You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Kristen Stewart on ‘Billy Lynn’s’ ‘Revolutionary’ Approach: ‘I Felt Like I Had Never Made a Movie Before’

Over the weekend, Ang Lee premiered his new movie “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” at the New York Film Festival to mixed reviews. The drama, based on the 2012 novel about a troop of soldiers coming home from the Iraq War, uses groundbreaking technology that captures images at 120 frames per second. (Most movies are shot at 24 frames per second.)

The result is a screen that erupts with color and texture — but some critics weren’t sure if the process was flattering to the actors. (The cast, including Vin Diesel, Steve Martin, and Garrett Hedlund, are so hyper real, they sometimes look like they’ve landed on “Avatar.”) It turns out, the actors also needed to make adjustments to the way they carried themselves in a scene. In May, sitting down for a cover story with Variety, Kristen Stewart (who plays the title character’s sister) talked about her impressions from the shoot.

Kristen Stewart: “It was crazy. [Ang Lee] shot in a really high frame rate. It’s a revolutionary way of capturing information that’s just more information in a single frame than you’ve ever consumed. It was trippy because it wasn’t like making a normal movie. I felt like I had never made a movie before. There were two cameras rolling. No one knew how they would be seen. All the actors were in a weird unknowing spot of, ‘What is it all going to look like?’

“He [Lee] would be able to see flicks of the eye. Honestly, you would have a good take, and there was one or two seconds where you would falter and he’d be like, ‘I saw you fell out of it.’ How the f— did you see that? He was literally able to see more. It was frustrating, because we worked with a s— ton of takes and the movie is really heavy.

“It should look as though there’s a different depth of field. Right now, the way you’re seeing, you could focus your eyes on anything. In this movie, everything is in focus all the time. You can decide where to go. It’s really first-person immersive filmmaking. And it’s an action movie sometimes, a war movie, a 3D movie, and it’s a drama.

“I had four or five actual shooting days. My part’s really important. It’s a linchpin part. And they all shot for months, and I was like, ‘Hey, what’s up guys?’ After four days, I had to find my feet on this movie set — that’s so weird. Ang is gentle and soulful. He’s really Buddhist in the way that he communicates. It’s very base and human, it so lies within feeling. He’s obsessed with the process too. He appreciated that I wanted to know why — don’t just tell me where the camera is.

“In a movie that’s so technical, he’s the perfect person to bring to that life. His curiosity is what drives him. He’s never satisfied, which is why he’s doing this new medium. He wants to bring everyone closer to what it’s like to be in front of someone.”

“Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” opens on Nov. 11 from Sony Pictures. 

More Film

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    MGM to Adapt Rodney Dangerfield Comedy 'Back to School' as Unscripted Series (EXCLUSIVE)

    Rodney Dangerfield may finally be getting some respect in the halls of higher education. MGM Television is developing a docu-series inspired by the 1986 Dangerfield film “Back to School,” in which the comedian’s character, millionaire Thorton Melon, enrolls in college with his son to keep him from dropping out. In typical Dangerfield fashion, he triggers [...]

  • Michelle Rejwan Lucasfilm

    Lucasfilm Hires 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker' Producer Michelle Rejwan

    Lucasfilm has hired “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” producer Michelle Rejwan as senior vice president of live action development and production. Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy made the announcement Monday. Rejwan was a co-producer on 2015’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” a co-producer on JJ Abrams’ “Star Trek: Into Darkness” and an associate producer on [...]

  • Game of Thrones Season 8 Production

    'Game of Thrones,' Netflix VFX Among Those to Be Featured in SIGGRAPH Production Talks

    VFX pros behind the final season of “Game of Thrones,” the blockbuster film “Avengers: Endgame,” Pixar’s upcoming “Toy Story 4,” last year’s Oscar-winning “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” Netflix series, including “Stranger Things,” and more will give SIGGRAPH 2019 attendees a behind-the-scenes look at their work during the conference’s Production Sessions. There will even be a [...]

  • Lionsgate Planning 'Hunger Games' Prequel Movie

    Lionsgate Planning 'Hunger Games' Prequel Movie

    Lionsgate has begun working on a “Hunger Games” prequel movie, based on a forthcoming novel from writer Suzanne Collins. “As the proud home of the ‘Hunger Games’ movies, we can hardly wait for Suzanne’s next book to be published. We’ve been communicating with her during the writing process and we look forward to continuing to [...]

  • Siberia Keanu Reeves

    Saban Films Turns 5: How the Indie Studio Grew While Rivals Faltered

    Saban Films doesn’t make the most noise. It doesn’t have the splashiest premieres or parties. But the indie film label just quietly did what many of its early rival failed to pull off. It celebrated its fifth anniversary at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. “We stuck to our plan,” Saban Films founder Bill Bromiley told [...]

  • Emanuel

    Film Review: 'Emanuel'

    Mass shootings continue to be a shameful stain on contemporary American history. They strike at such a frequent rate that the way they occupy news cycles before losing the public’s short-spanned attention has become appallingly routine. With his somber documentary “Emanuel,” released by Fathom Events in theaters for two nights only (June 17 and 19), [...]

  • Men in Black International

    Box Office: 'Men in Black: International,' 'Shaft' Add to Summer Sequel Slump

    As “Men in Black: International” and “Shaft” join the growing list of under-performing sequels this summer — an ignominious group that includes “Dark Phoenix” and “Godzilla: King of the Monsters” — worries of franchise fatigue are beginning to simmer in Hollywood. “Franchises that don’t up the ante or bring anything new into the fold are [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content