K R I S T E N
2016, the year of Kristen Stewart with five films announced – Among them the new Woody Allen, opening the Cannes Film Festival this year. Choices that are showing who the American Actress and Chanel muse is. A young woman who – from her look to her sexuality – masters the codes of her time and knows how to plays with them without demeaning herself by doing them. To the point of becoming of the most scrutinized celebrity.
(Interview by Catherine Castro. Photos by Stefano Galuzzi)
Kristen Stewart knows what she want: to not be bored shitless and for no one to fuck with her. She doesn’t say it that way, but that’s how you understand it. As her brief romance with the singer Soko fills the columns of tabloids, she’s in a very alert mood. it’s 10am in Los Angeles, 7pm in Paris, the voice of the very beautiful Chanel muse turns the phone call into some secret conversation. A rough journey, that is worth every effort, Kristen Stewart is rock’n’roll. Smart, clear-headed, wild, she acts like she breathes. In the short film “Once and Forever” real-fake shooting done in 2015 by Karl Lagerfeld, she played a young bratty actress who was the embodiment of Gabrielle Chanel. Muse of the fashion designer for more than two years now, Kristen has the (pretty) world at her feet. Woody Allen gave her the main feminine acting role in “Café Society”, which will open the Cannes Film Festival. Olivier Assayas had her in his film “Personal Shopper”, two years after “Sils Maria”, which led her to win the César for best Actress in a supporting role – A big first. Twilight is far behind. The baby star has become a figure of the America that we love, an arty muse who plays a role. Her own.
MARIE CLAIRE: Café Society, the new Woody Allen, is going to open the Cannes Film Festival. Was it a dream for you to work with him?
KRISTEN STEWART: The idea of filming with Woody Allen was intimidating. During the auditions, I really doubted my legitimacy. By the end, I was really happy, I felt anchored, rooted. He’s profoundly smart, his different way of grasping things… He manages to add depth to moments of pure comedy, this strange lightness is very impressive. I was lucky.
MARIE CLAIRE: Is there a place on earth where no one knows you?
KRISTEN: It’s strange because i’m the one saying it, but if i’m trying to be objective, I can tell you: “Fuck no. There’s none.” Meeting people who don’t care, that have other priorities is really nice. I’m not extremely shy or guarded, but i’m not either the most extrovert person. To always feel under scrutiny… Faced with this, I’ve developed a crazy sense of hearing. It can turn me into such a paranoid person, like: “I swear to God, someone is listening to what I’m saying.”
MARIE CLAIRE: Your life is defined by your job…
KRISTEN: Yes! My life is distorted by my job, it’s weird, because it’s linked to the job itself. As an actor, we have to be totally “spontaneous” and “directed”, that in circumstances that are themselves under control. Planning spontaneity, it’s by nature a contradiction. I live a little in the same way. I like to live in the moment but I also have to protect myself. In my life, not rushing things and not change what’s planned ahead is an effort, but it also allows me to have moments of spontaneity. It asks for a bit of organization. Sometimes, you just tell yourself: “Fuck it!”, you do stupid things and it doesn’t matter. At the end of the day, the moments you’ve lived are your own. I don’t really care about my imagine in general, as long as I can live my life. I don’t care who consumes it.
MARIE CLAIRE: What do you like about fame?
KRISTEN: Being an actor has created strong connections with people that sometimes, you’ve just met. Fame allows me to have that chance on a larger scale. We do movies to get closer to others, to understand each other. I’m lucky, I love what I do, I meet extraordinary people.
MARIE CLAIRE: What do you hate about fame?
KRISTEN: To waste my time talking about it (laughing). It’s always, just like now. We’ve been on the phone for 8 minutes, and we’ve only talked about it. There’s not much to say about it, and no one wants to hear you whine about your job, especially when so many people aspire to become actors.
MARIE CLAIRE: Apparently your team on photo shoots is incredibly cool and effective. Have you ever fired someone?
KRISTEN: I’ve never directed a film, so I don’t have any employee I could fire.
MARIE CLAIRE: But some actors fire their agent or their publicists…
I’ve worked with the same people since I was 12 years old. The same stylist, the same publicist, the same agent, I don’t have a manager. We’re like a family, we do a great job. It has happened that while I was on set, some people were taking pictures (People that should not have been there in the first place), my staff protects me so they kicked these assholes out.
MARIE CLAIRE: You grew up with three brothers. Did your mom use to tell you: “Kristen, you’re beautiful”?
KRISTEN: Yes, all the time! Always! We were really close when I was little, we still are. We were like friends, the only girls in the family, she used to bring me everywhere. Very young, I was surrounded by adults and I think it’s very important to treat kids like that. To leave them some margin of implication and interaction, as if they were already what you wanted them to be. I was her friend. Yep, her her lovely fucking daughter.
MARIE CLAIRE: When you look in the mirror, do you like what you’re seeing?
KRISTEN: Honestly, dude, when I was little…. I know there’s nothing more annoying that when actresses or people that are considered attractive say stupid stuff like: “I was so ugly” but let me tell you – I was just like my brother until I turned 14. Terribly worried because of it, really weird, totally lanky, clumsy, people used to confuse me for a boy constantly. The first time someone had to put a mic on me, the sound engineer put some tape on my chest – now don’t make a big deal about it – I was 10 years old. He was pressing hard and he said: “Hey you’re a strong kid, what’s up boy?” And I sat there and replied in a small voice: “Hum, no. Stop.” (she laughs). And it was like that every single time. At some point, I liked being treated the way that I was. But do I love myself? That’s a funny question. I’m happy, I have a lot of luck, I’m healthy and I’m aware of it all.
MARIE CLAIRE: You used to be a tomboy. Did you get into fights as a kid?
KRISTEN: No, I’ve never really gotten into a fight, in the sense that I’ve never gave or been given a punch. But as I was the youngest, I was really competitive – too much. Sometimes I embarrass myself, It’s just too much and people around tell me: “Chill out” But to get into a fight, no! I don’t want to hurt anyone.
MARIE CLAIRE: When you were 20, you really played the feminine woman thing, with your long hair. Why did you cut it off?
KRISTEN: I cut it off for a film, “Equals”, which is coming out soon. It’s taking place in a dystopian reality, where people are genetically modified to be equal and watch over th group, they share the same curiosity. I love having long hair, but I feel good with short hair, as if I wasn’t hiding behind a veil anymore. It’s a new version of myself.
MARIE CLAIRE: Long hair sends a message of femininity.
KRISTEN: Everyone loves long hair. As a result: everyone looks the same. Our generation is creating a new way of being ourselves, detached from those outdated norms that dictate what is rewarding and what everyone should look like. So many girls would be devastated, horrified if they had their hair cut: “Oh my God, I’m not pretty anymore!” But yes! You are! It’s really changing quickly, by the way, the acceptation of this ambiguous nature. More and more, people are seen as individuals. It’s great and it’s pretty easy when you think about it. People that aren’t allowing themselves to look like who they’d really want to be, because they’re afraid of what people might thing – they make me sad. It’s shitty, just horrible.
MARIE CLAIRE: My question might sound superficial, but have you noticed a difference in the way people look at you?
KRISTEN: Since I cut my hair, yes, some people don’t look at me anymore. Jerks that are like: “I don’t like you as much!” At first, when I was going out without all that hair, I really felt it: “Wow, the experience is a little bit different.”
MARIE CLAIRE: What is worse in your opinion, in Hollywood: Being a woman, being black or being gay?
KRISTEN: I don’t have much experience with these subjects, I don’t have much to say.
MARIE CLAIRE: What do you have to say about that group of men that is prominent in Hollywood?
KRISTEN: Nothing, except: “Keep making good films, we’re trying to do the same thing!” I’m really aware of how lucky I am, of the number of opportunities in the palm of my hands. For me, being a women in the film industry isn’t very stressful, even if, it’s true, roles for us are not as big in numbers. I can’t ignore that there’s a real fight on this issue but, to be honest, I don’t really have that in mind at the moment, I’m working a lot, it’s working well and I’m really happy about it.
MARIE CLAIRE: So you’re not following in Jennifer Lawrence’s footsteps, who is going at war against inequalities between men and women when it comes to salaries?
KRISTEN: No. Right now, I’m working on small indie films, and it’s like a small family, we’re all on the same level.
MARIE CLAIRE: Was there a moment in your life when you didn’t feel free?
KRISTEN: In life, you’re often your own enemy. We’re all prisoners within ourselves in some way or the other, to grow up and find out who we are, it’s the goal, isn’t it? I really like growing older. As days go on, I feel more free, closer from who I want to become, it’s getting easier. I look at myself and I think: “It’s good, dude. Chill.”
MARIE CLAIRE: Do you like yourself?
KRISTEN: Looking at people who surround you is a good way of measuring your worth. My friends and the people I work with are exceptional. My job is my life, my life is my job. So, yes, I look at these incredible people around me. I’m in their lives because they’re terrific. Similarly, if they’re there, it’s for a reason, I must be pretty cool.