celebrity

From reluctant Twilight sensation to Princess Diana: The tumultuous career of Kristen Stewart.

Kristen Stewart, best known for her role as Bella Swan in the Twilight franchise, is set to star as Princess Diana in an upcoming biopic.

The film called Spencer, directed by Pablo Larraín, will follow the Princess of Wales across one particular weekend, when she decided her marriage to Prince Charles was no longer working.

It's expected production on the film will begin in early 2021.

Listen to The Spill, Mamamia's daily entertainment podcast, below. On this episode, hosts Kee Reece and Laura Brodnik discuss the casting of Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana.

Since the announcement was made, social media users have responded to the casting, with some claiming that Stewart isn't "sophisticated" or "classy" enough to portray Princess Diana.

But speaking to Deadline, Jackie director Larraín defended the casting decision.

"Kristin is one of the great actors around today," he said.

"To do this well, you need something very important in film, which is mystery. Kristin can be many things, and she can be very mysterious and very fragile and ultimately very strong as well, which is what we need. The combination of those elements made me think of her," he continued.

"The way she responded to the script and how she is approaching the character, it's very beautiful to see. I think she's going to do something stunning and intriguing." 

Ahead of Stewart's upcoming role, we look back at her tumultuous life in the spotlight. 

Early career.

Although many remember Kristin Stewart for her role in the Twilight franchise, the 30-year-old's career actually began years beforehand.

As both of Stewart's parents work in the entertainment industry her father is a stage manager and her mother is a script supervisor – Stewart thought that she would grow up to become a screenwriter or director, rather than an actor.

Jodie Foster and Kristen Stewart in Panic Room. Image: IMDb. 

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"I never wanted to be the centre of attention – I wasn't that 'I want to be famous, I want to be an actor' kid," she said.

"I never sought out acting, but I always practiced my autograph because I love pens. I'd write my name on everything."

At eight years old, Stewart began dabbling in acting after she was spotted by an agent in her school's Christmas play.

She had her first role in The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas at 10 years old in 2000before later playing Jodie Foster's daughter in thriller Panic Room in 2002.

Following Panic Room, Stewart was cast in indie drama Speak, about a teenager whose trauma had left her mute, and another indie drama, Sean Penn's Into The Wild.

The Twilight years.

In 2008, Kristen Stewart's life changed forever when she was cast as Bella Swan in Twilight – the film adaptation of the successful young adult vampire-romance book series.

The series followed teenage human Bella Swan, who fell in love with 108-year-old vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) after moving to Forks, Washington to live with her father.

While author Stephanie Meyer's book series was popular, no one could have imagined the sheer magnitude of the film saga's success.

Image: IMDb. 

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Amid the release of Twilight and the four films that followed in the franchise – New Moon, Eclipse, Breaking Dawn Part 1, and Breaking Dawn Part 2 – both Stewart and Pattinson rose to worldwide fame.

There were Team Edward and Team Jacob T-Shirts sold in major retailers, the cast was plastered across countless major magazines, and the entire Twilight Saga grossed over $3 billion worldwide, making it one of the most successful film franchises of all time. 

But amid the success of the franchise, Stewart struggled in the spotlight.

At the height of her Twilight fame, the actress was often criticised for not smiling in photos, with some publications describing her as "grumpy" and "ungrateful".

But behind the scenes, Stewart was deeply anxious about her newfound fame.

"I went through so much stress. I had panic attacks, I used to puke every day and very casually too. I didn't have an eating disorder; it wasn't to do with that. I always had a stomach ache. And I was a control freak. I couldn't anticipate what was going to happen in a given situation, so I'd be like, 'Maybe I'm going to get sick' and then I'd be sick," she told Elle in 2016.

In an interview with Vanity Fair in 2019, Stewart later shared that she believes her personality was misunderstood during her Twilight fame because she wasn't interested in chasing fame

The cast of Twilight in 2008. Image: Getty. 

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"I think I’ve grown out of this, but I used to be really frustrated that because I didn’t leap willingly into being at the centre of a certain amount of attention, that it seemed like I was an a**hole," she said.

"I am in no way rebellious. I am in no way contrarian. I just want people to like me."

Relationship with Robert Pattinson.

When Stewart was 18 and Pattinson was 22, they met on the set of the first Twilight movie.

Although the pair refused to disclose any details about their relationship, it's believed they began dating in mid-2009.

"When me and Rob were together, we did not have an example to go by," Stewart told Harper's Bazaar UK.

"So much was taken from us that, in trying to control one aspect, we were just like, 'No, we will never talk about it. Never. Because it's ours."

For the next few years, the co-stars dated on and off. But in July 2012, Stewart was photographed kissing her Snow White and the Huntsman director, Rupert Sanders, who was 19 years her senior and married.

The cheating scandal led to a media storm, with both Sanders and Stewart forced to issue public apologies for the affair.

"I'm deeply sorry for the hurt and embarrassment I've caused to those close to me and everyone this has affected," Stewart said in a statement.

"This momentary indiscretion has jeopardised the most important thing in my life, the person I love and respect the most, Rob. I love him. I'm so sorry."

Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. Image: Getty. 

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While Pattinson and Stewart initially split following the scandal, they later reconciled in October 2012, before splitting for good in May 2013.

In an interview on The Howard Stern Show in 2017, Stewart opened up about her relationship with Pattinson.

"It's so weird, like, actually being honest about this. It's been so heavily consumed," she shared.

"I have this fear that people would assume that maybe I'm like, you know –  it's kind of attention-y, like, 'Oh, cool, you're still pushing that narrative' or whatever," she added.

"It's like, no, I've actually never been allowed to just say what happened. Because I was so self-conscious about seeming like an attention seeker."

She also denied long-held claims that the pair were dating for publicity.

"We were together for years. That was, like, my first, you know," she said.

"Love," Stern chimed in.

Post Twilight career.

Following Twilight, Stewart largely appeared in smaller, indie films, such as Clouds of Sils Maria, Personal Shopper, Still Alice, and American Ultra.

More recently, however, she's steered back into the mainstream, appearing in biopic Seberg, as well as a reboot of Charlie's Angels.

Image: Getty. 

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As for Stewart's personal life, the actress, who identifies as bisexual, began dating visual effects producer Alicia Cargile in 2013, following her split from Pattinson.

After splitting from Cargile in 2016, the 30-year-old dated New Zealand model Stella Maxwell, until their relationship ended in mid-2019.

Now, Stewart is in a relationship with screenwriter Dylan Meyer, who she's known for six years.

In an interview with Howard Stern in late-2019, the actress shared that she "can't f*cking wait" to propose to Meyer.

"I want to be, like, somewhat reasonable about it, but I think good things happen fast," she shared.

In 2019, Stewart shared that she was told to stop holding her girlfriend's hand in public if she wanted to land mainstream movie roles.

"I have fully been told, 'if you just, like, do yourself a favour, and don't go out holding your girlfriend's hand in public, you might get a Marvel movie,'" she told the publication.

"I don't want to work with people like that."

Feature Image: Getty.


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