Not an easy task. Kristen Stewart completely transformed into the late Princess Diana for her upcoming film, Spencer, and it was challenging in multiple ways.
“I took more pleasure in my physicality making this movie than I have on anything,” the actress, 31, said at the Venice Film Festival press conference on Friday, September 3. “I felt more free and alive and able to move — and taller, even.”
The Twilight star noted that her curtsy “went out the window as soon as I stepped on set” of Spencer, but luckily there were royal advisers around to teach her the many different mannerisms that an “outsider” wouldn’t usually know.
“Once I learned the curtsy and learned we’re not supposed to go in the kitchen ourselves and steal food, all those details, I don’t really remember them,” the Los Angeles native shared. “But there was always someone to make sure we weren’t going out of line and [we were] staying authentic.”
Spencer will follow the People’s Princess’ 1991 holiday weekend at Sandringham House in Norfolk. While creating the film, which was welcomed with positive reviews during its world premiere on Friday, Stewart was surprised by how much she learned about Diana’s personality.
“I look at her, the pictures and fleeting video clips, and I feel [like] the ground shakes and you don’t know what’s going to happen,” she said of playing the Princess of Wales, who died in a car accident in 1997. “[She] sticks out like a sparkly house on fire. … There are some people endowed with an undeniable, penetrating energy. The really sad thing about her is that as normal and casual and disarming in her air [as she was] immediately she also felt so isolated and lonely. She made everyone else feel accompanied and bolstered by this light and all she wanted was to have it back.”
While Diana was known for her iconic style, the Happiest Season star doesn’t see that as much.
“It didn’t really matter what she was wearing. She was someone who used clothes as armor but was so constantly available and visible,” Stewart shared on Friday. “She couldn’t hide, she wore her heart on her sleeve and that, to me, is the coolest thing she did.”
Additionally, the BAFTA winner explained that while everyone felt like they knew Diana — “That’s what’s beautiful about her, that she’s accessible,” Stewart said — she was actually very misunderstood.
“You feel like you’re friends with her [or] like she was your mother. But ironically, she was the most unknowable person,” the Charlie’s Angels star explained. “In the imagining of these three days, we wanted that to really come to a head.”
Director Pablo Larraín also shed light on the film, noting that he wanted to capture many different sides of Diana.
“I wanted to make a movie that could somehow relate to what I think someone like my mother sees in Diana. Diana, of course, was a very famous, beautiful icon on many levels but she was a mother,” the Jackie director told reporters. “And more importantly, she was someone who created something incredibly beautiful [with] the level of empathy she had. … The more I looked into her, I realized that she carried an enormous amount of mystery and that combined with her magnetism creates perfect elements for a movie.”
Spencer, also starring Jack Farthing, Jack Nielen, Freddie Spry and Sally Hawkins, hits theaters on November 5.
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