Thursday, August 24, 2017

Kristen Stewart, Twilight Legend

Nobody Does Bella Better than Kristen

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Kristen Stewart

Kristen Jaymes Stewart (born April 9, 1990) is an American actress who is best known for playing Bella Swan in the five films of The Twilight Saga. Kristen remains one of Hollywood's top young actresses despite the passing of the "Twilight" craze.

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Kristen was born and raised in Los Angeles. Her father works for Fox in various capacities and her Australian mother is a script supervisor. Having parents in the business no doubt eased her entry into show business, though of course it takes a lot of work for anyone. Kristen has an older brother, Cameron, and adopted brothers Dana and Taylor.

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Kristen spent a year auditioning for roles before she was ten. Finally, she landed a bit part on the Disney channel. This led to a bit part in Brian Levant's "The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas" (2000). The following year, Kristen got her first role playing a named character in "The Safety of Objects" (2001).

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In her early roles, Kristen generally played tomboys or girls in troubled situations. She received a Young Artist Award nomination for playing a tomboy in Jodie Foster's "Panic Room" (2002).

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She followed "Panic Room" with Sharon Stone's "Cold Creek Manor" (2003), once again being nominated for a Young Artist Award.

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Now a recognized actress with significant credits to her name, Kristen had her first starring role in "Catch That Kid" (2004). The media began to take notice of the rising young star, and Kristen singled out her performance in  Lifetime/Showtime television film "Speak" (2004) for praise:
Ms. Stewart creates a convincing character full of pain and turmoil.

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Kristen continued building her resume with Meg Ryan's "In the Land of Women" (2007) and Sean Penn's "Into the Wild" (2007).

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Kristen was in mostly small, independent films during this period. For her performance in "The Cake Eaters" (2007), Kristen received a lot of praise despite the film itself receiving much distribution. While such films did not make Kristen a superstar, they were enough to show casting directors and directors her promise as an actress.

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Catherine Hardwicke was one such director who noticed that Kristen Stewart was a rising young actress. Hardwicke had been chosen to direct "Twilight," a film about vampires based on the wildly popular book series by Stephenie Meyer. It is difficult to describe how popular the "Twilight" books were in the early 2000s - people would actually hold parties at bookstores to celebrate their releases. This was a sure-fire franchise, and Hardwicke held the keys to the kingdom for young actors.

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Catherine Hardwicke casually visited Kristen on the set of "Adventureland" (2009), another typical Stewart project in which she played a key supporting role (and ultimately received good notices). After an informal screen test of Stewart, Hardwicke decided that Kristen was perfect for the part of Bella Swan, the main character in the "Twilight" books. Just like that, Kristen Stewart's life had changed forever.

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Stewart was cast opposite Robert Pattinson, who played the vampire Edward Cullen who seduced Bella Swan into the vampire community. Filming began in February 2008 and lasted for about three months. The studio kept things quiet, and there was a lot of speculation about who would play Bella.

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Thus, Kristen did not receive an exceptional amount of attention until, on November 16, 2007, Summit Entertainment announced that Stewart would play main character Isabella "Bella" Swan. The film opened shortly afterwards, on November 21, 2008.

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As anyone familiar with the book series could expect, "Twilight" was a huge success. Kristen expertly played a naive young girl experiencing a gradual descent into a bizarre, but romantic, eternal underworld.

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While Stewart's performance in the five Twilight films wasn't universally praised, she did well enough to make the franchise hugely successful. Critics noted that her specialty in the role was a blank look into which the viewer is invited to project their own interpretation of how the character should be feeling. This entranced the book series' readers who all had their own views of what the character would be feeling, without disturbing their preconceptions.

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To say that "Twilight" vastly raised Kristen Stewart's profile is an understatement. By 2010, she was onstage at the Oscars presenting a tribute to the horror movie genre. In between filming the remaining "Twilight" films (five in total), Kristen continued acting in independent films, though now as the lead. One such was "The Runaways" (2010), in which Kristen portrayed rocker Joan Jett to critical acclaim.

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Kristen was riding high. She topped Vanity Fair's 2010 "Top Hollywood Earners List," making an estimated $28.5 million that year. Stewart also received a BAFTA "Rising Star" award.

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The "Twilight" saga concluded with the release of  "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2" in November 2012. All five "Twilight" films were massive successes. She followed up the role with that of Snow White in "Snow White and the Huntsman" (2012).

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Kristen now was an established superstar in Hollywood. She became a presenter at the 85th Annual Academy Awards in 2013, and Chanel hired her to promote a new Western-inspired fashion line. Balenciaga chose Kristen as the face of a new fragrance, Rosabotanica. Forbes estimated that Kristen was the third-highest-paid actress of 2013, earning $22 million. Not bad for someone who was playing supporting roles in independent films only five years earlier!

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Since the conclusion of the "Twilight" series, Kristen has resumed her career in largely independent films, and not always as a leading lady. For instance, she played supporting characters in "Anesthesia" (2015), "Certain Women" (2016), and "Café Society" (2016). She also plays lead roles, as in "Underwater" (2018), for which Kristen shaved her head and thus got the obscure project media attention.

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There is no question that Kristen Stewart remains a force in Hollywood, and will for many years to come. It is only a matter of time before she gets another high-profile role in a blockbuster and dominates the media again.

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All I try to do in the press is be honest about something that I really care about.

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2017

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