After attending the Venice and Telluride Film Festivals in the summer, Kristen Stewart’s highly anticipated interpretation of Princess Diana in Pablo Larraín’s “Spencer” is finally here. Generating an immense amount of Oscar buzz for her performance, along with the visual artistry demonstrated by the film’s impressive artisans, it felt like a good time to remind people this is not Stewart’s first dramatic and awards-worthy rodeo.
Unfiltered and brutally honest, Stewart has spoken openly about her choices in roles, with a few duds littering her filmography page. After being discovered at the age of eight, she took on small roles in television before landing her most notable role of Sarah, the young daughter of a recently divorced mother, played by Oscar winner Jodie Foster, in David Fincher’s “Panic Room” (2002). From there, the industry was hooked.
At 17 years old, Stewart took on the role of Bella Swan in the “Twilight” (2008) film, which led to multiple sequels. With very little critical acclaim, and an all-too-obsessive media circus, the roles made her a consumer favorite, but with reservation coming from the “academic” and “serious” journalists with any other role she would attempt then and after.
Her role as Diana Spencer, which has already been revered and loved by admirers of Netflix’s “The Crown” and Emmy nominee Emma Corrin, is sensationally complex and beautifully inventive. The persona of a once tabloid cover star is just one piece of an admirable career that has seen her deliver performances opposite masters like Julianne Moore (“Still Alice”), Chloë Sevigny (“Lizzie”), and now, Sally Hawkins and Timothy Spall.
She also made history by becoming the first American woman to win the César Award in France for her turn in Olivier Assayas’ “Clouds of Sils Maria” (2014) opposite Oscar winner Juliette Binoche. Her nomination for the prize was also significant as she was the first American actress in 30 years to be nominated following Julia Migenes work in “Carmen” (1984).
To showcase Stewart’s range, Variety is ranking her 10 best career performances so far. “Spencer” from Neon and Topic Studios, is currently open in theaters.
Honorable mentions: “Lizzie” (2018), “Personal Shopper” (2016), “Adventureland” (2009)