When stepping into the shoes of Princess Diana in “Spencer,” Kristen Stewart notes that she wanted to become a friend to the long-beloved, former royal.

“I needed to know her,” Stewart told senior artisans editor Jazz Tangcay in a Variety Streaming Room presented by NEON. “It was just about loving her and absorbing her. You do the best impressions of people that you know, like you always do the best impression of your best friend.”

“Spencer” follows Diana during a Christmas holiday with the royal family, where she ultimately decides to end her marriage to Prince Charles. Although the story is set just over three days, the film grants viewers an intimate look into the difficult life of the Princess of Wales, including her struggles with mental health and bulimia.

“This story is a drama because it’s an ordinary person entering an extraordinary situation,” said “Spencer” writer Steven Knight, as many of the film’s creators also recognized the accessibility that Diana appeared to hold to the public, regardless of the sense of distance in the world of royals. “I thought it was very important to try and capture the actual human being rather than all of the versions of that human being that have been created since — because she was observed possibly more than any human being had been observed before or since.”

In taking on Diana’s story, director and producer Pablo Larraín stressed that much remained a mystery — but that the unknown also allowed Stewart’s performance of carrying Diana’s emotions to have an even heavier impact.

“There’s certain things that you have to assume that will remain as a mystery, and I think Diana was a person that’s enormously mysterious… [But] that’s very interesting to cinema and very valuable,” said Larraín. “The audience can be an active audience. If Kristen would have delivered all the answers, and the script as well, I don’t think it would be an interesting film — because then it’s all been said and overdone.”

“I remember the very moment that I felt like we were making this movie — and it’s really simple, I literally just walked across a room and Pablo was like, ‘Hold on a second. Go back and do it again.’ I think what he was saying was just, ‘Hold her and hold the whole movie,’” added Stewart. “‘These nerves are really good. And just imagine [Diana’s], and put them inside. Don’t show them to me. Hold them inside.’”

Stewart also acknowledged the boundaries that “Spencer” chose to honor when telling the story of Diana’s life.

“There are certain things we don’t look at in this movie. We don’t go into the shower with her. Pablo was very adamant about…marrying a rawness and an honesty, and a sort of peeling back of a curtain, but not exploiting this person — and really embedding her in our own dreams [while] acknowledging that we don’t know her… But the things that we do know for a fact? She had bulimia, horribly, and we see it. We are in the toilet with her because it’s like she doesn’t want to do that alone anymore… The strongest moments I feel in the movie are actually when she is the smallest,” said Kristen, who added that Diana was very public about her difficult relationship with food in real life, which was explored throughout the film.

The actor and the film’s other creators on the panel also dived into the intimacy conveyed by Claire Mathon’s cinematography in “Spencer.”

“It’s really rare also to work with somebody who is willing to lean into and embrace, absorb and capture chaos,” said Stewart. “There is a secret language and a sort of instinctive catching of each other that you both do. I love being aware of the camera.”

Hear more from Stewart, Larraín, Knight, production designer Guy Hendrix Dyas and costume designer Jacqueline Durran in the conversation above.