Though the supernatural figures prominently in the movie “Twilight,” Kristen Stewart secured the starring role of Bella Swan in a completely ordinary way. “I participated in a conventional audition process,” says the actress, who got her break playing Jodie Foster’s daughter in “Panic Room.”
“Twilight” is a far cry from anything that’s come before for Stewart, whose resume boasts roles in films by directors as diverse as Mike Figgis, David Gordon Green, Jon Favreau and Sean Penn.
The first to be filmed in the bestselling series of teen fantasy novels by Stephenie Meyer, “Twilight” centers on a romance between Bella and forever-17 vampire Edward Cullen. Thousands of teen girls would kill to be in her shoes.
Indeed, Stewart already had a taste of her imminent fame at last summer’s San Diego Comic-Con panel, where she was greeted by the kind of screaming one usually associates with a Miley Cyrus concert. “That was the first time a physical manifestation of what everyone was talking about presented itself to me,” she says, still a little shell-shocked.
Stewart says it was Bella’s novelty that made her want to play the part. “She doesn’t fit into the obvious role of victim,” she explains. “The power balance is fascinating between her and the vampire. It’s funny that she is so unsure and tortured about this relationship and that she is surefooted and confident for no reason. Bella is a powerful character.”
“Twilight” may make her a star, but Stewart is already thinking about what’s next, including “Welcome to the Rileys,” starring James Gandolfini, and “Adventureland,” directed by Greg Mottola.
“I was thrilled to do (“Adventureland”) because it takes place in the 1980s and Jesse Eisenberg was already involved,” says the actress. “It was a very cool project because we were in a theme park doing a comedy with the ‘Superbad’ team.”
Recent breakthrough: Landed the role of Bella Swan in “Twilight.” If you don’t know what that is, ask any teen girl.
Role model: “My grandma, for her strength and resilience.”
What’s next: “Adventureland,” in which she plays opposite 14-year-old Jesse Eisenberg of “The Squid and the Whale” fame.