Becoming the first American actress to ever win the Cesar Award, France’s highest film honor, Kristen Stewart walked away with the award for her supporting role in Clouds of Sils Maria, reported the L.A. Times.
Primarily an English language drama, Clouds of Sils Maria is the story of a mature actress who comes face to face with her own mortality, when she is asked to participate in a revival of the play that launched her career, decades earlier. Stewart plays the actress’ compelling assistant in the film, and her portrayal of that character enabled her to win the Cesar Award over renowned French actresses Marianne Denicourt and Claude Gensac.
Although Ms. Stewart was the first American female performer to win the Cesar Award, actor Adrien Brody won the award in 2002 for The Pianist. Fellow actor Sean Penn also received an award Friday.
Kristen responded to questions from the Hollywood Reporter about her preferences, speaking candidly about the positive experience of filmmaking in France.
“There is a great divide between what motivates people to make movies in the States and what motivates people to make movies here, and I prefer it here… If you’re not scared of something it’s not worth it. It takes a pretty unique American filmmaker to do something and to do it scared and to do it anyway, and here that’s what it’s really about and what film lives and breathes here.”
Expanding on her experience, Kristen spoke of the possibility of again working with Olivier Assayas, director of Clouds of Sils Maria, and alluded to the possibility of remaining in France for that second project. Stewart also acknowledged her co-star Julliette Binoche, who was also nominated for best actress, expressing admiration for her as a mentor and inspiration.
“I’m standing in front of a room where I don’t have to explain the power of Juliette. Everything in the movie is a reflection of her.”
Kristen has been acting in films since 2002, when she received recognition for her performance in the Jodie Foster thriller Panic Room. Although criticized by many for her apparent lack of emotional range, Ms. Stewart has explored a wide range of genres from horror films, such as 2007’s The Messengers to Kristen’s extraordinary performance as rocker Joan Jett in The Runaways.
In addition to the Cesar Award, Ms. Stewart has already achieved recognition and received several awards, Best Actress from Women Film Critics Circle for Camp X-Ray and Best Actress in a Sci-Fi/Fantasy from the Teen Choice Awards for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 being the most recent among them.
Stewart, best known for her role in the Twilight saga, has most recently finished filming Anesthesia, a drama that centers around the mugging of a Columbia University professor and how that one act of violence affects the lives of others. Ms. Stewart has also been working on a sci-fi film, Equals, and a comedy entitled American Ultra.
Recently, Kristen Stewart responded to criticism of the Twilight films and her reactions to those that have belittled her performances.