Kristen Stewart approves of being interviewed about her role in Snow White and the Huntsman at England’s Arundel Castle. The building, parts of which are 1000 years old, looks straight out of a fairytale.
”It makes so much more sense to be at a real castle and not sitting at a Beverly Hills hotel,” she says.
The 22-year-old Twilight star has asked if we can sit outside, so she can get some fresh air in the middle of a long day of interviews. As we chat about her role as Snow White – the fairytale character known for her pale beauty and, according to the Disney version at least, winning ways – a bee buzzes past and Stewart jumps out of her seat in fright.
”So much for my ‘Snow White’ effect,” she says. ”Not even the bees like me.”
Hollywood has no such problem and has embraced the poised young star since her breakthrough as Jodie Foster’s daughter in the 2002 thriller Panic Room.
After a string of roles in films including Cold Creek Manor, Zathura, Fierce People and Into the Wild, Stewart catapulted to stardom in 2008 as Bella Swan, the teenager who falls in love with a vampire in the wildly successful film adaptations of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight novels. The fifth and final Twilight film will be released this year.
As Snow White, Stewart is inhabiting another iconic literary role, but Snow White and the Huntsman takes a fresh look at the German fairytale told by the Brothers Grimm. In the film, Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron) sends a huntsman (Chris Hemsworth) to bring Snow White back after she escapes the castle and hides in the enchanted forest. But he changes his mind after meeting her and instead tries to help her win back her kingdom.
”Times have changed and so have fairytales,” Stewart says. ”Snow White is essentially a matriarch and a caretaker in the original story but it was really important to me that she was an action star, too. Not a girl doing an imitation of a dude,” she adds firmly, ”but a strong woman who kicks arse.”
Stewart says her biggest challenge during filming had four legs. ‘‘I was nine when I got thrown from a horse and broke and dislocated my elbow, so that was a hurdle on this film for sure,” she says.
”Not until the last minute did I know if I could actually get on a horse again and that deeply terrified look you’ll see in my performance is not acting.”
Aussie actor Hemsworth – best known for his roles in Thor and The Avengers – is full of praise for his co-star. ”She had such a strong opinion of where she wanted to take the character and who the character was, so she set the tone, led the charge and made it easy to follow behind.”
The fiercely private actress – who has reportedly been dating Twilight co-star Robert Pattinson for three years but has never confirmed the relationship publicly – is surprisingly unaffected by living in the spotlight.
”A lot of people make movies to become famous and rich and it sounds totally trite but I do it because I love it,” she says. ”Right now, the most interesting thing about me is the fact that I’ve done Snow White and it’s coming out next week. ”Things get so muddled and unreasonable when you start becoming a commodity, so I’d just rather not do that.”