The Hollywood Critics Association has named Kristen Stewart, the star of the Twilight vampire saga, “the actress of the decade.” She received the award on the 9th of January, 2020. Many movie critics and internet users were left perplexed with this piece of news since some people call Stewart “the actress with the same facial expression in every movie.” These people believe there were candidates who were far more worthy of this award. And then there are others who believe that her acting is exceptional and that she deserves this title.
We at ViralSection decided to look carefully at Kristen Stewart’s creative path to see how her screen image has changed over the past decade.
1999–2004: Early career
© Panic Room / Columbia Pictures Corporation
© Catch That Kid / Fox 2000 Pictures
Kristen grew up in Los Angeles in a “movie” family. Her father was an assistant director and producer on the Fox channel. That’s why there was nothing surprising about the fact that the girl started her acting career at the age of 8, got her first big role at 11, and earned her first million and became world-famous at 18.
It was in the Disney Channel TV film The Thirteenth Year where Stewart first appeared on screen. At 11, she got a serious role in the independent film, The Safety of Objects. However, the actress’ career breakthrough happened one year later when David Fincher invited her to appear in his movie Panic Room. She co-starred with Jodie Foster, who noticed the talent in young Kristen. At the age of 14, Stewart was given the main role in the teenage comedy Catch That Kid, that let her demonstrate her comedic skills.
2004–2008: 12 new roles and the search for her line
© Into the Wild / Paramount Vantage
© In the Land of Women / Castle Rock Entertainment
Many people think that Kristen’s career started with her role in the vampire saga, but she actually played in many movies before Twilight. They were just not that successful and were not noticed. Although, it’s worth paying tribute to the young actress who really did try herself in various genres, starting from love stories all the way to adventure movies. At the same time, her co-stars were often top celebrities like Sharon Stone, Donald Sutherland, and Chris Evans.
By the way, Stewart was nominated for the Young Actor award for 3 years in a row as a teenager, though she never won the title. The serious breakthrough in Kristen’s career happened in 2007, when she acted in Sean Penn’s movie Into the Wild. Penn was amazed at the young girl’s work and gave the following feedback, “A truth machine…… She is a real force with terrific instincts,” adding that it was magically easy for him as the director to manage this force.
2008–2012: The Twilight Saga
© New Moon / Twilight Productions
© The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 / Twilight Productions
In November 2007, it was announced that Kristen Stewart would play the role of Bella Swan. From that moment on, the 18-year-old actress became really famous, and it was not easy for Kristen to remain herself under the scrutiny of journalists, producers, and millions of fans. On one hand, young Stewart, with her angular teenage face and expressions, perfectly matched this role, but on the other hand, it’s because of it that the actress got the nickname of the girl “with the eternally half-opened mouth.”
In any case, the success of the movie was mind-blowing — 5 episodes of the saga made about $3.5 billion. However, the popularity of Twilight became a difficult test for the leading actors. Subsequently, both Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart had to make a lot of effort to rid themselves of the images of Edward and Bella. By the way, a short love story between Robert and Kristen took place during the filming, but no one understood if it was real or whether it was a commercial trick. Many fans still shed tears about the couple they call Robsten (short for Robert and Kristen).
Stewart received 2 prestigious MTV awards, including the one for the “Best Kiss” — with Robert Pattinson.
2010–2016: Numerous attempts to shake the Twilight image
© On the Road / MK2 Productions
© Snow White and the Huntsman / Universal Pictures
It was during the filming of the vampire saga that Stewart was trying to experiment and act in new and unexpected projects. She wanted to prove to critics that she was capable of playing more than an ever-doubtful girl, with a heavy vibe, half-opened eyelids, and a grimace of pain.
In 2010, the actress played in the independent drama Welcome to the Rileys, where she portrayed a girl that helps a family get over the loss of their daughter. Kristen got the Milan International Film Festival Award for Best Actress for this role. That same year, she transformed into the rock star Joan Jett, in The Runaways. Joan herself said that Stewart managed to get a “genuine and even slightly frightening similarity” to her. In 2012, the actress performed one of the main roles in the provocative movie, On the Road, based on Jack Kerouac’s autobiographical novel. The movie was nominated for “Palme d’Or” award. Later Stewart was chosen for the role of Snow White in the movie Snow White and the Huntsman, which was a success at the box office.
At the same time, Kristen became the face of the fashion brands, Chanel and Balenciaga. In 2013, Forbes named the young woman Hollywood’s third highest-paid actress, after Angelina Jolie and Jennifer Lawrence.
2014–2018: Independent movies and unexpected success in France
© Personal Shopper / Arte France Cinéma
© Lizzie / Powder Hound Pictures
Kristen Stewart’s appearance at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival, in the movie called Clouds of Sils Maria, from French director Olivier Assayas, made critics look at the actress from a different angle. In the film, she played the role of an assistant to an eccentric European movie star, played by Juliette Binoche. Stewart played this role so well and so accurately that she became the first American actress to receive the French César Award. Since then, she has become a regular visitor at the Cannes Film Festival.
2 years later, Kristen appeared in an Assayas movie once again. This time it was Personal Shopper, where she got the main and the only role of a psychic girl who lives in Paris, buys fashionable clothes, and communicates with a mysterious stranger via iMessage. This role required Kristen to show what she knew best: insecurity, determination, inner pain, and an immersion into herself — all at once. The actress did the work brilliantly, and critics noted the successful union between the American actress and the French director, who saw Kristen at a time when she was going through a serious creative transformation and her final transition to a new level, for the second time.
2009–2016: Creative duet with Jesse Eisenberg
© American Ultra / PalmStar Media
© Café Society / Amazon Studios
When speaking of Stewart’s work, it’s impossible to not mention her successful duet with actor Jesse Eisenberg. The actors met each other on the set of Adventureland in 2008, where they played a loving couple. The young actors hit it off immediately and looked pretty harmonious in the frame. After that, they acted together in the successful comedic thriller American Ultra. Then one year later, they appeared in Woody Allen’s movie Café Society. According to Jesse Eisenberg, he has always been comfortable acting with Kristen, because he felt a “magical bond” with her. And that sounds like the truth, because all 3 of their common movies got high ratings, from both critics and audiences.
2019–2020: New roles and the title of the best actress of the decade
© Charlie`s Angels / Columbia Pictures
© Underwater / 20th Century Fox Film Corporation
Today, 29-year-old Kristen has finally managed to get rid of the image of Bella. She is engaged in many interesting and unique projects. In 2019, the actress played in 2 serious movies. The first one was the political thriller, Seberg, where she portrayed actress Jean Seberg, who advocated for equal rights for black people. The second movie was the third installment of the popular franchise, Charlie’s Angels. Despite the fact that the movie got controversial reviews, many critics noted Stewart’s bright and driving acting game, which sustained the movie.
Kristen’s fans will see the actress in the thriller Underwater in 2020, that will tell about a team of scientists at the underwater station. The Movie Expectancy Rating is 97%. Looking at these figures, it seems that Kirsten really did deserve the title of the best actress of the decade.
A rebel and a symbol of her generation
© Taylor Hill / Contributor
© Stephane Cardinale – Corbis / Contributor
“‘Play’ sounds like ‘lie’ to me, and I’m just trying to do the opposite. “When you ‘play’ something, it’s like you’re constructing something and you’re trying to manipulate other people into feeling a certain way. I never want to feel like I’m forcing something, because that means I’m kind of failing.”
Apart from her bright roles, Stewart is famous for her unusual behavior. Journalists have repeatedly called her the James Dean of the new generation — a person who expresses the spirit of her time. Since the moment Twilight finished, Kristen has changed her image drastically several times: short hair, ripped jeans, mini shorts, bright eye makeup — all these things are a part of the actress’ new image. The media has already called her the queen of sleazecore (derived from “sleazy”), and her image is even envied by the king of shock, Shia LaBeouf.
Stewart’s rebellious acts have hit the front pages of the tabloids many times. For example, at the 71st Annual Cannes Film Festival, she passed by the paparazzi in high heels, because the dress code required her to do so, but after that, she took off her shoes and went upstairs barefoot.
Kristen did this because she simply felt more comfortable this way. She would come to the premiere of her films wearing jeans and a T-shirt and not care about what the public says about her. The same applies to her personal life. Stewart has not done any public “coming outs” like Jodie Foster. She simply doesn’t hide her romances with girls, because she is convinced there is no need to declare anything, you just need to live and change, and most importantly, not be afraid to be yourself.
How do you relate to Kristen Stewart’s acting? Do you think she deserves the title of the actress of the decade or would you have chosen another person for it?
Preview photo credit New Moon / Twilight Productions, Underwater / 20th Century Fox Film Corporation