Kristen Jaymes Stewart (born April 9, 1990) is an American actress and filmmaker. She rose to stardom for her lead role as Bella Swan in The Twilight Saga film series (2008–2012), which collectively grossed over $3.3 billion worldwide. The world's highest-paid actress in 2010 and 2012, she is the recipient of a César Award, the only American actress to win it.
Stewart at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival
Kristen Jaymes Stewart
April 9, 1990
Born and raised in Los Angeles to parents who both worked in the entertainment industry, Stewart first gained notice at age 12 for her role as the daughter of Jodie Foster's character in David Fincher's thriller Panic Room (2002). She subsequently starred in Speak (2004), Catch That Kid (2004), Zathura: A Space Adventure (2005), and Into the Wild (2007). In 2010, she was awarded the BAFTA Rising Star Award. After starring in the fantasy film Snow White and the Huntsman (2012), Stewart eschewed roles in big-budget films in favor of independent productions in the years following. She took on roles in the dramas Camp X-Ray and Still Alice (both 2014), and the science fiction romance Equals (2016). In 2015, she garnered critical acclaim for her performance in Olivier Assayas' drama film Clouds of Sils Maria, which won her the César Award for Best Supporting Actress. Stewart reunited with Assayas the following year in the supernatural thriller Personal Shopper (2016) and made her directorial debut with the 2017 short film Come Swim. She returned to mainstream Hollywood with leading roles in the action films Charlie's Angels (2019) and Underwater (2020).
Kristen Jaymes Stewart was born on April 9, 1990, in Los Angeles, California, to parents in the entertainment industry. Her American father, John Stewart, is a stage manager and television producer who has worked for Fox and on the Comedy Central show @midnight. Her Australian mother, Jules Mann-Stewart, is a script supervisor and also directed the 2012 film K-11. Jules was adopted by a Jewish couple in California, Norma and Ben Urman, in 1953; a DNA test showed that one of Kristen's biological maternal grandparents was Ashkenazi Jewish. Stewart has an older brother, Cameron B. Stewart, and two adopted brothers, Dana and Taylor. In 2012, her mother filed for divorce after 27 years of marriage.
Stewart attended local schools until the seventh grade. As she became more involved in acting, she continued her education by distance until graduating from high school.
1999–2003: Career beginnings
As she was raised in a family who work in the entertainment industry as non-actors, Stewart thought that she would become a screenwriter/director, but never considered being an actor. She recalled, "I never wanted to be the center of attention—I wasn't that 'I want to be famous, I want to be an actor' kid. I never sought out acting, but I always practiced my autograph because I love pens. I'd write my name on everything."
She began acting at age eight, after an agent saw her perform in her elementary school's Christmas play. After auditioning for a year, Stewart got her first role with a small, nonspeaking part in the Disney Channel television film The Thirteenth Year. Her next film was The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas, where she played the "ring toss girl". She also appeared in the independent film The Safety of Objects (2001), as the tomboy daughter of a troubled single mother (Patricia Clarkson). Stewart also played a tomboy, diabetic daughter of a divorced mother (Jodie Foster) in the thriller film Panic Room (2002), directed by David Fincher. She was nominated for a Young Artist Award for her performance.
Following the success of Panic Room, Stewart was cast in another thriller, Cold Creek Manor (2003), playing the daughter of Dennis Quaid and Sharon Stone's characters. She was nominated again for a Young Artist Award for her performance. About this time in her career, she started homeschooling because of her irregular schedule.
At age 14, Stewart's first starring role was in the children's action-comedy Catch That Kid (2004), opposite Max Thieriot and Corbin Bleu. That year, Stewart also played the role of Lila in the thriller, Undertow (2004). Stewart starred in the Lifetime/Showtime television film Speak (2004), based on the novel by the same name by Laurie Halse Anderson. Stewart, aged 13 at the time of filming, played a high school freshman, Melinda Sordino, who nearly stops speaking after being raped. Her performance was widely praised, with The New York Times stating "Ms. Stewart creates a convincing character full of pain and turmoil."
Stewart appeared in the fantasy-adventure film Zathura: A Space Adventure (2005), playing the role of Lisa Budwing, the irresponsible older sister of two little boys. During their playing a board game, they turn their house into a spacecraft hurtling uncontrollably in outer space. The film was praised by critics, but Stewart's performance did not garner much media attention. Her character is immobilized during most of the film. The following year, she played the character Maya in Fierce People (2006), directed by Griffin Dunne. After that film, she received the lead role of Jess Solomon in the supernatural thriller film The Messengers.
Stewart appeared as teenager Lucy Hardwicke in In the Land of Women (2007), a romantic drama starring Meg Ryan and Adam Brody. The film, as well as Stewart's performance, received mixed reviews. That same year, Stewart had a small role in the Sean Penn-directed adaptation Into the Wild. For her portrayal of Tracy – a teenage singer who has a crush on young adventurer Christopher McCandless (played by Emile Hirsch) – Stewart received mixed reviews. While Salon.com considered her work a "sturdy, sensitive performance", and the Chicago Tribune noted that she did "vividly well with a sketch of a role", Variety's critic Dennis Harvey said, "It's unclear whether Stewart means to be playing hippie-chick Tracy as vapid, or whether it just comes off that way." The film received Screen Actors Guild nomination for Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture. After Into the Wild, Stewart had a cameo appearance in Jumper and also appeared in What Just Happened, which was released in October 2008. She co-starred in The Cake Eaters, an independent film that has been screened only at film festivals. Both the film and Stewart's performance received many positive reviews. Critic Bill Goodykoontz from The Arizona Republic said that Stewart "really shines.... She excels at both aspects of the performance, giving Georgia a strength that defies any sort of pity one might feel for her, without letting us forget her vulnerability".
2008–2012: The Twilight Saga and worldwide recognition
On November 16, 2007, Summit Entertainment announced that Stewart would play main character Isabella "Bella" Swan in the film Twilight, based on Stephenie Meyer's bestselling vampire romance novel of the same name. Stewart was on the set of Adventureland when director Catherine Hardwicke visited her for an informal screen test, which "captivated" the director. She starred alongside Robert Pattinson, who plays Edward Cullen, her vampire boyfriend. The film began production in February 2008 and finished filming in May 2008.
Twilight was released domestically on November 21, 2008. Stewart's performance garnered mixed reviews with some critics describing her as "the ideal casting choice" and praising her for conveying "Bella's detachment, as well as her need to bust through it;" others criticized her acting for being "wooden" and lacking variety in her facial expressions, which they described as "blank".
She was nominated four times, three consecutive years (2003–2005) and in 2008 for the Young Artist Award.
She received praise for her role in Adventureland (2009), a comedy-drama film written and directed by Greg Mottola, and co-starring Jesse Eisenberg. Critic James Berardinelli said, "Stewart is more than merely appealing in this role – she makes Em a fully realized woman, and some of the most intricate development results from what the camera observes in Stewart's eyes." Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times said Stewart was "beautiful, enigmatic and very experienced". and MSN Movies' James Rocchi stated, "Stewart's vulnerable, spooky power is used to nice effect."
Stewart reappeared as Bella in the Twilight's sequel, New Moon, once again receiving mixed reviews for her performance. Jordan Mintzer from Variety called Stewart "the heart and soul of the film" and praised her for giving "both weight and depth to dialogue...she makes Bella's psychological wounds seem like the real deal." On the other hand, Manohla Dargis from The New York Times said Stewart's "lonely-girl blues soon grow wearisome," and Bill Goodykoontz from The Arizona Republic stated "Stewart is a huge disappointment... She sucks the energy right out of the film". She reprised this role in the third Twilight film, Eclipse.
In 2009, Stewart starred in The Yellow Handkerchief, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival and was released into theaters in 2010 by Samuel Goldwyn Films. She also starred alongside James Gandolfini in Welcome to the Rileys, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2010.
In 2010, Stewart portrayed rock star Joan Jett in The Runaways, a biographical film of the titular band from writer-director Floria Sigismondi. Stewart met with Jett over the 2008–2009 New Year to prepare for the role; she prerecorded songs in a studio for the film. She received praise for her performance: the Metro Times wrote, "It turns out that Stewart is actually really good at capturing Jett's icy, tough-but-cool girl swagger, adding the needed touches of vulnerability that transform it into a pretty terrific performance... Stewart is a genuine rock star here." Also, A. O. Scott of The New York Times noted "Ms. Stewart, watchful and unassuming, gives the movie its spine and soul." The same year, Stewart was listed as the highest-earning actress in Vanity Fair's "2010's Top Hollywood Top Earners List", with an estimated earning of $28.5 million for her film roles in 2010. She won the BAFTA Rising Star Award in 2010 and was awarded the Milan International Film Festival Award for Best Actress in 2011 for Welcome to the Rileys (2010).
Stewart was listed as the highest-earning actress in the Vanity Fair "Hollywood Top Earners List of 2010", with estimated earnings of $28.5 million. In 2011, she was named number one on Forbes' list of "Hollywood's Best Actors for the Buck". Forbes also ranked her as the world's highest-paid actress in 2012, with total earnings of $34.5 million.
The fourth Twilight film, Breaking Dawn – Part 1, was released on November 18, 2011. Despite the film receiving mixed to negative reviews, Stewart's performance was praised. Gabriel Chong called Stewart's work "mesmerising" and said that she "makes [Bella's] every emotion keenly felt that runs the gamut from joy, trepidation, anxiety, distress and above all quiet and resolute determination." The Village Voice's Dan Konis said Stewart "beautifully underplays" the role. Certain critics found Stewart's chemistry with Pattinson lacking and said that the relationship between their characters came off like a "charade" onscreen, or that none of the three leads was convincing in their role.
She concluded the role of Bella Swan in the final installment in the series, Breaking Dawn – Part 2, in November 2012. The film, despite mixed critical reception, was a box office success, grossing nearly $830 million worldwide, becoming the 40th highest-grossing film, and the highest-grossing film of the Twilight series. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film currently holds a 48% rotten rating, based on 174 reviews with the consensus stating: "It is the most enjoyable chapter in The Twilight Saga, but that's not enough to make Breaking Dawn Part 2 worth watching for filmgoers who don't already count themselves among the franchise converts."
On December 6, 2011, Stewart was named number one on Forbes magazine's list of "Hollywood's Best Actors for the Buck". On January 13, 2012, she became the face of a new unnamed Balenciaga perfume; in June, its name was promoted as "Florabotanica".
According to Forbes, Stewart was the world's highest-paid actress in 2012, with total earnings of $34.5 million. She earned $12.5 million each for the last two installments in the Twilight series, including royalties.
2013–2019: Independent films and critical recognition
On February 24, 2013, she presented at the 85th Academy Awards with fellow actor Daniel Radcliffe. On December 11, 2013, Chanel announced that Stewart was its "new face" for a Western-inspired fashion collection. The campaign has been shot by Karl Lagerfeld and was released online in May 2014. In 2014, Balenciaga released a new fragrance, Rosabotanica, with Stewart remaining the face of the brand. She was ranked No. 3 on Forbes' highest-paid actress in 2013, with a total earning of $22 million, #10 in 2014 with $12 million, and #9 in 2015 with $12 million.
Camp X-Ray, her first film of 2014, was premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival on January 17. Her performance as a young soldier stationed at Guantanamo Bay detention camp garnered rave reviews from critics. David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter called it "her best screen work to date [playing the role of] an inexperienced military guard", while Xan Brooks of The Guardian said, "It's a role that reminds us what a fine performer she was in the likes of Into the Wild and Adventureland.". In 2014, she appeared in the music video for Jenny Lewis' "Just One of The Guys", and in The New York Times short movie 9 Kisses.
Stewart next starred alongside Juliette Binoche and Chloë Grace Moretz in Olivier Assayas' Clouds of Sils Maria. The film premiered at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival. Her performance in the film garnered critical acclaim. Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter said that "Stewart's habitual low-keyed style, which can border on the monotone, functions as effectively underplayed contrast." Peter Debruge of Variety praised her, saying that "Stewart is the one who actually embodies what Binoche's character most fears, countering the older actress’ more studied technique with the same spontaneous, agitated energy that makes her the most compellingly watchable American actress of her generation." Robbie Collin of the Daily Telegraph praised her, saying "...it's Stewart who really shines here. Valentine is probably her best role to date: she's sharp and subtle, knowable and then suddenly distant, and a late, surprising twist is handled with a brilliant lightness of touch." For the performance, Stewart won the César Award for Best Supporting Actress, becoming the first American actress to receive a nomination in thirty years. She is the second American winner after Adrien Brody, who won the César Award for Best Actor in 2003.
Stewart appeared alongside Julianne Moore in Still Alice, a drama film that premiered at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival. Her performance received praise from critics. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone called her "wonderfully vibrant and contentious" and said: "Even when Still Alice sometimes slips into sentiment, Moore and Stewart are funny, fierce and glorious. In 2015, she was named #1 on Glamour's list of "Best Dressed Women". She appeared in Tim Blake Nelson's Anesthesia, an indie drama about a group of New Yorkers, which was released on January 8, 2016 by IFC Films. She costarred with Jesse Eisenberg again in American Ultra, which was filmed from April to June 2014, and was released on August 21, 2015. In December 2015 she starred in Once and Forever, which was directed by Karl Lagerfeld.
Stewart co-starred along with Nicholas Hoult in Drake Doremus' futuristic love story Equals which was released on July 15, 2016. Filming took place in Japan and Singapore from August to September 2014. In 2015, Stewart was confirmed to join Certain Women directed by Kelly Reichardt; the film was released on October 14, 2016. In 2016, she starred in the Woody Allen film Café Society, opposite Steve Carell and Jesse Eisenberg, marking her third collaboration with the latter; it was released on July 15, 2016. Stewart also reunited with Clouds of Sils Maria director Olivier Assayas to headline his film Personal Shopper, a ghost story that takes place in the fashion industry. She also co-starred in Ang Lee's war drama Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, which was released on November 11, 2016. In December 2016, Stewart appeared in the official music video for the Rolling Stones' single "Ride 'Em on Down".
In 2016, Stewart became the youngest actress to be an honoree at the New York Film Festival. In the same year, Stewart was also an honoree at Elle's Women in Hollywood Awards alongside Amy Adams, Felicity Jones, Anna Kendrick, Aja Naomi King, Helen Mirren, and Lupita Nyong'o.
On May 2, 2016, it was announced that Stewart would make her directorial debut with a short film titled Water for female-focused digital publisher Refinery29. The short will be part of their ShatterBox Anthology. In July 2016, it was confirmed that Stewart's short film will be titled Come Swim in an interview with Philippine Daily Inquirer. It had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2017. During the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, Stewart revealed that her next short film will be about gun control.
In June 2016 Stewart appeared in a video ad campaign for Chanel.
In 2017, Stewart coauthored a computer science preprint about the use of neural net techniques in the making of her short film Come Swim. That same year, Stewart hosted Saturday Night Live for the first time with musical guest Alessia Cara. and was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences
In 2018, Stewart appeared opposite Chloë Sevigny in Lizzie, about Lizzie Borden, directed by Craig William Macneill, which had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2018. It was released on September 14, 2018, by Saban Films and Roadside Attractions. The film received mixed reviews from critics. She also starred in JT LeRoy, a biopic about Laura Albert, alongside Laura Dern and Diane Kruger. She also appeared in the music video for Interpol's "If You Really Love Nothing". She also served as a member of the jury for the official competition of the 2018 Cannes Film Festival.
In 2019, Stewart starred as actress Jean Seberg in Seberg, directed by Benedict Andrews. The film premiered at the Venice Film Festival on August 30, 2019. While the film received mixed reviews from critics, Stewart's performance received praise. It was released in the United Kingdom on January 10, 2020, by Universal Pictures and in the United States on February 21, 2020, by Amazon Studios, after an awards-qualifying run on December 13, 2019. Time magazine declared her performance the 10th best performance of 2019.
Stewart returned to mainstream Hollywood with starring roles in the action comedy film Charlie's Angels (2019) and the science fiction film Underwater (2020). Both films were poorly-reviewed by critics, but her performance in the former was well received. Stewart wrote and directed a short film titled Crickets, as part of the anthology series Homemade which follows stories from 18 filmmakers from around the world during the COVID-19 pandemic isolation. It was co-produced by Pablo Larraín's production company Fabula. The series was released on June 30, 2020 on the Netflix platform.
She is working on her feature film directorial debut, which will be an adaptation of writer Lidia Yuknavitch's memoir The Chronology of Water, which she will also write. She is also attached to star alongside Riley Keough in a Netflix television series adaptation of Gina Frangello's novel A Life in Men, produced by Charlize Theron. and to play Joan Vollmer, the most prominent female member of the Beat Generation, alongside Ben Foster in his untitled directorial debut, an adaptation of William S. Burroughs' early works and letters. On June 17, 2020, she was cast as Princess Diana in Pablo Larraín's upcoming film, Spencer, which focuses on Diana's decision to divorce Prince Charles. Filming began in Germany in January 2021.
Awards and accolades
In 2008 she ranked number 17 on Entertainment Weekly's "30 Under 30" the actress list, and she was also named the Movie Fanatic's Hottest Young Actress, and she also was ranked number 9 on Moviefone’s “The 25 Hottest Actors Under 25".
She was ranked number 3 in FHM Online's "Sexiest Women in the World", and ranked number 13 in the magazine's list of "Sexiest Women in the World".
She ranked number 7 on AskMen's list of Top 99 Women for 2013.
In 2020, she received the Actress of the Decade Award by the Hollywood Critics Association.
In 2012, Stewart signed her Breaking Dawn – Part 2 dress and gave it to a CharityBuzz auction benefiting the Robin Hood Foundation's Sandy Relief Fund, which provides long-term support to those affected by Hurricane Sandy. In 2013, she reportedly raised $500,000 for the Sandy relief effort by meeting with an unnamed "Middle Eastern Prince" for 15 minutes. In 2016, she participated in building a school in Nicaragua through the buildOn campaign. The goal being to give children the opportunity to become educated in a safe space and to break the cycle of poverty and illiteracy.
Stewart resides in Los Angeles. She identifies as a feminist. In 2017, she stated that she is bisexual, saying, "You're not confused if you're bisexual. It's not confusing at all. For me, it's quite the opposite." In 2019, Stewart discussed the perceived impact of her sexuality on the success of her career, saying that she had been warned not to be public with her girlfriend so that someone could cast her in mainstream roles. She said "I don't want to work with people like that."
Stewart dated her Speak co-star Michael Angarano until early 2009. In mid-2009, she became romantically linked to her Twilight co-star Robert Pattinson. In July 2012, Stewart was photographed with her Snow White and the Huntsman director, Rupert Sanders revealing an affair; the day the photos were released, Sanders, who was 19 years her senior and married at the time, issued a public apology for the affair, as did the actress. Stewart and Pattinson split, but reconciled in October 2012. The pair eventually broke up in May 2013.
From mid 2013 to fall 2016, Stewart had an on-off relationship with visual effects producer Alicia Cargile. From late 2016 to late 2018, she was in a relationship with New Zealand model Stella Maxwell; they briefly resumed dating in mid 2019. Since August 2019, she has been in a relationship with screenwriter Dylan Meyer.
|Denotes films that have not yet been released|
|2014||"Take Me To The South"||Music video by Sage + the Saints|
|2017||Come Swim||Short film|
|2017||"Down Side of Me"||Music video by Chvrches|
|2020||Crickets||Short film part of the anthology series Homemade|
|TBA||The Chronology of Water||Feature film (based on Lidia Yuknavitch memoir)|
|1999||The Thirteenth Year||Girl in Fountain Line||TV movie, uncredited|
|2008||The Sarah Silverman Program||Announcer||Episode: "I Thought My Dad Was Dead, But It Turns Out He's Not", uncredited|
|2017||Saturday Night Live||Host||Episode: "Kristen Stewart/Alessia Cara"|
|2019||Saturday Night Live||Host||Episode: "Kristen Stewart/Coldplay"|
Awards and nominations
Stewart has received a César Award, a Milano Film Festival award, a Young Artist Award and the BAFTA Rising Star Award. She won the National Society of Film Critics, New York Film Critics Circle, and Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in Clouds of Sils Maria.
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