Kristen Stewart, a name that both polarizes and inspires, is currently featuring on the front cover of the latest issue of V Magazine.
Alongside the ultra modern, and frankly, beautiful photographs — shot by famed Dutch duo, Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin — in the accompanying article, the 22-year-old talked about her life, what she’s learned, and liberation.
As 2013 casts off, Stewart has already said goodbye to Bella Swan, heroine of the $3.31 billion (and counting) earning TwilightSaga franchise and a cult icon for a generation of moviegoers that took the character — and the actress who brought her to life — to their hearts.
But since standing still is anathema for an artist, it is in the present and to the future that Stewart says she is now looking.
“I am not closed off to anything right now,” she tells V. “That is what I was saying about not having any more walls up. I don’t want to deprive myself of any bit of life.”
Whether Stewart is referring to life in general or the public mauling she endured last summer isn’t elaborated on. Suffice it to say, this self-described “contemporary, sensitive, normal girl” isn’t hiding away from the challenges that a life lived in the spotlight presents.
“You can’t see over, people can’t see in, and you also can’t see out,” she observes. “So I’ve gotten quite comfortable with just being unafraid. I keep saying the same thing: it’s not about being fearless but really just embracing the fears and using them.”
A policy the actress most likely utilized when she prepped and filmed her most recent role as Marylou, the wild at heart, 16-year-old bride she portrayed in Walter Salles’ adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s beat classic On the Road.
Also starring Garrett Hedlund, Sam Riley, Viggo Mortensen, Kirsten Dunst, Terrence Howard, Amy Adams and Tom Sturridge, the film has already been released in Europe and debuted in New York and Los Angeles on December 21.
Inevitable tabloid focus on the nudity and sexuality of Stewart’s role in it were, in fact, a misreading of her character’s embrace of beatnik sensibilities. Of this, the Cali native says:
“Marylou is remarkable because she’s got a tough core. When you’re a teenager, a year can be crippling to maneuver through. You’re just out there questioning things, and so to be completely okay with that and not think that there’s anything wrong with you, that’s something I’ve recently understood. I’m 22. Marylou started this whole thing when she was 15.”
It’s refreshing to hear someone known as the highest paid actress in the game and one of the most talked about, share her take on the act of acting itself, a profession that confers great privilege but also merciless scrutiny.
“It’s a pretty fucking odd thing to want to pretend to be another person,” says Stewart, “and then have a lot of other people who watch you do that. You have this experience of reading something, and if you don’t bring it to life, you’re basically deleting it. Every day of shooting you’re depriving the world of having that. The responsibility is amazing.”
The only daughter of John and Jules Stewart — a stage manager and script supervisor/director respectively — a career that’s already spanned 14 years now sees Stewart take her place in an elite coterie of young Hollywood’s leading ladies that includes, Jennifer Lawrence, Emma Stone, Dakota Fanning, Emma Watson, Chloe Moretz, and Carey Mulligan.
Recent news that the Snow White and The Huntsman sequel is on track will no doubt delight Stewart’s many fans. Now, Warner Bros. just needs to find a new leading man to take Ben Affleck’s place in Focus, the grifter rom-com Stewart has committed to.
It’s likely V’s interview took place before Affleck dropped out, as Stewart’s only comment about the film was that, “the script is really fun and I love the writers and directors, Glenn Ficarra and John Requa.”
Here’s a flight of fancy: Not to jump the shark on casting, but the role of a veteran con-artist who becomes romantically involved with a younger, female rookie could be better suited to possibles in the shape of Robert Downey Jr., Matthew McConaughey, Bradley Cooper, Joaquin Phoenix, Mark Wahlberg, or perhaps Johnny Depp.
For now though, Kristen Stewart is clearly ready to step into her year, unfettered by the projections and perceptions of others. “I really love people,” she declares in the interview.
V is for Viva.