• Golden Globe Awards

Nominee Profile 2022: Kristen Stewart, “Spencer”

Breaking free of the Twilight fame which tried to box her into the category of “the world’s sweetheart,” Kristen Stewart has nabbed her first Golden Globe nomination – for Best Actress in a Motion Picture, Drama – portraying the People’s Princess in the film, Spencer, her performance in which she likens to jazz. She told the Venice Film Festival press that she didn’t try to “do a perfect Princess Diana. If I were to try and do my perfect Princess Diana impression, you would start to lose the life that was so overwhelming in her personality.”
The script focuses on a three day-long gathering at Balmoral that culminates in Princess Diana’s decision to leave the Royal family. During that time, we see a woman on the edge, fighting to make sense of an impossible reality, from press trying to catch a glimpse of her through her bedroom window, to the Palace’s condemnation of her attempts to find solace while her husband blatantly flaunts his mistress.
With her confinement of freedom of choices from food to clothing, it is no wonder that Diana’s flights of fancy make total sense – from consuming the pearls that are a copy of the ones her husband gave to Camilla, to bingeing and purging, to an encounter with the ghost of Anne Boleyn during which Diana grapples with the fact that a previous monarch had simply killed his current wife when his fancy flipped to another woman. Through it all, Kristen Stewart exposes Diana’s inner battle for control and dignity and her urgent quest for acknowledgement that in a sea of abnormality her view was the normal one.
Without doubt there is an overlap between Diana and Kristen, two women who have been trapped in the white-hot glare of media and fan attention. Both broke free, Diana by leaving “the firm,” Kristen by taking on challenging roles – like that of Jean Seberg – that have forced the world to see beyond the huge eyes and colorful headlines to the talent within.
“(Princess Diana) had such little control over her life, and nothing is unconditional, ever.” Stewart noted at the Telluride Film Festival. “Everything was this negotiation. The highs and lows were similar – she was the most beloved person in the whole world and the most rejected at the same time. She just couldn’t really define her own power, but she definitely felt it.”
Born in Los Angeles on April 9, 1990, Stewart began acting at the age of 8, but it was four years later, when she took the part of Jodi Foster’s daughter in Panic Room, that she began to garner critical acclaim. Thereafter she took on numerous challenging roles in films like Speak (2004), in which she portrayed a young girl who almost stops talking after enduring being raped. Into the Wild (2007), in which she portrayed a young musician, announced to the world that the young actress had weathered that most dangerous of titles – that of child actress – and was on the brink of becoming a star.
2008 shot her into the stratosphere as Bella Swan in the Twilight series, which concluded in 2012, the year she was also the highest paid actress in the world. Thereafter came a string of anti-Bella roles as the actress sought to revive her character work with independent films like Olivier Assayas’ Clouds of Sils Maria, which garnered her the César award for Best Supporting Actress (2016). It was the following year that the Chanel ambassador debuted as a director with her short, Swim, at the Cannes Film Festival. Her growing confidence led to her taking on more commercial fare in Charlie’s Angels (2019) and Happiest Season (2020), an LGBTQ holiday romance.
With more than 40 films to her credit, she is returning to directing with the memoir The Chronology of Water, which she will write.