Kristen Stewart recently disclosed that the fame she gained from starring in Twilight helped her prepare for playing the role of Princess Diana in Spencer. The film saw its premiere at the 2021 Venice Film Festival last week, alongside various other highly anticipated films, which had been delayed due to the coronavirus pandemic, including Denis Villeneuve’s Dune and Edgar Wright’s Last Night in Soho. While Spencer is scheduled to feature at more upcoming festivals in the near future, such as the 2021 Toronto International Film Festival, the general public will still unfortunately have to wait slightly longer, until November 5th, for the film’s wide release.
Written by Steven Knight and Directed by Pablo Larraín, Spencer covers a period of three significant days of Diana’s life in 1991, where she made the difficult decision to leave Prince Charles. Loosely inspired by the events that transpired over those three days, the film has a predominant focus on the emotional aspects of Diana during that time. Alongside Jack Farthing as Prince Charles, Spencer also stars Sean Harris, Sally Hawkins and Amy Manson, with musical composition from Jonny Greenwood.
Following her starring role as Bella Swan in the Twilight saga, Stewart had many negative experiences with the press over the years, forcing her to hide many parts of her personality due to public pressure. However, Stewart recently explained to CinemaBlend how these experiences gave her understanding and helped shape her portrayal of the “people’s princess” in Spencer. Check out her quote below:
“I know what it’s like to feel backed into a corner. I know what it’s like to feel defiance, and then kind of regretful of that, because then suddenly, you are being defined as rebellious. You have no idea how many times people will go, ‘So you don’t give a fuck, huh?’ Are you kidding? Is that really the impression? Because it’s the opposite of that. It’s so desperately the opposite. It’s a convoluted idea, but I definitely understand what it feels like to want human connection and actually, ironically, feel distanced by the amount that’s thrust at you.”
Nearly a decade since the release of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn, Part 2, the final installment in the Twilight Saga, Stewart has rarely been in the spotlight, generally sticking to smaller independent films such as American Ultra and and Personal Shopper. While in recent years, Stewart has started to once again take on more publicized roles including Sabina Wilson in the Charlie’s Angels reboot, her role in Spencer may very well act as a gateway for many to start taking Stewart seriously as an actress again. Her former co-star, Robert Pattinson, seems to have also followed this trajectory, starring in smaller features like Good Time and The Lighthouse, before stepping into the spotlight once again as he takes on the role of Batman in Matt Reeves upcoming The Batman.
Since its premiere, Spencer has received mostly positive reviews from critics, with many complimenting Stewart’s accurate portrayal of Diana. It definitely makes sense that Stewart’s experiences from starring in Twilight served her for the role in Spencer, but it’s also unfortunate that she, Diana, and other celebrities have to deal with that amount of public pressure in the first place. Based on the early reviews and the five-minute standing ovation from the audience at the Venice Film Festival, it seems that Stewart’s portrayal of Diana in Spencer will be well-received when it releases this Fall.