Celebrity Entertainment & GRAMMY Central Movie Reviews

Twilight – Love Kills

LAX talks to Twilight’s star Kristen Stewart about obsession, fame and the future

Kristen Stewart is on the cusp of something truly amazing. She stars in Twilight, the film adaptation of Stephanie Meyer’s über popular novel of the same name. Twilight adorns the shelves of every bookstore in the world — from the airport news shops to major franchise retailers. Stewart plays the film’s main character, lovelorn and lonely Bella Swan.

Bella falls in love with Edward Cullen, who happens to be a vampire. Twilight also happens to be one of the most anticipated films of 2008. There’s a lot of pressure on Stewart, but she’s as calm, cool and down-toearth as can be. Sitting in the Beverly Wilshire hotel, her reserve is strangely inviting and infectious.

Unlike most girls her age, Stewart actually wasn’t completely enamored with the series before she got the part. She explains, “I hadn’t read any of the books. I frequent used bookstores. I was working, and I didn’t want my focus to go anywhere else. I didn’t even want to read the script because I read the synopsis, and I was like, ‘I’ve never even heard of it. I don’t like this idea of presenting this really ideological idea of love to little kids. It doesn’t exist. I don’t want to be a part of that.’ Then I read the script, and I begged for the audition. In a synopsis, this story is weak, but it’s not. It’s a fantasy. It’s not like young girls are expecting that they should meet a vampire and fall in love with him when they turn seventeen.” However, that love is extremely tangible in the film. Stewart brings it to life with a true talent and reverence for the part. She can also give some deep insight into that relationship between Bella and Edward.

“Bella doesn’t have a choice. She’s entirely caught up in something ten feet taller than she is. It’s a physiological need. Once you know something you can’t forget it. She has seen this and experienced it.

So literally, she’d rather die. If he wants to kill her, she’s like, ‘Go for it, because if that’s all you can do, then that’s what I want.’” Given the book’s massive popularity, the stakes are especially high for Twilight. Dealing with the paparazzi is never fun for any young actress, but Stewart’s panache comes through once more about that subject. “I keep a very low profile. I think it’ll be fine, because it’s not me. I don’t take it personally at all to be this figurehead in these girls’ minds — this weird little prop for them. The [paparazzi] want to see you screw up. They’re searching for that. It’s fine.

I don’t put too much stock in it. I don’t read that kind of stuff. You have to take the piss out of [being a celebrity] and not take it seriously. You’re asking for it when you’re at “Les DUH” every night [Laughs].

Don’t hang out in Hollywood.” When this film does skyrocket Stewart to A-List status — which it undoubtedly will due to how good it is — the game will change in a lot of ways. “This is going to make it so much easier for me to not be gutted every time a movie that I’m in love with is never getting off the ground,” she sighs. “I never again have to sit around and wait for a movie to get money and become too old for the role or just uninterested and move on from it. That, I don’t think is going to happen anymore, and I’m really thankful for it.” She’s an artist though, and she gave Bella all she had. “I take myself way too seriously. You have to keep in mind what these characters are going through. I had a good time. This was the most loaded experience. Making Twilight is like a little section of my life. Some parts were hysterical. Nikki Reed is like my best friend. We’re even doing a movie together called K-11. On a movie set, everything’s under a magnifying glass. Especially with this movie, I had to be so exposed and cracked open the whole time.

The crew was probably uncomfortable watching me go through what I went through because it was very personal. I guess it’s perfect for the movie.” Ultimately though, despite baring her soul in Bella, Stewart’s looking forward to the possible sequels.

“It’d be crazy to follow a character that long. I started out doing it because I felt a responsibility for her, so I can maintain that.” There’s no doubt that if anyone can, it’s her.

– RICK FLORINO

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