“Oooh, Martin Amis.” Stewart plucks Money from the shelf. “My copy just got soaked – my toilet overflowed.” And then, “Oh my God, my fucking boyfriend just did this movie,” she says, referring to Robert Pattinson while pulling down a copy of Bel Ami. “The French, they’re up in arms that he did it.”
The actress met the British actor in 2007 during a chemistry test of sorts. She was already cast in Twilight, but the role of her vampire love interest – the eternal teen Edward Cullen – was still up for grabs. Director Catherine Hardwicke narrowed it down to four actors. “Every two hours, I had another guy come over to my house,” Hardwicke recalls. “Rob and Kristen sat down at the table and did the biology scene. I felt the sparks. I could see the attraction. Kristen was very vocal – she knew she had the strongest connection with Rob. I said ‘Let me have a day to see if it translates to screen.’” Hardwicke laughs. “I warned him. ‘She’s underage, don’t even think about it! It’s a law in our country.’’
Stewart’s private life is a no-fly zone. She’s known to shoot down inquiries with a death-beam stare and vaporizing replies. What’s there to say, anyway? It is whatever it is. The irony being that for all the alchemy she conjures with Pattinson on screen, there’s an underlying disconnect. Maybe it’s the bizarre Bella brown contact lenses obscuring Stewart’s sage green eyes. (“It’s like I always have sunglasses on – soulless, googly-eyed sunglasses. You can’t feel your eyeballs. They ruined me.”) Or a subconscious refusal to lay bare her personal life for public consumption.
Stewart taps her hands on the steering wheel, her short nails lacquered in bloodred. On her thumb is a silver spoon ring. “All four of my brothers and my mom and dad have these,” she says. “My mom went and got them for Christmas.” And the gold ring circling her index finger? “Everyone wants to know,” Stewart says slyly. She shakes her head. “Everyone knows already – it’s ridiculous.” As painful as it is to be so publicly pushed and prodded, how does she square wanting to be projected on a 40-foot screen? “Laurence Olivier was asked, ‘Actors, what’s the impulse? Why?’ And he was just like, ‘Look at me, look at me, look at me, …’ That was his answer. But at the same time, it’s like, ‘Nooo, don’t look at me. Look at some version that I’m going to present to you. Let me control it.”
The full interview