The last BITE

Vam­pire’s bride Bella, aka Kris­ten Ste­wart, is start­ing her post- Twi­light life as Snow White, write Ste­vie Wong and Neala John­son

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Front Page -

THAT fa­mously sour­puss ex­pres­sion? It’s gone.

To­day’s Kris­ten Ste­wart – 21 and soon to leave be­hind the Twi­light fran­chise that changed her life – seems less in­hib­ited, more open.

She has a glow, if you will, where pre­vi­ously there was a pout. So what’s go­ing on?

‘‘ Hon­estly, it’s not that I’m more will­ing to share, it’s just I’m more able to.’’ Ste­wart says.

‘‘ I wasn’t re­ally able to ex­press my­self. I’ve just got­ten a lit­tle bit more com­fort­able. You learn by ex­pe­ri­ence, that’s all. It’s a re­ally sim­ple an­swer.’’

Thank­fully, this doesn’t mean the young ac­tor ( pic­tured) is apolo­getic, any less ram­bling or less forth­right when she does get to the point.

‘‘ I was scared,’’ she says of her pre­vi­ous de­meanour with the me­dia. ‘‘ I didn’t want to seem like so many peo­ple that I’d seen that just . . . bleh . . . I was too pre­oc­cu­pied with how I didn’t wanna seem, so I wasn’t al­ways my­self.’’ So who is Ste­wart nowa­days, af­ter bring­ing in $ 1.8 bil­lion at the world­wide box of­fice and on the eve of the re­lease of the sec­ond­last Twi­light film, Break­ing Dawn: Part 1?

Af­ter start­ing in act­ing be­fore she even hit dou­ble fig­ures, Ste­wart’s an un­likely vet­eran and an un­con­ven­tional new Hol­ly­wood power player. Yet she still prefers to trade un­der the ‘‘ work­ing ac­tor’’ la­bel.

‘‘ It’s how you ap­proach it while you’re ac­tu­ally work­ing, like what you think your job is,’’ she ex­plains. ‘‘ I know ev­ery­one says, ‘ Well this is half the job, you can’t dis­credit this side of it, all the press stuff . . .’

‘‘ It’s like, no, ab­so­lutely not. But this . . .’’ she ges­tures into the air, in­di­cat­ing every­thing from pro­mo­tional du­ties to the trap­pings of celebrity, ‘‘ Doesn’t. Mat­ter. To. Me. At. All.

‘‘ Like, gen­uinely, I could do [ act­ing] my­self in the dark . . . as long as I was work­ing with the same peo­ple I’m work­ing with now,’’ she laughs.

Ste­wart’s ‘‘ now’’ is Snow White and the Hunts­man in which she plays a war­rior Snow White to Aussie Chris Hemsworth’s hunky Hunts­man.

When in­ter­viewed by eguide re­cently, she was sport­ing a ban­dage on her wrist – a torn lig­a­ment the re­sult of some over- ex­u­ber­ance on set.

‘‘ I hurt my­self do­ing a fight scene with some dwarves.’’

That’s not some­thing you get to say ev­ery day.

‘‘ I know! It is a high- con­tact sport, this movie. It’s full- on ev­ery day. I bruised the top of my foot just run­ning. This lig­a­ment pull was re­ally bad. Ev­ery day I come back I have bruises from here to here. But it’s only be­cause I go crazy, I lose my mind as soon as we start.’’

In­deed, the wall of slack­ness around Ste­wart has cracked un­der the weight of her emerg­ing in­ner ac­tion hero­ine.

‘‘ It is fun,’’ she ad­mits.

‘‘ In Break­ing Dawn, the sec­ond one, I fight hu­u­u­u­u­u­u­u­u­u­uge men, I mean, I’m in­cred­i­bly strong. There is noth­ing more grat­i­fy­ing than putting your hand out and hav­ing a stunt guy fly off of it . . . Oh yeah, I’m su­per strong!’’

If her ‘‘ now’’ is Snow White, Ste­wart’s ‘‘ then’’ is al­most the vam­pires and were­wolves of the

Twi­light world.

Break­ing Dawn: Part 1 opened this week. The sec­ond take will fol­low a year later. By then, the world will have al­ready seen her as Snow White and she will have moved on even fur­ther. But her at­tach­ment to her

Twi­light co- stars will re­main – Robert Pat­tin­son for ob­vi­ous, on- off rea­sons; Tay­lor Laut­ner be­cause she took her on­ce­spindly co- star un­der her wing.

Ste­wart laugh­ingly lays claim to be­ing the mak­ing of ac­tion­hero- in- train­ing Laut­ner, af­ter the teenager had to fight to re­tain his role in the sec­ond

Twi­light movie. ‘‘ I like tak­ing credit for stuff so I was like, ‘ Yeah, my boy!’,’’ she hollers, punch­ing the air.

‘‘ It’s funny be­cause he’s got his an­swers down and every­thing but he gets ner­vous, he’s just re­ally good at hid­ing it. Me and Tay­lor are re­ally good friends. It feels funny to say I men­tored him, I haven’t.’’

It’s apt she brings up that Laut­ner’s me­dia savvy. The three

Twi­light leads are a study in di­ver­sity: Laut­ner the ul­ti­mate pro, Ste­wart awk­ward and un­com­fort­able, and English­man Pat­tin­son some­where in the mid­dle.

‘‘ Ac­tors have this re­ally weird po­si­tion – their jobs are wrapped up in their per­sonal lives. Not just per­sonal lives as in, ‘ Who are you dat­ing?’ but my life is my job, I love it,’’ Ste­wart says.

‘‘ You can’t al­ways be so can­did. I def­i­nitely learnt from Rob, he re­ally shines when he’s just funny. He’s so ap­peal­ing in a gen­eral way. And Tay­lor, he’s very sin­cere yet he gives very stan­dard an­swers – but he means them, so they work.

‘‘ I al­ways mean what I say but some­times it’s a lit­tle stumbly.’’

Yet, even through the sour­puss days, Ste­wart’s re­al­ness was a big part of her ap­peal. She’s a nor­mal girl in a fan­tas­ti­cal world.

Even the money that comes with suc­cess ( her salary for both

Break­ing Dawn films is $ 25 mil­lion, plus a per­cent­age of the gross) doesn’t seem to have changed Ste­wart’s re­la­tion­ship with her ‘‘ peo­ple’’; though she still re­mem­bers the mo­ment she came to the re­al­i­sa­tion she could sup­port her whole fam­ily and then some.

‘‘ You get tastes of that as an ac­tor be­fore you even reach this ridicu­lous level. I’m very lucky, my par­ents are very suc­cess­ful and happy and love what they do and con­tinue to work and all of that. I have one bi­o­log­i­cal brother, but I’ve taken peo­ple un­der the wing and I just can’t imag­ine if I couldn’t do that.

‘‘ So on that level, ab­so­lutely, it’s life- chang­ing in a re­ally weird way – when you’re 21 years old, it’s al­most a lit­tle too much.

‘‘ You reach this level of suc­cess and it’s not just about the money, I mean, so many peo­ple look to you . . .

‘‘ Right now I just feel very young and wide- eyed but that’s – not to be to­tally lame – why I think Brad Pitt and Angie and all those kinds of peo­ple are phe­nom­e­nal peo­ple, they’re not sit­ting on a moun­tain of money. It’s very cool.’’

Ste­wart clearly won’t be con­tent with do­ing the ex­pected. In­stead of div­ing back into the rel­a­tive ob­scu­rity of in­die films along the lines of Ad­ven­ture­land and The Run­aways for her first post- Twi­light role, she went the other way – sign­ing up for a block­buster and po­ten­tial tril­ogy in the shape of Snow White.

‘‘ I know, it’s weird. That was not what I would have ex­pected from my­self, but it goes along with what I’ve al­ways said about how I choose things – I don’t choose things, they choose me,’’ she says.

‘‘ It re­ally was by chance that it was a huge Uni­ver­sal movie with Thor [ Hemsworth].’’

Yet she’s taken to that huge­ness like a fish to water or, in this case, like an ar­mour­plated princess to a horse.

This ‘‘ work­ing ac­tor’’ may soon be do­ing a whole lot more be­hind the scenes.

‘‘ It’s funny, I’ve al­ways been such a ‘ work­ing ac­tor’, like you say, I do like to be an em­ployee. Es­pe­cially be­cause I started so young, I’ve al­ways just loved fol­low­ing di­rec­tors; I’ve al­ways re­ally liked the re­spon­si­bil­ity that’s been given me.

‘‘ But now that I’ve got­ten a lit­tle bit older . . . ‘‘ I’ve had lit­tle ex­pe­ri­ences on

Snow White that have been so amaz­ingly, for lack of a bet­ter word, ful­fill­ing. I have [ the di­rec­tor’s] ear, we’re re­ally work­ing to­gether and I’ve never re­ally been so creatively [ in­volved] . . . I can’t wait to have more say.’’

You reach this level of suc­cess and it’s not just about the money

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