For the past week, Kristen Stewart has been off on the film festival trail with director Pablo Larraín, sharing their film Spencer, which brings a new perspective to the story of Princess Diana of Wales. In a 180 degree turn from Stewart taking on Joan Jett back in 2010 for The Runaways, the actress is taking on the tragic story of the late royal during the weekend she decides to end her marriage with Prince Charles. As Stewart recently expressed, playing the role became an intense process that even got a little “spooky.”
Spencer will not deal with the 1997 death of Princess Diana, but instead takes viewers back to 1991 at a time when the royal decided to make the controversial decision to remove herself from the crown. Kristen Stewart shared her experience taking on the character:
I felt some spooky, spiritual feelings making this movie. Even if I was just fantasizing. I felt like there were moments where I kind of got the sign-off. It’s scary to tell a story about someone who’s not alive anymore and who already felt so invaded. I never wanted to feel like we were invading anything, just that we were kind of adding to the multiplicity of a beautiful thing.
While speaking to the Los Angeles Times at the Telluride Film Festival in Colorado, Kristen Stewart got candid about some of the feelings that came up while emulating the late Princess, and it sounds like it got pretty creepy. A lot of Princess Diana’s story dives into the pitfalls of fame, which Stewart has certainly dealt with in her own way. Stewart did not want to invade her privacy more than the woman confronted in her life and death, but the presence of this definitely was felt by the actress. She continued:
She felt so alive to me when I was making this movie, even if it’s all between the ears and it was just a fantasy of mine. But there were moments where my body and mind would forget she was dead. And suddenly, I would just have an image of what happened. And remember who she left behind. And I was amazed by the renewed emotion. Every single time. Maybe two or three times a week, I would just fully break down about the fact that she had died. I just could not come to terms with it, because I was fighting to keep her alive every single day.
Kristen Stewart seemed to have felt the weight of Princess Diana’s legacy while getting in character for the role as well. Diana died when she was just 36 years old and left behind two children, Prince William and Prince Harry, who were 15 and 12 at the time. The Princess of Wales had divorced Prince Charles one year earlier and died beside her romantic partner at the time, film producer Dodi Fayed.
The title of Spencer is in reference to Diana’s maiden name. The movie premiered at the Venice Film Festival last week to rave reviews from its first audiences. It has been named by some as the “best film of the year,” and there’s an aura around the Hollywood community that Kristen Stewart could be honored with an Oscar nomination for the role some time soon. Check out the Spencer teaser trailer:
The movie was directed by the filmmaker behind 2016’s Jackie, which followed Jackie Kennedy after the assassination of JFK and earned Natalie Portman an Oscar nomination. Spencer’s script was written by Steven Knight, who also penned Locke, Pawn Sacrifice and was behind many episodes of Peaky Blinders. Spencer is coming to theaters on November 5.