Kristen Stewart could have been one of those actresses whose franchise films often lead to a loss of identity. After playing Bella Swan in the five Twilight films alongside Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen, her beloved vampire boyfriend-turned-husband, it could have been really easy to typecast the actress in certain boxes. However, Stewart’s acting prowess has helped her transcend compartmentalisation and forge a prolific career across various genres.
Stewart began acting early in school Christmas plays and then bagged various roles in films. In 2002, she was seen in her breakthrough role as Jodie Foster’s daughter in Panic Room. She has since been seen in various roles where she has presented distinguished performances, from playing the girl who goes nearly mute after being raped in Speak to her latest endeavour where she played Princess Diana in Spencer.
Known for her candid and honest self, Stewart has been unapologetic about her observations regarding her own career trajectory and has talked about how she has probably just made five note-worthy films.
Following her success with the Twilight franchise, she was seen in the 2016 Olivier Assayas film Personal Shopper which she cites as one of her best, besides others like Spencer, Adventureland, Clouds of Sils Maria and Still Alice.
Her vulnerable and sincere performance as Maureen in the film garnered rave reviews and won her various award nominations. Maureen is a young personal shopper in Paris who helps a moody celebrity decide on her clothes. While balancing her job, she is grappling with the grief of losing her twin brother to a rare congenital disease and wants to make contact with him, waiting for him to give her a signal.
As she waits to make a connection with the spiritual world and escape reality, the film is a poignant exploration of mortality, the supernatural, grief, mourning and the act of moving on.
Stewart expressed her admiration for the filmmaker and also spoke to New York Times about how she interpreted her character, moulding it as per Assayas’ vision.
Talking about Maureen, she said, “There’s a real duality to this girl. She was a twin. She’s half of a person. She’s trying to supplement that loss and figure out who she is within that, and also within this very strange, superficial environment, which is this fashion world that she’s drawn to but also repelled by.”
Watch Personal Shopper on Netflix now.