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It’s hard to believe that Kristen Stewart is only 24. With the “Twilight” franchise behind her, she has been enjoying the freedom to make her own choices without worrying about commercial considerations. She scored raves as Oscar-winner Julianne Moore’s daughter in “Still Alice,” and has lined up a healthy slate of movies with Woody Allen, Kelly Reichardt, Ang Lee and Drake Doremus. Truth is, she has always made smart choices. While some of her more indie efforts (“On the Road,” “Yellow Handkerchief,” “Camp X-Ray”) were disappointments, they were noble ones–and she learned from all of them.
When we spoke last October during the New York Film Festival, Kristen Stewart had not yet become the first American female actor to ever win a Cesar — France’s equivalent of the Oscar — for Olivier Assayas’ “Clouds of Sils Maria.” But she was still ecstatic about it. In the film she plays Valentine, the harried but cucumber cool personal assistant of Maria Enders, a Juliette Binoche-like superstar played by Juliette Binoche. That allowed her to mock the film industry and the gossip machine from a safe remove. The two actresses paired together to talk about their rapport, and, in Binoche’s case, to whip out one hell of a laugh.