Twenty-year-old Kristen Stewart has been acting since the age of nine, but it wasn’t until she landed the role of Bella Swan in the Twilight series that she became a mega star – a status she’s not entirely comfortable with. Known for being moody and awkward in interviews, and sparing with the smiles, Kristen hasn’t always had a great relationship with the press. Coupled with her dislike for lying, she’s struggled to show the side her fellow cast members have grown to love. But as she waves goodbye to her teens, she tells us she’s way more confident. And, while she doesn’t like dumb questions (or queries about dating Robert Pattinson), we discover she’s a bright, sparky talker and feel lucky to pin her down for a refreshingly laid-back chat about life in the spotlight…
So, this vampire thing runs in the family. We hear your mum’s a fan…
Are you kidding me? She loves vampires. She was a history major at school and really got into Vlad The Impaler, the man behind the myth. But yeah, she loves vampires and pirates. She’s into really cool stuff.
Was it difficult being an actress when you were still at school?
I was happy to leave school at 14 and study on set, because it took a load of work off my shoulders. The fame and the pressure was taken off because they had been failing me in school. I was never the type of girl to walk around talking about being an actress, so I didn’t get a whole lot of sh*t until someone found out. I was playing it down, but I definitely got, ‘Oh, she’s such a b****!’ I was like, ‘You’ve never spoken to me, but you think I’m a b****? Great.’
So you didn’t feel as though you missed out, socially?
I so haven’t missed out. I’ve met hundreds of people. It’s like a hierarchy at school and I was really glad not to be a part of that. It’s weird, though, because once you’re done with school you realise it’s just a smaller version of life. That said, I am still glad I didn’t go.
Is it true you get on better with men than women?
I just don’t know many girls my age. When I was at school I couldn’t relate to kids my own age. They were mean. You can’t generalize about people because I’m sure some of those kids were brave, but they don’t give you any chance.
Your parents work in show business (mum Jules Mann-Stewart is a script writer, and dad, John Stewart a producer), so were you destined to do this?
I don’t know. It was very arbitrary, the decision of becoming an actor. I was so young. I was nine when I first started auditioning for movies, so it was like, ‘Do you want to be an actor?’ I just thought I might be good at it. I grew up on a movie set and I thought ‘Yeah, I could do that better than most people,’ I guess.
But you don’t seem to like being a celebrity, or being interviewed…
I used to hate the interview process, but I’m getting better at it, now I’m more comfortable with myself. And just because I’m an actor, I don’t see why I should talk about my personal life. I had media training when I started Twilight, but I’d already been doing this for eight years, so I was like ‘Do you think you are going to wrap up all my insecurities and throw them out the window? Do you think you are going to put sound bites in my mouth? Not going to happen.’
Are there things you’d love to do but can’t now?
Sometimes I have friends who say, ‘Hey, want to come to a restaurant today?’ I’m like, ‘Do you want to go to someone’s house? It would be so much more fun.’ So it would be nice to be able go out a bit more, not even out to a club, just out in public. It is weird never to be just some girl.
Because everybody thinks they know you?
Everybody knows me, so I can never be just a new person to someone. I can never just walk in and say, ‘Hey, nice to meet you. I am just some girl. You have no idea who I am.’ I am always introduced to people with them having an impression of me. It is so weird. I am so aware of it, it probably changes me.
But there must be some perks of the job, right?
The biggest one is that I am in a position to make choices as an actor. That is so rare. The lucky ones get to carve out a path, and it is really indulgent working with good people. As soon as you become someone who people know, you just get offers. With Twilight, we all really got lucky. Because of it I could make Welcome To The Rileys and everyone would be like, ‘Let’s go see the Twilight girl in a stripper movie!’
What do you do to relax?
Not a lot. I read, I see friends. Plus, I have a cat called Max, and I really like him. It’s frustrating when you travel, though, and especially because my cat is insane. He’s like the antichrist even when sedated. He sits in a carrier under the seat in front of me on a plane, but it’s really not cool to have him in the cabin because he screams and rips his claws out.
Edward or Jacob – who’d you pick?
Well, I have to get behind Bella’s choice. I back her up. I think what’s so cool about her story is, despite everything Jacob can offer her, which would be easier, she and Edward just love each other.
Edward is desperate to marry Bella in Eclipse. What are your thoughts on getting married at a young age?
I don’t want to get married right now. But some people want to get married, whatever. I don’t think about it a whole lot, to be honest.
In Breaking Dawn, there’s a big wedding scene. Are you looking forward to that?
It’s such a big moment in the story and in Bella’s life that I’m excited about it, but I’m not the type who grew up planning her own wedding. When it happens on film, it will be beautiful and epic.
Apparently Rob’s a bit of a joker between takes…
Yeah, if he doesn’t have anything that’s difficult for him to do in a scene, he’ll do that. But as soon as I start saying something when he’s freaking out about something coming up, then it doesn’t work the other way!
DID YOU KNOW?
It’s not just Kristen’s mum who has a keen interest in Vlad The Impaler (left). Researchers at Ancestry.com discovered R-Pattz has links to the Transylvanian leader via the royal family. With Prince William and Prince Harry being Rob’s distant cousins, it turns out Vlad is his distant uncle. Spooky.