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.
“When I first read the script, I thought it was just hilarious,” said Kristen Stewart at last Friday’s Film Independent at LACMA screening of Olivier Assayas’ Clouds of Sils Maria.
The film follows Maria, an aging international film star—played by Juliette Binoche—who must return to the play that launched her career 20 years prior. This time, however, she’ll take on the role of the aging actress while a hot young Hollywood starlet, with the paparazzi at her heels, will play the part that made her a star.
The 24-year-old, who recently became the first American actress to win France’s equivalent of the Oscar for ‘Clouds of Sils Maria,’ asks, “Why aren’t we [as a society] mentioning the fact that it’s so crazy that there are so many people that are so full of it? And why are we consuming them en masse?”
“I’ve never, ever been like, ‘One day, I’m gonna win an Oscar,’” Kristen Stewart told me on Friday when we met up on the campus of Santa Monica College. The 24-year-old, who has been acting since the age of nine, says her dreams have always centered on the work, not the reward. “Truly, my ‘one day’ was always, ‘I’m gonna be a director! One day, I’m gonna direct movies!’”