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February 10, 2014

Girl on the Edge

Now that she’s proved can anchor a multibillion-dollar movie franchise, Kristen Stewart—actress, poet, seasoned road-tripper, and the valley’s coolest rebel—is more than ready to take some serious chances.

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Photo Credit: Tesh

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Though she has been acting since she was 9 years old, it was her emergence as Bella in Twilight at 17 that propelled her into the stratosphere. No other actress so young has been the anchor of a mega-blockbuster movie franchise. (Angelina Jolie was 26 when she did her first Tomb Raider; Jennifer Lawrence was 21 in the first Hunger Games.) Stewart's performance was so effortless and natural that, when she made it big-time in 2008 with the first in the vampire-romance fantasy series, it seemed as if she had always been here. And in a sense, she had. She so perfectly inhabited every teen-girl quirk and mannerism—the snort when she means "no," the resigned shrug and stare into her dinner plate when she wants to change the subject—and reflected them back onto her source material and audience of young females. Five Twilights and 26 movies in total later, she finds herself in the coveted position of being able to choose her film projects—and fashion houses. Since 2012, she has been the face of Balenciaga's Florabotanica fragrance, and most recently of the brand's new spicy floral perfume, Rosabotanica. In December, she was also announced as the new face of Chanel's pre-fall collection, with the ad campaign launching in May.

"I did a photo shoot with Bruce Weber when I was 14 for Interview magazine. I met Nicolas Ghesquière [Balenciaga's then creative director, now at Louis Vuitton]. I was blown away—fashion became less superficial in my eyes, though it wasn't my thing. A couple of years later, he called me up. He had stuck out [to me] as an artist. Fashion has the best and worst people. The gems stick out. He was a designer I wanted to be around. He was so creative. If I have to walk red carpets, if I have to be in fashion, then I want to be with him."

But those feel like safe choices—fronting fashion labels is what starlets do now, as much a part of the business as enduring press junkets and swan-ning down red carpets. Does Stewart want to create another mega-franchise, building 2012's Snow White & the Huntsman, in which she played the title lead heroine, into another juggernaut, or strike out into the unknown, as she has done with riskier fare like The Runaways (2010), On the Road (2012), and Camp X-Ray (which premiered at Sundance), in which she portrays a soldier at Guantanamo who develops an unlikely friendship with a detainee? While a Snow White & the Huntsman sequel is far-off, "it's not where I thrive," she says. "I really like being thrown into the unknown and then finding my way. I don't want to show someone something. I want people to watch me find something."


Credits: Jacket, price upon request, Louis Vuitton; Top, $40, Frisbie; Jeans, $165, Joe's

 


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