Emmanuel Itier: What kind of car do you drive?
Kristen Stewart: My family and I kind of share cars, so I don’t drive one car all the time. But I have a Toyota Tacoma, which I probably shouldn’t be saying right now. But then a Mini Cooper sometimes too, but I feel a little flashy in that.
EI: What drives you to succeed?
KS: I think success is always something completely different to people. I feel like I succeeded if I’m doing something that makes me happy and I’m not lying to anybody. I’m not doing that now, so I feel really good about myself. I really specifically love acting, and I think it’s a cool thing to be indulgent and follow that. I have a lot of ambitions in life, but for the next few years, I just want to be an actor. That’s a lucky opportunity, and that drives me to want to be good at that.
EI: You’re in the middle of this journey with Bella Swan. Do you worry that it’s taking over your persona? The Runaways was a great film, but it wasn’t a hit like the Twilight movies. How do you feel about your life and career with Bella?
KS: This is a really unique situation. I get to play her for a really long time, and that’s also a serious indulgence and something that’s really lucky because I feel really sad when I lose a character at the end of a short shoot, which is typically six weeks on a small movie, which is what I’m used to. It’s definitely, obviously, the one role that’s put me in this sort of epic position, but it’s just another movie, and I think it doesn’t matter if you’re doing a studio movie or you’re doing an independent movie. When you get to set and you’re doing a scene, it’s always going to be the same job. I really don’t think about my career in terms of planning it out and what this does for me. This was a part that I just really wanted to play, and luckily I get to do it for a really long time.
EI: In Eclipse, you have to make a decision. Do you feel like that’s a big challenge in the movies so far?
KS: There’s definitely the conflict in that she’s pushed to the point where the decision needs to made in this one. She does that in each movie, and what’s cool is that things change, and as certain as she is sometimes and as absolutely gung-ho and young and courageous and brave, she’s also willing to take a step back and go, “Okay, I’m going to reconsider my options and reconsider how I’m treating everybody.” She acknowledges that she’s being a little bit selfish. She makes the choice. I feel like the choice has been made. As soon she sees him in the first one, it’s done, but it’s hard for her to get to the point where everyone is going to accept that, and this is the one that it sort of happens in.
EI: Was there one action scene that was really challenging for you?
KS: The action is absolutely everybody else’s responsibility. I just stand behind the people who are stronger than me. I didn’t get to run around as much as I did in the second movie, so the action wasn’t difficult. I guess one of the most challenging scenes would probably be kissing Jacob for real, finally, for the first time and seeing that there was a different road to go down that was desirable as well. She’s got such tunnel vision — that Edward is the only thing for her. That’s a strange perspective. Then I have to go in and talk to Edward about it, and it’s such a different dynamic than we’ve ever had. It was a different Bella. I never had to play somebody who would’ve done stuff like that, so that was hard. I was nervous as hell.
EI: Because of the kiss?
KS: Just because of that moment and how different that kiss is to all of the rest of them in that movie, and how different they have to be. It is the most unique moment. It’s also a mistake, and I always say that Bella makes a lot of mistakes and she’s willing to own them. I think it’s cool to see her a little bit ashamed and at the same time scared.
EI: Some suggest that the success of these movies has to do with forbidden love — loving a vampire and its mix with traditional family values. What do you think?
KS: I think that if you took all the mythical aspects of the story, it would still stand as a really strong and interesting thing to be a part of. I think the whole vampire and werewolf thing is a really good plot device. All the aspects of the vampire and all the aspects of a werewolf are fully encompassed by the humans — by Jacob and Edward. If all of that was gone, they would still be the same people. I don’t think it’s a big phenomenon because of the vampire mythical aspect. It definitely takes a good story and it raises the stakes and makes it a little bit more interesting, but I think it’s just about whole the characters are and how easy it is to have faith in them and be sort of addicted to them. They let you down a lot and then pick themselves back up. I don’t think it has anything to do with the vampire thing. I think that just makes it a little cooler.
EI: Can you talk about working with David Slade? He shot a lot of close-ups. Was there anything you had to adjust in your style of acting to compliment his film-making?
KS: No. We’ve worked with the same DP now, for New Moon and Eclipse, and I always ask him, “Hey, how close are you?” That’s something David does intentionally — not tell you stuff like that, which I completely understand because most actors are crazy and neurotic and don’t want to know the camera is up their nose. I didn’t do anything differently, though. You have to change a little bit every time you work with a new director, but it’s cool working with someone different on each one of those. As long as someone has the same passion for it, as long as they’re into it, you have to do all this work. You have to reconsider all the ideas that, had you been working with the same person, you might just say, “Oh, we’ve covered that. We don’t need to go over that.” But in this case, I have to introduce my character to David. He meets Bella through me. We’ve done something already, and it’s cool to let a new person into the fold. It’s fun.
EI: Now that you’ve done three of these, are there things you wish had made it into the movie from the book that didn’t?
KS: Totally. There are a million things. Every single time we watch one of the movies, especially when the cast watches it together, it’s always an incredibly frustrating experience. That’s why I’m glad that Breaking Dawn is going to be two movies, which I can finally say. So there’s going to be less of having to lose stuff.
EI: Is there a scene in Breaking Dawn that you hope makes it into the movie?
KS: There are a million, and we haven’t even shot it yet. I can’t wait to get married and have a kid. It’s all of that.
EI: What are your favorite and least favorite character traits that Bella has?
KS: I really don’t have one that’s my least favorite because, as much as she can be all the things that sort of annoy me about her, there are the things I like about her. She always comes around and realizes that she can be a little selfish, I think. She’s definitely not naggy, but she tries so hard not to be sometimes. Sometimes I think, “Why don’t you just let yourself be?” I think she picks at herself too much, but I can relate to that. I always say my favorite things about her is that she screws up a lot and doesn’t care and is like, “This is the way that life is, and I’m young and I’m going on with it.”
EI: In the film, Bella has an awkward conversation about the birds and the bees with her father. Was that something you had to deal with in real life?
KS: No. I knew everything from word go. I was really mature that way. I guess I probably had that moment. I guess everybody does. I never had the talk. I could never have the talk. I didn’t need it.
EI: Bella doesn’t believe in marriage. Do you?
KS: Sure. Whatever you want to do. I’m not ready to get married, but I have a pretty great family, and I’d like that too someday.
EI: In the tent scene, you have two gorgeous guys talking passionately about you. What was going through your head during that? Were you trying not to laugh, or were you resting, thinking about the next scene?
KS: It was so hot in that sleeping bag, literally, and then the takes are so long. That scene is eternal, and I have nothing really to do in it, especially when we shot it. We got close-ups on two guys, and we do mine and it’s completely separate, and they run the lines a little bit, but I was playing halfway between being asleep and hearing bits. I couldn’t get my head around hearing that conversation because she’s really not supposed to. David was like, “Let it slip in. Hear a little bit and then fall back asleep.” As soon as I’d hear any of that, I’d be like, “Bing! What?” So that was difficult, but I just remember it being hot, and in terms of being between those two guys, I’m always between those two guys. I think it’s really funny that Taylor [Lautner] always has to take his shirt off.
EI: What designer would love to design Bella’s wedding dress? And if you could dream it up, what would it look like?
KS: Stephenie [Meyer] is absolutely in charge of that. I’m sure she has really specific ideas. I haven’t really thought about it, but I feel like Bella would definitely want something really classic and simple too, but beautiful. I have no idea in terms of designers.
EI: Would it be white?
KS: Yeah, or creamy. But definitely classic. She doesn’t want to get married, and because it means so much to Edward and because he has such different sensibilities and such different values, I think because she’s going to go ahead and go through with it, she’s going to give him everything. I think it’s going to be a really beautiful and monumental wedding because he wants that. Usually it’s the opposite. Usually the girl wants it. It’s cute.
EI: Are you the type that rushes headlong into something you want, or are you more deliberate about your choices?
KS: I guess it depends on what I’m making a choice about. For work stuff, I do what I feel and I don’t really worry about what it’s going to do afterward — in terms of the way I answer questions too and stuff like that. I guess I would be one of those types of people. I’m kind of a control freak, though, too. I get really freaked out if I don’t know what’s going on and what’s going to happen. So I guess I’m a bit of both.
EI: Are either of these two characters — Edward and Jacob — good choices in men? They’re both a little obsessive and possessive. Are they actually good fantasy choices that young girls have in their heads?
KS: I don’t know. People always wonder if we should be giving little girls ideas of meeting the perfect man. If so many people have taken to it, it’s not something that’s been shoved into their heads. Everyone has that ideal, and especially little girls have this idea in their heads, that there is something that could be perfect for them in the end and that they can be better than all the rest of the girls because they’ll have the perfect guy who will never screw them over. Our movie isn’t perfect. None of our characters are perfect at all. They’re all so completely crazy and messed up. Again, they don’t make excuses for their weirdness, and they accept each other for who they are. On paper, I’m sure that if you were a friend of Bella’s, you’d be telling her, “You better check your boy because he ain’t treating you well.” I think, if you’re really in love with someone, it doesn’t matter because that’s such an overpowering feeling and you’re willing to make sacrifices, and you feel like, “That’s our little story.”
EI: Can you talk about any other upcoming projects that you have, aside from these movies?
KS: I’m playing Marylou in On The Road. It was my first favorite book, and that character is iconic and Walter Salles is directing it. I’m a huge fan of his, and I’m doing that right after this press is over. In July, we start a four-week beatnik boot camp. It’s a small movie too, so four weeks of rehearsal is crazy cool.
EI: Taylor just commented earlier that he’d never want to be in Bella’s situation, like in the tent scene. Is that situation something you’ve faced in real life?
KS: It’s hard to actually take details from your personal life and apply them a scene because, as much as you can identify with a feeling, you just get muddled. As soon as you start bringing your own stuff in it, it’s like, “No, that’s not right.” You’re playing a different person. You can relate, but you kind of have to leave that stuff at the door. It was hard, like I said before, for the same reason that it was hard to kiss Jacob, because it was so against everything that she’s always been. To shoot the scene felt good because she’s always wanted Jacob and Edward to level with each other finally, and it’s funny that it takes place while she’s sleeping between them. It was fun for me to shoot. I didn’t have a lot to do, but it was fun to do because I liked the scene so much. I liked what finally happened in the season, but I wish it wasn’t as hot. I was literally in a beanie and I was just sweating.
EI: In Robert Pattinson’s interview last week, he said, in reference to Breaking Dawn, that he wanted to make it Rated R and stick to the book. Would you like to stick to the book and bring the rating up, or do you think it should be toned down?
KS: I guess everybody interprets those things differently. My guess is that it’ll be PG-13. I have no idea, but I guess we’ll all see when it comes out.
EI: Why would you recommend someone to go see Eclipse?
KS: If you’re a fan of the books, obviously I don’t need to give you any clues or reasons why you should go see the movie. But for someone who isn’t, I do feel these movies stand alone. There’s a lot of back-story in each one of them, so you don’t need to see the other ones to understand this one. In this case, I think it’s just a more mature look at the same dynamic. The love triangle is definitely at it’s height, and it comes to a conclusion as well. It ends here, and that’s been building up over the whole series. Also, it has more action than the other movies just because of the story, and we have different vampires. Everyone is trying to kill Bella again, but it’s more people, and they all battle and stuff. For non-Twilight fans, it definitely is a more dynamic movie, I think.
EI: How long have you known that Breaking Dawn was going to be two films? And how long will the shoot be?
KS: The shoot is going to be something like six months. We start in October. I think we’re not going to be finished until maybe February or March. I clearly don’t really look at the schedule. I had to hold onto this forever. They’ve been talking about it for a really long time, and we all definitely knew that it was going to be two movies forever now. It’s been really hard not to say that. We’re all really stoked on that.
EI: There’s been so much speculation about you and Rob. You said last year that it was all ridiculous and all press-created. On the MTV Awards, there was speculation about whether you two kissed or didn’t. Do you think all this speculation will continue until the series ends and then people will finally know one way or the other?
KS: Probably, yeah.
EI: Do you see an opportunity in Breaking Dawn, since it’s two films, to create two interpretations of Bella — pre-vampire and post-vampire?
KS: Yeah, actually, I really can’t wait to get into that because I’ve been on the outskirts of what it would feel like to play one of them. I had to think about it a lot, considering that Bella is dating one of them very seriously. It’s been years of dealing with these issues, and I’ve thought about it a lot and I can’t wait to actually be it. It’s going to be a trip. It’s going to be weird, and I think she does change a lot. I think she’s going to be the coolest vampire out of all of them. She’s got the greatest power. She’s untouchable. Nothing can touch her, and I think that literally she can protect the whole clan. She’s such a mother too. I think it’ll be awesome to see how much she’s changed from Twilight, where she’s this 17-year-old kid who really doesn’t care about a whole lot other than herself. To see her become this matriarch will be really cool.
EI: Are you at the point now, with Rob Pattinson, where you’re doing a very passionate or dramatic scene, that all of a sudden you just start laughing?
KS: That really happens all the time, definitely. More so with me and Taylor because we have so much fun with this stuff, because our intimate moments are so few and far between and weird, the way they happen in the book. We have a little bit more of that. Rob and I are always so serious because we have those scenes.
EI: Who is the better kisser? Rob or Taylor?
KS: The Jacob/Bella kiss. I’m just going to have to say that because it’s easier.
EI: I think some of the nicest scenes in all these films are the scenes between Bella and her father. What’s it like working with Billy Burke?
KS: I love working with Billy. He’s just very no-BS, and obviously, as an actor that’s what you need. He’s really good at knowing if the scene works or doesn’t work. I think he really understands the dynamic — the Charlie/Bella thing. It’s not a normal father/daughter dynamic. They haven’t known each other very long. She just moved to Forks and literally has a few memories of him as a little kid, but I love the gradual trust thing that happens. He’s really good at that because he doesn’t force it and it’s never creepy, and a lot of times it gets weird when some guy is playing your dad. It feels weird to you. It feels like they’re forcing sentiment. It’s disgusting, and I never feel that with him. I think he’s great and I love him.
EI: We see Bella really mature in this film, especially choosing to be a vampire — not just for Edward but for other reasons. Can you talk about Bella and how she’s maturing as a woman?
KS: She’s definitely making decisions for herself and not just going along with what Edward is saying to do, which is something that people instantly latch onto — that she’s this weak and codependent girl that’s just in need all the time with this guy. That’s so not the case. I think, if it were to be told from his perspective, he would be just as vulnerable and needy as her. It’s told from her mind, though, so obviously those things are going to be more inherent. I think she’s definitely owning up to things that have gone down. They’ve been both good and bad. She can reap the benefits from the things she’s dealt with in a good way, and also make the relationships in her life stronger based on the mistakes that she’s made. As soon as you screw someone over and go back and say, “I admit that. Can we still be really cool? I’ve been really selfish.” Everyone now in the family is looking at her differently, like, “Oh, maybe she does know what she wants. Maybe she’s not acting so immature and crazy.” I’m glad you felt that.