Kirsten Stewart: Hot young actress in & out of movie projects
July 25: Alex Pettyfer and Kristen Stewart in Cali? (Image: Alex Pettyfer tattoos in Beastly.) We all knew that Kristen Stewart will be starring as the antiheroine in the Michael Diliberti-written, off-beat actioner Cali. Now we’ve just learned that Magic Mike‘s young stripper / dancer Alex Pettyfer will likely play Stewart’s partner in the film to be directed by Nick Cassavetes (Unhook the Stars / The Notebook / Alpha Dog).
Alex Pettyfer: from stripper to snuff filmmaker
According to Variety, Pettyfer, also known for Beastly and I Am Number Four, is “in final negotiations” to co-star in Cali. The film’s title, I should note, refers not to the Colombian city, but to the U.S. state of California. The story revolves around a young San Fernando Valley couple (Kristen Stewart and Alex Pettyfer) who sell a fake snuff film. They flee town, but years later must return to rescue Stewart’s younger sister.
For those who don’t know: The San Fernando Valley lies north of the Los Angeles basin; it’s also a haven for porn films of various persuasions, much to the horror of puritans everywhere (and to the – quiet – delight of cash-strapped Los Angeles tax collectors).
Just in case: “snuff films” are sexually explicit movies in which one (or more?) of the sex partners end up very much dead. To the best of my knowledge, no one seems to know for sure if “snuff films” actually exist; in fiction, however, they’ve been around for decades. Back in 1979, for instance, Audrey Hepburn starred in Bloodline, based on Sydney Sheldon’s horrendously trashy novel in which snuff films play an important role.
Production on Cali should commence later this summer for a possible 2013 release.
Kristen Stewart daring movie choices
Stewart has played lesbian rocker Joan Jett (Floria Sigismondi’s The Runaways), a Snow White sharing many more character traits with Joan of Arc than with Disney’s dainty fairy-tale heroine (Rupert Sanders’ Snow White and the Huntsman), a foul-mouthed pole dancer / sex worker (Jake Scott’s Welcome to the Rileys), and, more recently, a free-spirited young woman ready, willing, and able to frolic with two guys at the same time (Walter Salles’ On the Road; Garrett Hedlund and Sam Riley are the two lucky guys).
Come to think of it, even Bella – at least in Catherine Hardwicke’s 2008 Twilight – is a daring, offbeat character: she’s a 17-year-old (a minor in the United States) having an affair with a 108-year-old man (Robert Pattinson’s vampire Edward Cullen); one who is tempted to quite literally drain the blood out of her. You can’t get much more daring that. Well, apart from starring in a real snuff film, maybe.
My point: I’m looking forward to Cali.
Alex Pettyfer tattoos Beastly photo: CBS Films.
Kristen Stewart: ‘Lie Down in Darkness’ movie star?
Aug. 2: The media circus surrounding the Kristen Stewart and Rupert Sanders “affair” continues unabated: Will Robert Pattinson forgive? Will Liberty Ross forget? But the world – and the world of moviemaking – haven’t come to a halt because of the “cheating scandal.” In fact, Stewart herself has apparently been keeping busy with other matters: namely, a film version of William Styron’s Lie Down in Darkness.
According to Vulture, Kristen Stewart, 22, has been cast as Peyton Loftis, the lead character in Styron’s novel. Crazy Heart director Scott Cooper will handle the proceedings. That’s prestigious (and promising) news for Stewart, as Crazy Heart became an indie hit that ultimately earned Jeff Bridges a Best Actor Academy Award.
Kristen Stewart has been eager to play Peyton in the Lie Down in Darkness movie adaptation for quite some time. According to reports, The Hunger Games’ Jennifer Lawrence was also in the running. Once the casting has been confirmed, that’ll be evidence that Kristen Stewart remains “hot” – and I’m not talking about looks or behavior, but bankability.
Lie Down in Darkness summary
Published in 1951, Lie Down in Darkness was the then 26-year-old William Styron’s first novel. Told in flashback, the narrative begins with the funeral of beautiful Peyton Loftis. Despised by her stern, oppressive mother, Peyton was deeply attached to (and lusted after by?) her alcoholic father. Later on, Peyton’s marriage ends disastrously, leading the young woman to commit suicide.
If that doesn’t sound like Oscar bait, I don’t know what does. So, Kristen Stewart a potential contender for the Best Actress Academy Award of 2013? Why not?
Let me add that those who say Stewart, whether on or off screen, has only one expression – sullen – have surely never seen any of her movies or public appearances. For one, she’s remarkably good in the first Twilight, and as far as I’m concerned she’s a key reason for my interest in Walter Salles’ On the Road.
As per the Vulture report, it’s unclear when the Lie Down in Darkness movie will begin production via Open Road Films. With Cali next in line for Stewart, Lie Down in Darkness will likely have to wait until either the end of this year or early next year at the earliest.
Kristen Stewart 2012
Lie Down in Darkness is Kristen Stewart’s second post-Twilight Saga film announcement in recent weeks, following her landing the female lead in the offbeat Cali, to be directed by Nick Cassavetes, and (possibly) co-starring Magic Mike‘s Alex Pettyfer. The last Twilight movie, the Bill Condon-directed The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 opens on November 16. Stewart plays Bella Swan; Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner co-star as, respectively, Edward Cullen and Jacob Black.
Besides Breaking Dawn 2, Kristen Stewart’s 2012 releases are Rupert Sanders’ Snow White and the Huntsman, which has to date earned $385 million worldwide, and Walter Salles’ On the Road. Co-starring Garrett Hedlund and Sam Riley, Salles’ film version of Jack Kerouac’s novel should come out later this year in the United States. Stewart plays the free-spirited Marylou in the film.
Now, is there a connection between Peyton Loftis and another ’50s literary Peyton – Grace Metalious’ Peyton Place? Just asking.
Kristen Stewart Cali no more? According to reports, Kristen Stewart (photo) is out of Cali, the “gritty thriller” that was to have featured Stewart as a young woman who stars in a fake snuff film and then must leave town with her boyfriend (reportedly to be played by Magic Mike‘s Alex Pettyfer) and the cash they made.
Amber Heard purportedly has been offered Stewart’s role, while Nick Cassavetes is currently attached to direct Cali. The film was to begin shooting in late summer / early fall.
Kristen Stewart ‘Cali’ departure: Unknown reasons
The original source for the Kristen Stewart / Cali story seems to be the website Gossip Cop. No reason was given for Stewart’s departure, though the actress has been in apparent “seclusion” since pictures showing her being physically intimate with Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders surfaced online. For the time being, no official confirmation of Stewart’s departure has been forthcoming, even though Variety claims it has verified the story (via Twitter).
Even if true, it’s unclear whether or not Stewart will remain as one of Cali‘s executive producers. The film’s producing company, Voltage Productions, is expected to make an announcement about the matter in the coming days.
Kristen Stewart memes & On the Road premiere
According to various reports, Kristen Stewart has also opted out of the August 16 British premiere of Walter Salles’ On the Road. Once again, it’s unclear whether or not this story is true. After all, gossip rags and online tabloids have been making up Kristen Stewart (and Robert Pattinson) tales on a daily basis. Gotta keep their rabid readers happy. (Following the Rupert Sanders deal, nasty Kristen Stewart memes have popped up everywhere online.) In Salles’ film version of Jack Kerouac’s iconic novel, Stewart plays Marylou opposite Garrett Hedlund and Sam Riley.
In November, Kristen Stewart will be seen on the big screen in the final movie in the Twilight Saga franchise, Bill Condon’s Breaking Dawn – Part 2, co-starring Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner.
And about a week ago, it was announced that Stewart was “attached” to a planned film version of William Styron’s novel Lie Down in Darkness, a role the actress has been eager to play. Here’s hoping this project will pan out for her.
Kristen Stewart Out: Snow White and the Huntsman Sequel / Spinoff
Universal’s proposed Snow White and the Huntsman sequel has – according to The Hollywood Reporter – been reconfigured as a Snow White and the Huntsman spinoff. As per the Reporter‘s “sources,” Kristen Stewart’s Snow White is gone from the scene, for the new movie project is to focus on Chris Hemsworth’s Huntsman.
If that sounds like a bad idea, it’s not a new bad idea. As early as April, NBC Universal top dog Ron Meyer had publicly discussed a Snow White and the Huntsman “sequel” centered on the Huntsman.
In other words: For the time being at least, rumors and speculations about Kristen Stewart being out because of the recent “cheating scandal” involving Stewart (reportedly living with Robert Pattinson) and her Snow White director, Rupert Sanders (married to model Liberty Ross), are just that: rumors and speculations.
And bear in mind that if the spinoff ever gets made, filming would begin in July 2013. By then, morons everywhere will be drooling over some other “sex scandal.” My point: Kristen Stewart could have remained attached to the project without any issues – safe, perhaps, having Rupert Sanders as her director.
As per the Reporter piece, it’s unclear whether or not Sanders will return as the director of the spinoff. David Koepp, who had been hired to write the SWATH sequel, “is being settled out of his rich contract, according to sources.” There was no mention of a replacement writer.
To date, Snow White and the Huntsman has collected $389.23 million worldwide. That’s hardly a “modest hit” as some insist on calling it, though, admittedly, SWATH had a huge budget: a reported $170 million. The film is currently the eighth biggest 2012 release worldwide. (Note: Seven of the top ten movies are 3D releases; besides SWATH, the exceptions are The Dark Knight Rises and The Hunger Games.)
Snow White and the Huntsman: Bigger box office overseas
Note that Snow White and the Huntsman earned $234.9 million overseas (60.3 percent) vs. $154.33 million in North America. Despite Thor and The Avengers, does Chris Hemsworth have that sort of international following? Because of the Twilight movies, Kristen Stewart, in the right vehicle, sure does.
So, Universal would save money by not hiring the high-priced Stewart. But if so, would the studio’s powers-that-be also be risking to lose millions more in global revenues from those who paid to see Snow White and the Huntsman because of Kristen Stewart’s presence?
Addendum: According to the Los Angeles Times, Universal “insists that plans for a second movie centering on the Huntsman character played by Chris Hemsworth are proceeding and that Stewart’s Snow White could still be a character in that film, despite reports that suggested otherwise.”
Kristen Stewart also out of Cali
A few days ago, it was announced that Kristen Stewart had dropped out of another project, Cali, to be directed by Nick Cassavetes and to co-star Alex Pettyfer. Amber Heard was rumored as a replacement.
Snow White and the Huntsman cast
Besides Kristen Stewart and Chris Hemsworth, Snow White and the Huntsman also starred Charlize Theron as the Evil Queen Ravenna and Sam Claflin as Prince William. Liberty Ross played Snow White’s mother.
Snow White and the Huntsman wallpaper Kristen Stewart SWATH image: Universal Pictures.
Kristen Stewart ‘Lie Down in Darkness’ ‘attachment’
This Kristen Stewart / Lie Down in Darkness post was written a couple of weeks ago, but, for a variety of reasons, it’s only now seeing the light of Web. Anyhow, in case you missed this Lie Down in Darkness “casting” update – “attached” isn’t the same as “cast” – here it is, in more detail…
In early August, Vulture’s Claude Brodesser-Akner asserted that Kristen Stewart had landed a key role in Lie Down in Darkness, a movie version of William Styron’s acclaimed 1951 novel. Set in the American South and told in flashback, Styron’s tale centers on the young, beautiful, and ultimately tragic Peyton Loftis and her relationship with her dysfunctional parents, and, as she becomes an adult, her husband.
As per Vulture, Crazy Heart‘s Scott Cooper would direct the Lie Down in Darkness at Open Road Films. No shooting dates or names of other cast members were provided in Brodesser-Akner’s piece.
‘Lie Down in Darkness’ ‘at a very early stage’
Shortly afterwards, the Washington Post added an important correction – quoting Kristen Stewart’s agent Ken Kaplan – to the Lie Down in Darkness casting notice: “This movie is at a very early stage. It is unfinanced and while Kristen is ‘attached’ to play the role, there is no guarantee that, if the movie gets made, she will actually do the role. All of the reporting on this is extremely premature.”
Also from the Post, quoting a “source close to the production”: “While it’s exciting to see all the interest the project is generating, the film is still in the pre-production process and no offers to cast have been made as of yet.”
Since then, Brodesser-Akner has issued an update. Here’s the gist of it, in his words:
“Kaplan has to call this [Lie Down in Darkness casting notice] ‘premature’ because otherwise it closes [Kristen Stewart] off from fielding offers on other ‘go’ pictures that aren’t in a holding pattern, waiting for financing. And sources ‘close to the production’ need to say no one has yet been approached because they need to be able to go to someone else if Stewart’s deal can’t be reached, and then said second choice will not immediately be seen as a second choice.”
Anyhow, for all purposes, at least for the time being Kristen Stewart is “attached” to Lie Down in Darkness. Her name and those of her co-stars, once they are announced, will be used as selling points so the film’s producers can find backing for their project.
Here’s hoping Lie Down in Darkness will get made and that Stewart will indeed get to play Peyton Loftis.
Kristen Stewart 2012 movies
Following Rupert Sanders’ Snow White and the Huntsman, co-starring Chris Hemsworth, Charlize Theron, and Sam Claflin, and which has to date grossed $392.69 million worldwide (when will people stop calling this female-led, non-sequel, non-3D fantasy adventure a “modest” success?), Kristen Stewart has two other 2012 movies coming out:
- Bill Condon’s The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 opens on Nov. 16. Stewart’s co-stars are Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner; Breaking Dawn – Part 2 also features the usual Twi-crowd, including Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Billy Burke, Dakota Fanning, Ashley Greene, Jackson Rathbone, Nikki Reed, Kellan Lutz, and Michael Sheen.
- Walter Salles’ On the Road, which opens Dec. 21. Kristen Stewart plays the free-spirited Marylou, (literally) sandwiched between Sam Riley’s Sal Paradise and Garrett Hedlund’s Dean Moriarty. Also in the On the Road cast: Amy Adams, Viggo Mortensen, Tom Sturridge, Kirsten Dunst, Danny Morgan, Alice Braga, and Elisabeth Moss. Check out: Kristen Stewart On the Road at Toronto Film Festival.
Kristen Stewart Today: An engaging actress
I initially wrote this Kristen Stewart piece about ten days ago. I kept postponing its publication because there have been numerous changes regarding 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.
Kristen Stewart ‘cheating’ photos attacks
The four movie adaptations to date have been a mixed bag. The most effective one was Catherine Hardwicke’s Twilight, though even that particular effort was wildly uneven: moments of genuine humor and pathos interspersed with moments of Hollywood tripe and commercialism. But one thing that has been consistent is my enjoyment of the series’ actors: Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, and Cullen Clan members Elizabeth Reaser, Peter Facinelli, Ashley Greene, Nikki Reed, Jackson Rathbone, and Kellan Lutz. Even the novels’ insufferable police chief Swan is made likable by Billy Burke.
Since I’m neither a Twilight die-hard fan nor a die-hard hater, I find it both troublesome and impossible to comprehend the aggressive obsession of some fans and the haters’ venom directed at those associated with the Twilight movies. Thanks to the scandal, the haters’ chief target of late has been Stewart, a 22-year-old actress with an acting background that includes nearly 30 feature films, of which only five belong to the Twilight franchise.
‘Cheating’ scandal: Personal and professional attacks
I’ve avoided reading the raw sewage vomited by online tabloids, quoting anonymous “sources” while offering details – both lurid and ludicrous – about the various participants in the “cheating scandal.” But avoiding the barrage of anti-Kristen Stewart attacks elsewhere, including among Alt Film Guide commenters, has been more difficult.
For instance, when Vulture announced that Stewart had landed the role of Peyton Loftis in Lie Down in Darkness, negative reactions were fierce: Kristen Stewart instead of last year’s Best Actress Oscar nominee Jennifer Lawrence (Winter’s Bone), who was reportedly up for the role as well? Are they insane? Kristen Stewart is the worst actress ever (or at least “of her generation”). She only has one expression. She is inept. She looks perennially nauseated / constipated / bored / pissed off. And she’s a bitch tramp whore slut homewrecker who cheated on Robert Pattinson.
Now, though I’m no fan of (the extremely well-received) Winter’s Bone, I have absolutely nothing against Jennifer Lawrence. Even so, I was thrilled to learn that Kristen Stewart was the one “attached” to Lie Down in Darkness. Stewart’s nervous energy – underused in the Twilight movies, but glimpsed in Welcome to the Rileys (and in her various public appearances) – could be immensely effective in the portrayal of an unbalanced character.
Kristen Stewart’s ‘mannerisms,’ ‘limited range’
I should add that those who say Stewart has only one expression have surely never watched her on screen. Even in something as pre-fabricated as Chris Weitz’s New Moon, she manages to convincingly display a wide range of emotions in key scenes: lightheartedness, fear, passion, anger, regret. Only someone blind – or blinded by prejudice – would think she looks “her usual sullen self” when confronted by Dakota Fanning in the Volturi’s palace or while watching Taylor Lautner’s werewolf disappearing into the forest at the end of the film.
As for those never-ending complaints that Stewart relies on the same mannerisms no matter the role … Well, how many actors don’t rely on personal “mannerisms”? Just watch the revered Lillian Gish, one of the earliest movie stars, in Broken Blossoms, The Scarlet Letter, or The Wind – Gish is Turner Classic Movies’ “star of the day” today – and tell me if she doesn’t have a whole array of acting “ticks.” (If you don’t believe me, watch Marion Davies brilliantly perform a Gish caricature in The Cardboard Lover.)
Does that mean I think Lillian Gish was a bad actress? Hardly. Mannerisms and all, Gish could be and often was an outstanding performer.
Kristen Stewart: Capable & refreshing actress
Lillian Gish, of course, wasn’t the only one. Check out Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Katharine Hepburn, Edward G. Robinson, Gary Cooper, Cary Grant, Miriam Hopkins, Clark Gable, Humphrey Bogart, John Gilbert, Montgomery Clift, Deborah Kerr, Anna Magnani, Burt Lancaster, Gene Tierney, Marilyn Monroe – the list goes on and on. All those actors had their trademark mannerisms and “limited ranges,” but that didn’t prevent them from delivering superb performances in the right roles and when working with the right directors. With the appropriate guidance, Kristen Stewart should be no different.
Ah, before anyone says: “How dare you have Kristen Stewart’s name next to those of Katharine Hepburn or Joan Crawford or Bette Davis?” Well, I dare. And for a very good reason: check out the Crawford, Davis, and Hepburn (“ran the gamut of emotions from A to B”) notices in newspapers and magazines of the 1920s and/or 1930s, before they became legends. Kristen Stewart could well have more admirers today than they had back then. And if Stewart wishes, she could end up just as big a legend as well.
In sum, I find Kristen Stewart not only a highly capable actress, but a highly refreshing one as well. And very hot and quite beautiful. Unlike psycho fans or psycho haters, I don’t feel the urgent need that others agree with me. That’s merely my personal opinion. Feel free to agree or disagree.
Driving haters nuts
And here’s hoping that Lie Down in Darkness gets made with Stewart as Peyton Loftis. And if so, that the movie is a success and that she gets a Best Actress Oscar nomination. That’ll drive the psycho haters up the wall.
And while I’m at it … I’m fully aware that chances are slim, but I’m rooting for Robert Pattinson to get a Best Actor Oscar nod for Cosmopolis – since there’s no chance he’ll get one for his excellent star turn in Bel Ami. That should give well-deserved seizures to another set of haters who dismiss Pattinson merely because of his Twilight connection.
Dangers of the Morality Police
Note: For those wondering if I “approve” of what Kristen Stewart and Rupert Sanders did. All I can say, as I’ve already stated in answer to a commenter a while back, is that I’m appalled by the moralizing, judgmental, and vicious reactions to the Stewart-Sanders “affair.” Once again: Never, ever trust those taking the moral high ground in matters that don’t concern them. The Morality Police would be truly useful only if they spent their time policing their own lives.
Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson rumors and gossip: Tabloid ‘news’ equals profits
Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson have been used as grist for the planet’s countless rumor mills since Catharine Hardwicke’s Twilight became the worldwide sleeper hit of 2008. Following the Kristen Stewart and Rupert Sanders “scandal” in late summer 2012, “news” reports about Stewart and Pattinson breaking up, getting back together again, dating others, etc., have become not just daily, but, in the age of instant online “reports,” second-ly occurrences.
Now, who has the most to gain from the barrage of Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson gossip articles? The above drawing – sent to me by a follower on Twitter – makes it clear. Besides the tabloid publications themselves, Summit Entertainment and, within the last year or so, its sibling/parent company Lionsgate Pictures, have had the most to gain.
Really, would the Twilight movies have been so tremendously successful without the possibility (or reality, as the case may be) of a Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson romance? Bella Swan and Edward Cullen living, unliving, and reliving the dream both on and off screen. If only the Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy fans had been that lucky. (MacDonald and Eddy were married – but not to one another.)
According to figures found at Boxofficemojo.com, the Twilight movies – the aforementioned Twilight (2008), Chris Weitz’s New Moon (2009), David Slade’s Eclipse (2010), and Bill Condon’s Breaking Dawn – Part 1 (2011) and Breaking Dawn – Part 2 (2012) – have grossed a worldwide total of $3.33 billion. Of course, I should add that in the last four titles, leads Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson were joined by Taylor Lautner, who has only a small supporting role in the first film. Even so, the focus of all five films is on the relationship between Bella and Edward, i.e., Stewart and Pattinson, even when the latter is absent from the screen.
The appeal Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson have for the tabloids is obvious. When they create rumors about Stewart, Pattinson must be involved, and vice-versa. Two huge fandoms are thus joined to provide visits, sales, and revenues. And the tabloids will keep on cranking out tales for as long as fans and other interested parties continue visiting their sites and buying their magazine issues.
Long history of real and manufactured box-office-boosting off-screen romances
Long before tabloids and tabloid-wannabes took over as the purveyors of entertainment “news,” throughout the decades the studios themselves have publicized idyllic off-screen love stories, whether real or manufactured, featuring the stars of their latest releases. Not infrequently, those had the tacit or not-so-tacit consent of the actors in question; invariably, they were eagerly swallowed by a gullible (i.e., wilfully stupid) general public.
That strategy goes all the way back to the early silent era, when in the 1910s the likes of Francis X. Bushman (the 1925 Ben-Hur‘s Messala) and Beverly Bayne romanced on screen and off – though the eventual revelation that Bushman was the married father of five kids didn’t help his image any.
“Kristen Stewart: Hot, Capable, Refreshing Actress” image: Twilight Saga / Summit Entertainment.