Kristen Stewart Personal Shopper Interview
In my humble opinion, Kristen Stewart is one of the best and most talented actresses working today. I have been a fan of her work ever since the Safety of Objects in 2001. For the past sixteen years, Stewart has had an impressive career which fluctuates back and forth from smaller indies to big budget studio films. I remember when I first watched the film Speak for the first time. This small indie which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in 2004 is one of Stewart’s lesser known roles but is such a powerful film about a girl who refuses to speak in school after an incident occurs.
From 2004 to 2017, Stewart has starred in 32 different films including Adventureland, Welcome to the Rileys, and Still Alice. Stewart continues to impress filmgoers by taking on a wide array of roles and delivering convincingly layered performances. Stewart’s latest film Personal Shopper reunites Stewart with Clouds of Sils Maria director Olivier Assayas. The film is part ghost story, part psychological thriller. It is a fascinating tale in which Stewart plays Maureen a medium who also works as a personal shopper for a high-profile celebrity. Personal Shopper is a terrific film and one of the Stewart’s most impressive roles to date and in my opinion is on par with her award worthy performance in Assayas’ Clouds of Sils Maria.
Being such a big fan of Stewart for so many years, I was extremely excited to finally sit down with her to discuss her role in the film. While I didn’t get to spend as much time as I would have liked, I did get a chance to talk to her briefly about her career and her role in the film. Stewart was very appreciative of my knowledge of her career as well as my knowledge of her general dislike for being in the limelight. Writer/Director Olivier Assayas also spoke briefly in regards to my questions for Stewart.
What do you think the biggest challenge is going back and forth between all these different roles?
It’s funny. I guess I can really identify one or two times… I can read really beautifully written scripts all day long, but that doesn’t mean that there’s going to be a part in it… whether I fit the description physically, or by age, or gender, it doesn’t necessarily mean that’s in me – like the right time to play that part. Honestly, the difference between them is that I never bring anything other than myself to different parts. You change the circumstances, yes, it’s like you’re changing the person, but I never want to step outside myself in order to entertain people or service a story. My main goal is to be stirred up by something and then allow it to reveal parts. I’d really rather stumble upon discoveries and unanswerable questions rather than package and deliver stories to people. It’s not hard. I like working. I like to do it a lot.
Did a lot of your own personality come out in this role – like with the whole anti-celebrity feel to it?
I liked that she was once really attracted to something she also thought was partially, or potentially empty. There’s a vanity surrounding wanting to look good in clothes and a sort of like self-obsessed thing you have to have in order to be like, ‘Oh God. I imagine myself in that. I want to feel that.’ So I know that feeling of, ‘No. Nobody can wear that. I should be the one wearing that.’ But then at the same time, that’s just absurd and I don’t wanna be the person who thinks like that. So I feel that. I have less trouble navigating that because I have access and choice, which is the luckiest thing in the world. Whereas she’s in a position where she’s attracted to something and servicing this thing, but is so much smaller than it and kind of resents it, but is, at the same time, aggrandizing it.
Olivier Assayas: I also think when I’m writing, what interests me in the case of Kristen, in both movies I’m kind of throwing the burden of celebrity on someone else so that she doesn’t have to carry it herself in the film.
Personal Shopper is now playing in limited release. You can find where you can see the film by visiting IFC website here: http://www.ifcfilms.com/films/personal-shopper
If you have seen the film, please feel free to share your thoughts on the film or Stewart’s performance in the comment box below.