KRISTEN Stewart talks about her starring role in new movie Snow White and the Huntsman, dealing with isolation, learning to ride and painful stuntwork with News.com.au
– I assume you have read James Franco’s glowing review of your performance in Snow White and the Huntsman, in which he dubs you the warrior queen.
K: I have. Wow. I mean, really! It came out of nowhere.
— In it, he says you have braved more scrutiny of your private life than most presidents.
K: I guess I wouldn’t know how to compare it. But people would definitely like to know about things that I don’t want to tell them, which is fine. It’s not something I am uncomfortable with any more.
— Any more?
K: Once you find your boundaries, you stop playing this weird game of jumping too far over and then too far back, if you know what I mean. I know where I am comfortable, now.
In his essay, Franco draws parallels between Snow White’s premature ascension to the throne and your own rise to stardom.
K: I could really relate to her isolation – she goes through something tough and isn’t broken by it. When you have fans and people following you or looking up to you, you have to do things from a very, very true place. Snow White, instead of just being this ball-busting fighter, I think the reason she is strong is because she really stays, it sounds maybe cliched, but she stays true.
— I hope it didn’t feel as though you were locked in a tower for seven years.
K: No! (Snorts.) Only in so far as that she is isolated from people that look up to her. On that level, I absolutely felt for (Snow White). You look up to people that you identify with, so there is probably a commonality. I understand. I’ve been around certain musicians and not been able to speak. It’s a natural reaction. But at the same time, you want to go: “we’re no different”.
— Given the number of column-inches devoted to Kristen Stewart, we actually know very little about you. What sort of music you like, for instance.
K: It changes quite a bit. Today, I am obsessively involved with Bon Iver. It might be all I listen to right now, actually. The Shins are my favourite band. I love Interpol and Jenny Lewis.
— What did you read on the plane?
K: I read the newspaper on the plane.
— Since you travel a lot, can we assume you have made the switch to an e-book?
K: Technology literally disagrees with me. This is going to sound so ridiculous, but warranties, passwords, accounts, numbers with emails coinciding with different websites … I have gone through quite a few Kindles. I need to get a new one because I love them.
— What’s your idea of a perfect Saturday night?
K: I have a pretty close-knit group of friends. I am from LA. I love Los Angeles. Because I usually work elsewhere, I am really happy to just be home with my friends. We do very normal things people our age do – play a bit of music and stuff.
— You don’t strike me as a gym junkie. What do you do for exercise?
K: I am really active just generally. I hike with my dogs. I swim. I have never really worked out, other than for this, really, because I knew I was going to need incredible stamina that I did not have at that point. I didn’t want to be charging up the stairs in armour to Ravenna’s chamber and have to stop at the top and go (mimics leaning against a wall, sucking in gulps of air.)
— You also learnt to ride horses for the film. And did some stunt work.
K: A little bit. The cool thing about the action in this movie, it has a lot of integrity. Everything I do in the movie, a girl my size could do. So that made it more challenging because we weren’t faking it. (Director) Rupert (Sanders) really was belting the crap out of me. Any time we look uncomfortable or scared or possibly in pain, we are most likely experiencing that.
— Three Snow White stories are coming out in quick succession (Mirror Mirror, this one and the TV series Once Upon A Time). Theories?
K: Considering the source material, there is a lot of room for interpretation. If you take a story that has always spoken to people, moved them on some level, and make it a bit more palatable for now … In this case, she is living in a more dangerous world but she stays recognisably Snow White … that essentially female and delicate but strong girl.
— Traits shared by Twilight’s Bella Swan and The Hunger Games’ Katniss Everdeen?
K: The reason it feels so satisfying is because that’s how we are. It’s natural. It doesn’t feel forced.