Kristen Stewart 2012: Appreciating an Engaging Actress
Let me begin by explaining that I initially wrote this Kristen Stewart piece about ten days ago. I’ve kept postponing its publication because there have been numerous changes in regard to the status of Stewart’s various film projects.
For instance, Kristen Stewart has been cast in a movie version of Lie Down in Darkness, with Crazy Heart’s Scott Cooper directing. No, actually she has her name only "attached" to the indie project, which may or may not get made. Stewart is going to star in the "gritty" thriller Cali for Nick Cassavetes. No longer: she has dropped out of the project. Stewart is "possibly" going to star in a Snow White and the Huntsman sequel. No, there won’t be a sequel, but a spinoff focused on the Huntsman; Stewart will not take part in it. Scratch that: if there’s a spinoff, she may return as Snow White.
Why all this now? Well, as a result of the "Kristen Stewart and Rupert Sanders cheating scandal" in late July, Stewart has become Queen of the Tabloids. Not that she had a choice. The "celebrity industry" and its rabid consumers made the decision for her, interpreting photographs — with no understanding of their background — whichever way they saw fit. Consequently, Stewart has also become Queen of the Movie Casting / Uncasting Stories as well. Film publicists will do whatever it takes to generate some extra buzz for their clients’ potential projects.
Kristen Stewart: Not Bella Swan (and that’s good)
The scandal — Kristen Stewart in a reported relationship with Robert Pattinson; Rupert Sanders married with little children — hasn’t helped Stewart’s image, already the object of ridicule because of the Twilight movies and the target of countless attacks because of her refusal to play "nice." An actress for about a decade, but a star for less than four years, Stewart clearly has trouble being a major celebrity. She unabashedly flips off paparazzi; she has loosely used expletives while interviewed; she was photographed (apparently) smoking pot; she seems edgy on television appearances.
But what bothers so many others is exactly what I find most engaging about Kristen Stewart. She’s not Twilight’s Bella Swan and doesn’t pretend to be Bella off screen. She’s not phony "sweet and nice" when the spotlight is on her. She never comes across as some "wholesome" apple-pie eater. She smiles when she feels like it, not when she’s supposed to. In my view, those characteristics are admirable.
Neither a Twihard nor a Twihater
Before I proceed: Generally speaking, it seems like either you’re a Twihard or a Twihater. Twihards love everything in any way connected to the Twilight novels and movies. Twihaters are the exact opposite.
I’m neither. Although I thoroughly enjoyed Stephenie Meyer’s first Twilight novel, I had mixed feelings about the three sequels. In all honesty, at times I felt compelled to chop off Bella’s head. Or at least her hair.
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