7 Kristen Stewart Movies That Will Make You Forget Twilight Forever
Kristen Stewart is a bit of a polarizing figure. Rising to fame with the Twilight series, Stewart was often criticized for being wooden, aloof, and awkward. In the summer of 2012, a cheating scandal with Rupert Sanders, the director for her film, Snow White and the Huntsman, caused her to fall even further from grace.
In spite of these hiccups, Stewart has grown in to herself both personally and professionally since her days as Bella Swan. Opening up about her personal life when she publicly announced that she is “…like, so gay, dude,” while hosting Saturday Night Live earlier this year, Stewart has also clearly gained more confidence as a performer, with 14 projects under her belt since the Twilight series ended in 2012.
If the only image you have of Stewart is the pallid teenage vampire lover, allow these 7 Kristen Stewart movies to wash away the residue of Twilight mania from your mind’s eye forever.
Stewart’s performance in The Clouds of Sils Maria resulted in her being the first American actress to win the prestigious Cesar award, the national film award of France. In The Clouds of Sils Maria, Stewart plays the dedicated and no-nonsense assistant to Juliette Binoche’s protagonist, an aging actress struggling to find her place in the new role life has cast her in both on and off the stage. The pair have an off-beat yet delightful chemistry, the relationship between the two characters being intimate, yet never clearly defined.
Adventureland expertly captures the chaos of what it is to be an early 20 something straight out of college and going nowhere fast. Stewart plays Em Lewin, an NYU student and amusement-park employee with a knack for self-sabotage. Alongside Jesse Eisenberg’s smart, dorky, and nervous protagonist, Adventureland unfolds an incredibly relatable coming of age story based around a terrible summer job at a crumbling theme park.
Cropped black hair and electric guitar in hand, Stewart tackled the role of Joan Jett with a subtle yet dangerous rock ‘n roll vibe in The Runaways. Following the story of the Runaways’ rise to fame and subsequent dismantling, Stewart’s brooding Jett is softened by her on screen chemistry with Dakota Fanning, who played Jett’s bandmate, Cherie Currie. Together the two actresses portray flawed yet sympathetic characters thrown in to a frenzy only rock ‘n roll can induce.
Released in the middle of the Twilight saga, Stewart took a wide left turn when she performed the role of troubled teen prostitute Mallory opposite James Gandolfini in Welcome to the Riley’s. The film is set in New Orleans where Doug (Gandolfini) has fled the grief from the death of his daughter and the strain of his crumbling marriage. A chance encounter with Mallory (Stewart) begins a moving relationship between two troubled people who somehow manage to save each other.
Certain Women is the epitome of the independent film. Long and meandering, with many lingering shots of the dismal Montana landscape in the dead of winter, Certain Women is defined more by the negative space that surrounds the story than by the story itself. At its core, Certain Women is a film about people who are utterly unable to connect with one another. By the time the credits roll, the character’s quiet desperation that you have instinctively tuned in to has reached a despondent, deafening pitch.
Camp X-Ray is set in 2009 in Guantanamo Bay. Stewart plays Amy Cole, an Army private new to the Bay who forms a fragile, cautious, and unlikely friendship with Ali, a long term detainee of the camp. The film explores biases and power dynamics, challenging the audience to find the common humanity even in those who may be our enemies.
Still Alice follow Alice Howland (Julianne Moore), a brilliant linguistics professor at Columbia University who is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease. Stewart plays Lydia, Alice’s youngest daughter trying to make it as an actress in Los Angeles. Throughout the film we see Alice trying to cope with a life that is unraveling memory by memory, and how her husband and three children handle the shattering loss.