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Kristen Stewart: Our Cool Set Visit Interview

February 15, 2012

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Kristen Stewart tells us why she loves her kick butt princess role in Snow White and the Huntsman!

Kidzworld was in the U.K. on set in the woods behind Pinewood studios watching Kristen and Chris Hemsworth hanging upside down from a tree, the captives of a group of gnarly-looking dwarves below.  They were safe in harnesses with a stunt pad beneath them but these precautions didn’t save Chris from the mighty fists of Kristen as she struggled on camera to free herself and connected with his face!  Later, we asked her about it.

Kidzworld: We saw Chris’s bruise.

  • Kristen: Oh, God! I’ve never punched anyone in the face. That was actually a very confidence-building experience. When you dream, your hand just slides right down their face [harmlessly]. It doesn’t do that in real life. It really works! God, that really made me feel horrible though, an instant hot tears moment!

Kidzworld: He was very gracious. He said he had head-butted your hand.

  • Kristen: Uh huh, not really. You were standing in close proximity to the monitors but we were watching it [on playback]. It’ll be in the movie [she rolls her eyes].  

Let’s set the scene for you.  It’s October and cold-ish. The ground in this pretty woods is muddy. We’re watching Kristen and Chris try to convince their captors that they are on their side against wicked queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron).  Between set-ups, both actors don warm modern black parkas that look odd over their period costumes. He’s in weathered leathers and she’s in a bare-shouldered, puffy-sleeved tunic over leather pants. 

We see Kristen constantly moving her legs while her make-up is freshened by the crew. We don’t know if she’s just cold (we are) or nervous.  Soon the duo is strung up again, upside down, hands tied behind backs. Man, whatever they are making on this movie isn’t enough but both actors are troopers about it, chatting happily between takes. He’s chill, she’s hyper and it works!

Later, on the Pinewood lot, we wait for Kristen to change clothes. She appears in her usual Chucks tennies wearing sweats and a sweater with her sunglasses hooked into the front of her t-shirt.  We see the scraped knuckles on her right hand, part of an earlier set accident. We’re standing out in the open. She’s looking around warily, maybe for an unexpected fan ambush? It’s cold and windy.

 
  • Kristen: Can we go somewhere else for this? I feel a little put on the spot. Can we go sit in my trailer?

Kidzworld: Sounds great.

We walk a while and climb inside where it’s warm.

  • Kristen: Literally, I would be looking over my shoulder every five seconds at someone walking up. I wouldn’t be answering any of your questions.

Kidzworld: No problem. You’ve said that Bella grew on you and you really liked her by the end of the Twilight series. How do you feel about Snow White?  Is there something you really admire about her?

  • Kristen: Yes. It’s strange playing a character that you could never truly embody. Her spirit effects people. I can’t have Snow White’s effect on people and I can’t actually be completely selfless. Nobody is. It’s strange to claim that. You could only play a character like that in a fairy tale and play it with a whole load of integrity and not have it just be a fake character in a movie with people that do seem real.

She’s a very fully-formed but very far-fetched from the reality that we live in type of person. Everyone thinks that I just want to play strong characters but she’s strong in a very different way than you’d expect a bullying person in an action type adventure movie to be.

Kidzworld: She has strength of character you think?

  • Kristen: Yeah, strength but also gusto. She’s strong. She can kick a** but it also hurts very much to do so. So it’s like you’re watching her take down a kingdom but you’re not watching going “Yeah! Kill ‘um!” It’s more like you’re watching someone having to do something that doesn’t just go against your sensibilities or something that you agree with. It’s not real. It physically gutting, literally. A million reasons, but she’s special.

Kidzworld: She’s not your prissy princess at all?

  • Kristen: Yeah that’s a very surface [thing] but she is prissy sometimes. It takes her the whole movie basically, to become who I’m talking about now. I’m really sort of talking in retrospect. It’s strange. It’s a total identity movie. It’s not just about finding yourself but being okay with who you know you always have been and not being ashamed of being the only one who sees the light.

 

It’s an enormous burden and she’s so stunted. She was put away when she was seven years old. Your mother and father are killed basically right in front of you. We’re not doing the version of the fairy tale that wouldn’t deal with all of those things, that would skim over all those things and you go “Oh, now I’m out and I’m running”. All of these things are really important to the characters.

She literally breaks and bleeds for her land and her people. That’s such a cool concept for me because it’s people caring about people. It’s very simple but it’s so common that every day, all the time, you see people not caring about each other. This is just about that.

Kidzworld: Is she a born leader or she learns to be a leader?

  • Kristen: She’s definitely a born leader. It’s literally pumping through those veins but it’s been taken from her. She’s been so stolen from that it’s not an easy thing.

Kidzworld: We enjoyed watching you and Chris out there. What about working with Chris surprised you?

  • Kristen: Wow, Chris is actually cool! No. Chris, before I met him I was like “Gosh, he’s like sooo charming. He’s so ridiculously, seemingly nice, like movie star caliber nice”. But he really just actually is. He’s just an Aussie boy. But again, it’s strange. It’s not a secret, it was a completely different part before [he came in]. It was a total rethought.

It changed so much so when he came in it was like “Wow, this is interesting”. It really elevated it. Chris is an amazing, nice guy and also with great instincts. And he can roll with everything on set and is really relaxed whereas I’m always like “Whoa!” But I use my anxiety to do things and he’s always a good energy for me.

Kidzworld: He’s just chilled out?

  • Kristen: Yeah, exactly. I really, really like working with him.

 

Kidzworld: Is it helping you to wear the period costumes? Is that putting you there?

  • Kristen: Absolutely. If you look down and something doesn’t feel authentic, like you would definitely be wearing it.. if you go to grab your knife and it flops around [because it’s a rubber prop knife, then it’s not cool].  Literally, Colleen [Atwood, Oscar-winning costume designer] thinks about literally every detail because it so wearable and I have puffy sleeves but somehow she manages to make puffy sleeves look cool. It’s almost like the precursor to the armor. I was always expecting to wind up in what I’m wearing under it, like that little blue dress, just thin and wispy and was really happy that she’s got something heavy on; a bit of armor before she actually finds her own [inner] armor.

Kidzworld: How did you feel the first time you put on the armor? Did you feel really badass?

  • Kristen: Yeah. Actually I did. The first thing you want to do is [she indicates punching someone]. [laughter] Also, my armor doesn’t have a huge top on it. All the guys, unfortunately, they go like this and they hit themselves in the head. I can run around in mine.

Somehow, the armor on men [is funny], unless they’re on horseback and then they look amazing, but just seeing them being like [she indicates lumbering slowly along] “Wait!” There’s also something dainty about it too with pointy toes. It fits a woman’s body better I think. The guys running around look like little toys but slightly feminine little toys.

Kidzworld: This is the second time you’ve played someone being led out into the woods to be given bad news.

  • Kristen: [laughs] That’s true.

Kidzworld: Which is harder, realizing that you’re going to die or realizing that the person you love doesn’t love you?

  • Kristen: It’s funny. I think that she actually, genuinely lacks that innate fear of death that we all have. She’s got serious survival instincts but she isn’t afraid to die. What is harder is to have dreams and hopes you’ve lived with your whole life shattered in front of you. Hope doesn’t exist anymore and you’ve got so much in you, if you can explain to people that it’s so worth fighting for.

So you can see the degradation of her people. It’s like she’s a Voo Doo doll. If they’re in pain, she’s in pain. So, when she gets out of those walls, it’s a blow to her stomach almost every step, every new discovery of how shit things have gotten. I think it is totally impossible to compare the two because getting led out and being broken up with thing, especially in that context, that was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to play and I built that moment up so much in my head, not that I’m talking about Twilight now, but you can’t compare them.

Kidzworld: Can you compare the two movies at all?

  • Kristen: Bella and Snow White, they both come to find that they’re leaders. That’s definitely a similarity. They’re very, very, very different people but also I guess, in a righteous way, everyone is telling them “No” and both of them, I guess, see the light. Both of them are a little bit more intuitive and spiritually, for whatever reason, connected and their gut is always dead right.

Kidzworld: As a kid, did you have a favorite fairy tale?

  • Kristen: Somebody asked me this the other day. I wasn’t hugely into fairy tales. I really liked “The Jungle Book”. I was obsessed with “The Jungle Book”.

Kidzworld: Chris said “Lord of the Rings” and that isn’t a fairy tale either.

  • Kristen: He is obsessed with “Lord of the Rings”. He’s always humming Enya when we’re trudging up mountains. Basically it’s like “You should make a re-make of Lord of the Rings. Why are you doing this movie?” or “We’re doing Snow White and the Huntsman, Chris!”

By: Lynn Barker

 

 

 

 

 

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