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Twilight's Kristen Stewart On How Fame Helped Her Relate To Princess Diana For Spencer

Kristen Stewart as Princess Diana in Spencer
(Image credit: (Neon))

When Kristen Stewart was cast as the late Princess Diana of Wales, she wasn’t necessarily the pick you’d guess straight away for the role. The actress is neither British nor blonde (on most days anyway), and she's been one to play characters who are more rough around the edges than we picture the mother of Prince Harry and Charles may have been. But according to first reactions, Stewart is phenomenal in Spencer, and per the actress, she could relate to Diana in more ways than one.

In Spencer, the Twilight actress will play Princess Diana over a pivotal three days in her life in 1991 when she decides to end her marriage to Prince Charles. The movie is apparently a loose interpretation of the events and more involved in studying the figure’s feelings at the time. Kristen Stewart is not a British royal, but she has seen many days in the spotlight. She shared how her own experience with fame helped her play the role:

I know what it’s like to feel backed into a corner. I know what it’s like to feel defiance, and then kind of regretful of that, because then suddenly, you are being defined as rebellious. You have no idea how many times people will go, ‘So you don’t give a fuck, huh?’ Are you kidding? Is that really the impression? Because it’s the opposite of that. It’s so desperately the opposite. It’s a convoluted idea, but I definitely understand what it feels like to want human connection and actually, ironically, feel distanced by the amount that’s thrust at you.

Fame is a tricky thing, and it's something that Kristen Stewart dealt with in a higher volume when she played Bella Swan in the Twilight movies, especially when she started dating her co-star Robert Pattinson. All of a sudden, she became the subject of paparazzi crowding and tabloid front pages. Stewart had to “rebel” in her own way, perhaps by going after smaller roles or deciding not to be a public figure in the sense of skipping out on social media or, as she’s since opened up about, staying quiet about her sexuality due to public “pressure.”

Check out the first trailer for Spencer, which is directed by Jackie’s Pablo Larraín. It also stars Jack Farthing as Prince Charles along with Shape of Water and Paddington actress Sally Hawkins.

The moment Princess Diana became Princess Diana, an entire country had its eyes on her, and it couldn’t have been easy to live life on a daily basis without being aware of the public nature of her life. This is something that her and K-Stew could have certainly bonded on if she was still alive. Instead, the actress has embodied her for Spencer. Stewart spoke about portraying the character further to The Los Angeles Times:

I’ve never been somebody who is very good at stepping outside of myself. I’m not a character actor. I’m not making any rules for myself, but the most honest work I’ve done contains my own memories. And look, I’ve never touched the monumental aspect of her fame. She was the most photographed woman in the world. For me, it’s nice to share your work with so many people. Sometimes it’s so ephemeral, though. It’s so untouchable that it doesn’t feel real, and therefore makes you feel distanced. People think they know you and you feel like they don’t, and then you think, Well, no one’s impression can be wrong. Whatever I’m putting out is truthful in that moment, whatever combination of details they’ve thrown together to form their impression is what it is.

Kristen Stewart did a lot of research into playing the royal, even falling asleep to the sound of Princess Diana’s voice in preparation to take on her accent. Spencer is coming to theaters on November 5.

Sarah El-Mahmoud

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.