Are you at the point now with Rob Pattinson where when you’re doing a very passionate or dramatic scene that all of a sudden you just start laughing?

Kristen Stewart: “That really happens all the time, definitely. More so with me and Taylor because we have so much fun with this stuff because our intimate moments are so few and far between and weird, the way they happen in the book. We have a little bit more of that. Me and Rob are always so serious because we have those scenes.”

So who is the better kisser, Rob, Dakota Fanning or Taylor?

Kristen Stewart: “Dakota. I’m just going to have to say that because it’s easier.”

Some of the nicest scenes in all these films are the scenes between Bella and her father. What’s that like, working with Billy Burke?

Kristen Stewart: “I love working with Billy. He’s just very no BS and obviously as an actor that’s what you need. He’s really good at knowing if the scene works or doesn’t work. I think he really understands the dynamic, the Charlie/Bella thing. It’s not a normal father/daughter dynamic. They haven’t known each other very long. She just moved to Forks and literally has a few memories of him as a little kid. But I love the gradual trust thing that happens. He’s really good at that because he doesn’t force it and it’s never creepy, and a lot of times it gets weird when some guy is playing your dad. It feels weird to you. It feels like they’re forcing sentiment. It’s disgusting, and I never feel that with him. I think he’s great and I love him.”

We see Bella really mature in this film, especially choosing to be a vampire not just for Edward but for other reasons. Can you talk about Bella and how she’s maturing as a woman?

Kristen Stewart: “She’s definitely making decisions for herself and not just going along with what Edward is saying to do, which is something that people instantly latch onto, that she’s this weak and codependent girl that’s just in need all the time with this guy. That’s so not the case. I think if it were to be told from his perspective that he would be just as vulnerable and as needy as her. It’s told from her mind though, so obviously those things are going to be more inherent.”

“I think she’s definitely, like I say over and over, owning up to things that have gone down. They’ve been both good and bad. She can reap the benefits from the things that she’s dealt with in a good way, and also make the relationships in her life stronger based on the mistakes that she’s made. As soon as you sort of screw someone over and go back and say, ‘I admit that. Can we still be really cool? I’ve been really selfish.’ Everyone now in the family is looking at her differently, like, ‘Oh, maybe she does know what she wants. Maybe she’s not acting so immature and crazy.’ I’m glad that you felt that.”

You’re in the middle of this journey with Bella Swan. Do you worry that it’s taking over your persona? The Runaways was a great film but it wasn’t a hit like the Twilightmovies. How do you feel about your life and career versus Bella?

Kristen Stewart: “This is a really unique situation. I get to play her for a really long time and that’s also a serious indulgence and something that’s really lucky because I feel really sad when I lose a character at the end of a short shoot, which is typically six weeks on a small movie which is what I’m used to. I don’t see her as being this, or it’s definitely, obviously the one role that’s put me in this sort of epic position. But it’s just another movie, and I think it doesn’t matter if you’re doing a studio movie or you’re doing an independent movie, when you get to set and you’re doing a scene it’s always going to be the same job. I really don’t think about my career in terms of planning it out and what this does for me. This was a part that I just really wanted to play and luckily I got to do it for a really long time.”

What drives you to succeed?

Kristen Stewart: “Well, I think that success is always something completely different to people. I feel like I succeeded if I’m doing something that makes me happy and I’m not lying to anybody. I’m not doing that now so I feel really good about myself. I don’t know. That’s a tough one, what drives me to succeed. I really specifically love acting and I think it’s a really cool thing to be really indulgent and follow that. I have a lot of ambitions in life, but for the next few years I just want to be an actor. That’s a lucky opportunity and that drives me to want to be good at that.”

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June 25, 2010 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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