EXCLUSIVE: The appetite for scripts and partially finished films is soaring. Lionsgate is tying up a deal today to pay $7 million to pre-buy U.S. distribution rights to American Ultra, the action comedy that begins shooting in New Orleans in five weeks with Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart starring for Project X director Nima Nourizadeh. In the script by Chronicle writer Max Landis, Eisenberg plays a stoner whose small-town life with his live-in girlfriend (Stewart) is upended when his past catches up with him, putting him the crosshairs of a government operation bent on wiping him out. It’s a co-production between A Likely Story and Circle Of Confusion, with Anthony Bregman, David Alpert and Britton Rizzio producing, and Kevin Scott Frakes of Palmstar Media Capital and Raj Brinder Singh of Merced Media Partners exec producing.
The buzz on this one has been building since Berlin, and I thought a deal might be made there. This rivals the record $7 million Berlin deal that The Weinstein Company paid for U.S. rights to the Morten Tyldum-directed The Imitation Game, the film that sold based on script and promo reel about WWII war hero Alan Turing, with Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley starring. The same team at CAA brokered this giant American Ultra deal with Lionsgate after the agency packaged the film and arranged the financing. While many felt that the results of the Berlin market were underwhelming, sometimes those festivals need to be evaluated by results that are not immediately evident. It is becoming more common for dialogue on big films like this one to begin at Berlin. Some of the deals fall in place shortly after, or during the Cannes Film Festival in May. Clearly, studios need to fill slots and haven’t been developing enough, so strong prices should continue to be paid for material and packaged pictures like American Ultra. Landis is repped by WME and Circle of Confusion.
Kristen Stewart and Jesse Eisenberg are headed back to New Orleans, this time for the indie action-comedy “American Ultra.” The film, directed by Nima Nourizadeh (“Project X”) and written by Max Landis (“Chronicle”), is scheduled to shoot from April 14 to June 10 in New Orleans, according to the state film office.
The film will reportedly see Eisenberg play a stoner whose small-town life with his live-in girlfriend (Stewart) is upended when his past catches up with him, putting him the crosshairs of a government operation bent on wiping him out.
“Simply put, ‘American Ultra’ will be the most fun you can possibly have in a movie theater without the use of drugs, fireworks or canola oil,” producer Anthony Bregman was quoted as saying in November when he announced the project. Bregman is producing “American Ultra” with David Alpert and Britton Rizzio.
The film will mark a return to town for both actors. Stewart has shot a number of films in Southern Louisiana over the past few years, including “Welcome to the Rileys,” “On the Road,” “The Yellow Handkerchief” and both installments of “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn.” Eisenberg shot the magic-themed heist film “Now You See Me” in town in 2012.
“American Ultra” will also mark a reunion for Stewart and Eisenberg, who worked together previously on the 2009 dramatic comedy “Adventureland.”
The film is just one of a number of film and TV projects that are shooting, or preparing to shoot, in state. Below, find the latest Louisiana production listings — including contact information for prospective crewmembers — courtesy of the state-run Louisiana Entertainment.
American Ultra” — The independent feature film American Ultra starring Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart will shoot April 14th through June 10th in New Orleans.
Peter Sattler’s directorial debut also stars Peyman Moaadi and Lane Garrison.
IFC Films has acquired North American rights to Peter Sattler’s directorial debut film Camp X-Ray.
The film, with a screenplay by Sattler, stars Kristen Stewart, Peyman Moaadi and Lane Garrison, made its world premiere Jan. 17 at Eccles Theatre as part of the U.S. Dramatic Competition section at the Sundance Film Festival.
Gina Kwon produced the drama about a young woman (Stewart) who joins the military to be part of something bigger than herself and her small-town roots but ends up as a rookie guard at Guantanamo Bay. Her mission is far from black and white, as she is surrounded by hostile jihadists and aggressive male squadmates. When she strikes up an unusual friendship with one of the detainees (A Separation’s Moaadi), both of their worlds are forever shifted.
Emmy Ellison, Lindsay Williams, Ellen Goldsmith-Vein, David Gordon Green and Sophia Lin executive produced the film.
“Peter Sattler has made a stirring, sensitive and thought-provoking film that features two powerhouse performances by Peyman Moaadi and Kristen Stewart,” said Jonathan Sehring, president of Sundance Selects/IFC Films. “Moaadi proves once again that he is a force to be reckoned with and Stewart undoubtedly gives the best and most moving performance of her already remarkable career.”
IFC Films had a busy Sundance. The label also acquired Jim Mickle’s Cold in July, starring Michael C. Hall, Sam Shepard, Don Johnson and Vinessa Shaw; and John Slattery’s directorial debut God’s Pocket, starring the late Philip Seymour Hoffman, Richard Jenkins, Christina Hendricks and John Turturro. IFC Films also showcased the world premiere of Michael Winterbottom’s The Trip to Italy and held a special preview screening of Richard Linklater’s Boyhood. Sister label IFC Midnight acquired Jennifer Kent’s psychological horror film The Babadook, which premiered in the festival’s Midnight section.
UTA and attorney Andre Des Rochers repped the Camp X-Ray filmmakers.
Arianna Bocco negotiated on behalf of Sundance Selects/IFC Films.
If there’s anyone in Hollywood who has mastered looking effortlessly cool, it’s Kristen Stewart. From her tossed-just-so strands to her artfully smudged liner, the girl is just the embodiment of IDGAF cool. Nowhere is that more evident than in her latest ads for Balenciaga, where the actress poses seminude in the brand’s visuals for its newest perfume, Rosabotanica. Centered around a heart of “spicy vegetal rose,” the scent features citrus, green fig leaves, and white wood accords for a modern, feminine, and very sexy fragrance.
We sat down to talk with Stewart about her role with Balenciaga and yes, those sultry photos. Dressed in head-to-toe Spring 2014 Balenciaga — including the most insanely gorgeous rose-gold cuff/work of art — Stewart was frank, candid, and totally down to dish. Besides letting those gossip sites know what she really thinks about clickbait headlines, Stewart also dished on everything from her undying love of dry shampoo to her thoughts on mastering effortless style. She also shared her secret to the smudged-just-right liner look. Hint: It doesn’t involve a billion makeup brushes and some crazy-complicated 10-step technique.
What do you love best about working with a brand like Balenciaga?
“If I wasn’t in the position that I’m in, I don’t think that I’d be able to find these sides of myself. I’m a pretty basic, practical dresser. But, you know at the same time when I go to an event or participate in a photo shoot or am involved with something like this, it can really make me aware that I have those things in me somewhere.
“I have no creative involvement in this whatsoever. But, the reason I’m into this is that I get to stand by and watch people who are really good at what they do and who really do what they do because it’s the love of their lives; it’s the art that they make. It’s not about a product — a lot of fashion can seem business oriented. And, this just has always felt really organic and in a really cool way, really compulsive.
“Nicolas [Ghesquière] always gave me that impression and then asked me to do this with him. I really appreciated being thrown into his world. Not everyone has such an elaborate story or idea behind their fragrance. It’s just like it smells nice or it’s a beautiful picture. And, that’s cool, too, but this was just a little bit more intriguing.”
We’ve got to talk about the ads — they’re a bit revealing. Did you have any trepidation or nervousness about being exposed like that?
“No, it’s funny. The concept was never centered around any naked idea. It was always like we want to have something really simple, and we like the character that we had in mind who was this wide-eyed, young, fresh girl in this sort of extreme environment and seeing how she copes with those elements.
“This idea was seeing that she is stripped down a bit but like much more conditioned and sort of one with the environment. And, it’s sort of grown into her, and she’s grown into it. [It's] the idea of making it all about the imagery and all about the idea of a fragrance rather than the clothes, because as soon as you put something [on], it’s a little distracting. It was never about my body, it was just about like, face. It’s just so weird… But, do you know why? [Website] clicks. I mean straight up — that’s so obvious.”
You have this great, effortless look about you. Do you have any sort of beauty secrets to getting that kind of easy, low-maintenance glam?
“It’s funny — really the only way to look like you’re not trying is to genuinely not. But…specifically, I guess dry shampoo is a godsend.”
Do you have a favorite?
“I like Bumble and bumble. I like the loose powder, I don’t like the spray. I think just staying healthy, because if you want to look thrown together and you don’t want to try, I think it’s, you know, drink a lot of water, get sleep, and then you can have a sort of rolled-out-of-bed look without looking awful.”
What about your personal style? Any tips to low-maintenance chic dressing?
“I’m such an L.A. kid. I always forget to wear socks — I’ll be outside, like, ‘Oh my god, I’m freezing!’ I feel so un-chic. I feel like that’s kind of my thing. Like, ‘Oh, whatever, I’m gonna go to Paris, but I’m not gonna change my T-shirt.’ But, I don’t really approach it too much in my daily life. I have things that I gravitate towards, like I like things to look worn in… I don’t really put too much thought into it.”
One thing we’ve been loving lately about the red carpet is how we’ve moved away from this cookie-cutter notion of beauty — tanned, blonde, glamour waves, red lips — and are starting to see much more celebration of unconventional beauty. What are your thoughts on that?
“I think it’s awesome. As soon as you start viewing all of this as anything more than just something fun and creative to do, and you feel like there are notes you have to hit to satisfy a certain thing, then why are you even doing it? You should be driven by something that you admire. You should be driven by impulses that are, you know, like experimentation. You should mess with things and find it naturally rather than trying to create this product.
“I feel bad for people who feel like they operate from this place of fear when you really should be risky and make mistakes. The happy mistake is always the one that’s the best, when you go, ‘Whoa, that is just different. I’ve never seen that, and she is rocking it.’ I’d rather be around people that love what they do and that are really good and really artistic rather than, like, technically pretty looks. Pretty is never what you want to go for.”
If you could do anything with your hair, not for a role but just for you personally, what would you do?
“I would like to chop it sometime soon. Everyone’s doing that, but it must feel really good. I had short hair when I was younger, and then it took me sort of so long to get to this point, I’ve held on to it. But, I would love to have a very straightforward boy cut… Everyone’s short hair looks great. I like the trend a lot, but there’s a cute aspect that I would like to get rid of and, like, have a dude’s haircut.”
Like an androgynous cut or straight-up “boy” hair?
“Straight up like a guy’s haircut.”
Would you consider doing a shaved sides thing like Natalie Dormer?
“I love that look. I like a buzz with long [hair]. I think it’d look great like that. Yeah, I would do that. I’m really into different looks. I need to keep slightly neutral because I always fear that I’m gonna sign on to a project, and I’m not going to be in a position to look how I want to look. So, I’m always a little bit scared to go extreme, but I love extreme.”
Your signature look with your hair is that whole no-part, swept-back thing. Is that a look you had to cultivate or did it just kind of happen?
“That’s totally how I’m more comfortable. I think center parts are awesome. They look great on a lot of people. But, there’s a rigidity to it that makes me a little uncomfortable. I really like to be able to move around, and if you just texture your hair right, you can do anything and you don’t have to worry about it. I just had a center part in a movie that I did. It was really hard for me to keep it all day, too. I was just constantly wanting to be like, ‘Ugh!’”
You look really fantastic with a smoky eye, and you do it really confidently. You’ve managed to just nail it where a lot of people just can’t get it. What draws you to that look?
“Probably that I don’t wear a whole lot of makeup when I’m not working. So, when I do, I like to really push it. And, also it’s that same thing: If you’re going to do something, if you’re going to work with a makeup artist, I want to work with someone who’s really pushing it and doing bold things and not playing it safe.
“The cool thing about walking a carpet, if you want to reap the benefits, you get to do something that you wouldn’t normally do. So, instead of being like, okay, I’m going to appease these people, I’m going to be pretty — you probably won’t appease that many people if you’re just pretty. Just forget that and have fun with it. I like things looking a little bit more, not just lived in, but like a little messed up, rough around the edges. I don’t mind that.”
Be honest, do you put the eyeliner on and just go to bed and wear it the next day, or do you actually do it and smudge it?
“Oh, both. Definitely, absolutely. I try to wash my face before I go to bed, but I don’t own eye-makeup remover. Not at all.”
How do you get it off?
“I just make sure it’s out from under my eyes and then it looks great. There’s usually maybe one or two things you just have to wipe off. Instant smoky eye.”
Why do you think an element of effortlessness and undoneness is so important to your particular aesthetic?
“It sort of goes along with everything that we’re saying. It’s just not very interesting for me to consume what somebody has decided to give me. I want to notice things myself — when I really admire someone’s style or someone’s work in any way, it’s always things that you’re like, ‘Wow, I wonder if they know how cool that is? I wonder if they are aware how good that song is’ — you know what I mean? It’s typically more interesting if they don’t. Rather than being like, ‘Oh, yeah, I really worked on that, I really thought about it.
“Obviously it really goes along with not being contrived, and in this business, as soon as you start taking credit for things, you’re now denying what makes it so beautiful. Which is that it’s natural; it’s an organic thing, it’s the process. You rely on the process, you have a creative impulse, you follow it. You can’t really take credit for it, it kind of goes through you. So, that’s why, when people sort of look like they don’t give a fuck, it’s cool. It’s just like that’s classic. That’s always going to be cool.”
Kristen Stewart will be the first to tell you she leads a double life. Since wrapping the last installment of the blockbuster Twilight saga, she’s sunk her teeth into gritty, not-at-all glamorous roles in On The Road and the Sundance hit Camp X-Ray, where she plays a small-town soldier assigned to Guantanamo Bay. All the while landing a Chanel campaign and working as the face of Balenciaga’s fragrances.
“It’s cool that I have this dual life,” she told us. “I’m very simplistic with my makeup in real life, so on the red carpet I like to push it in the other direction. If I’m going to do something, I’m going to do it all the way.” Stewart keeps her must-have lipsticks, eye makeup, and brow pencil handy, but it’s super-hydrating skin products that take up the prime real estate in her makeup bag. “I have to moisturize my skin a lot, you can’t go without makeup if your skin looks haggard and crack-y,” she says. “I always think of that scene in Zoolander when he [Ben Stiller] says “moisture is the essence of beauty,” but it’s so true.”
Alec Baldwin, Kate Bosworth also on board in-demand drama for which Memento has secured several major deals with key territories.
Kristen Stewart, Alec Baldwin and Kate Bosworth are now confirmed alongside Julianne Moore in Memento Films International’s hot -selling drama Still Alice.
The project was one of the most in-demand at the American Film Market (AFM), with Memento locking pre-sales at the market and since with Curzon for the UK, Splendid’s Polyband for Germany, Icon Film for Australia, Frenetic for Switzerland, Svensk for Scandinavia, Baltics and Iceland, Sun Distribution for Latin America, Falcon Film for Middle East, Bir for Turkey, Golden Scene for Hong Kong, GreenNarae for South Korea to and Catchplay to Taiwan.
Moore will play a renowned professor of neuroscience who discovers she’s suffering from an early onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Stewart will play Lydia, her youngest daughter, who bonds with her mother during her illness in a way that was impossible for them before.
Quinceañera directors Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland will direct the adaptation of Lisa Genova’s bestselling novel of the same name, with production due to get underway in early March in New York City.
Backed by Backup Media and Marie Savare’s new finance venture BSM Studio, producers are Lex Lutzus, Pamela Koffler and James Brown in association with Killer Films. Maria Shriver will serve as executive producer. CAA reps US rights.
Memento’s slate includes BSM-backed Sundance entry Cold in July from director Jim Mickle, Asghar Farhadi’s The Past and Natalia Smirnoff’s Lock Charmer.
Memento managing director Emilie Georges told ScreenDaily: “We knew that the project would be met with enthusiastic interest but the market response to the script and package has been incredible.”
Kristen Stewart is a red carpet natural, gracing the press pens with such elegance and ease – but the star admits that she hasn’t always been so comfortable with her style choices. While talking to the A-list actress in New York last week, we grilled her on style, beauty, and whether she has any wardrobe regrets (surely not) as she prepares to launch her latest partnership with Balenciaga, Rosabotanica.
‘Yeah, totally. Let’s see. Defnitely, I mean I’ve been doing it for a while so I’ve definitely seen fashions and been like “woah”,’ she said.
‘It shouldn’t be embarrassing because I was so young, but it doesn’t even matter how young you are, you’re just so, so embarrassed.’
We can’t imagine Kristen has anything to be embarrassed about when it comes to her sartorial choices. But she said: ‘I think the pictures that they took at the premiere of Panic Room. It’s like a popular image to show from when I was younger, you know, like “she was a kid!”. And I look at that and I’m like “Oh… my… gosh”.
‘I had like these baby hairs and I was being weird about them, so I was like, “I’m just gonna cut them off”. And I had like these little things like poking out from under my hair and behind my ears, and a ridiculous outfit. I did not know how to get dressed up at that age at all, I didn’t even know what I liked. I was just like completely… a goofy kid.
‘But it’s just funny to see like that goofy kid version – [because] when I should really be looking at old school photos, I’m looking at a red carpet photo.’
She told us: ‘I definitely look back and think, “Oh that wasn’t my best choice”, or that it was so obvious that I wasn’t comfortable in that. But at the same time, you know, I liked it then – you can’t really have too many regrets.
‘It is a good feeling though, when you get it right and you can walk tall. It shows, everyone can see that.”
“Kristen, you have a little something in your hair,” one of Kristen Stewart‘s people says during our interview in her hotel room, flicking a little piece of fuzz out of her side-parted hair. She turns back to me, mock-yelling. “Thanks a lot! You weren’t going to tell me it was there?” Stewart is nonchalant about the fuzz because 1. Her hair looks glossy and good anyway; and 2. She doesn’t spend much time thinking about beauty. Throughout our interview about her beauty routine and her repeat involvement with Balenciaga as the face of its new fragrance, Rosabotanica, Stewart has to resist the urge to air-quote the word beauty. The Cut talked to Stewart about her preference for puffy faces, gardenias, and hatred for hotel shampoo.
How do you use scent as part of your acting process?
Whenever I encounter a product that I’ve used on a previous movie, it will take me right back. [Snaps.] Sometimes there will be things I can’t use, even though it might work for a beauty regimen or something that works for the character. I’ll literally have to find another product to use.
So, something like really basic dry shampoo. I used it on The Runaways, and Joan uses that as well. I couldn’t use it anymore. I was just too reminiscent. Also certain lotions, and Rosebud, that chapstick in a tub? Rosebud lip salve. I used that on some movie when I was younger and then I used it again. And then it was like Whoa. It was too much. But with fragrance, no, it’s not a huge part of my process.
What was your first scent memory?
My favorite flower is a gardenia. My grandma had a big gardenia bush. And gardenias aren’t that common. When you find them, it’s always like, Oh, nice. And it’s my favorite flower now too, because of that.
How was the creative process for Florabotanica different than Rosabotanica?
My involvement didn’t change much, to be honest. I get to use it. I have nothing to do with making the fragrance. I just get to stand by and watch people do awesome things. I’m really close with Nicolas [Ghesquière] and this whole story behind it has been really cool. You don’t always find, in fashion, such developed stories. Sometimes it’s a bit more about how something looks, and ends there. Or with fragrance, this is a pretty picture and sells this perfume. This is a little more fun because it is about telling a story. That’s whyI’m into it and why I got into acting.
Florabotanica and Rosabotanica have the same setting. But with Rosabotanica, it’s about someone who has turned from a wide-eyed, yet hungry, fresh, green person. It’s someone who has been in this extreme environment and survived it. She’s grown with it. She’s taken the aspects she’s appreciated out of that environment and ignored the rest. She becomes a part of her environment instead of becoming this Alice in Wonderland type of girl who’s looking around and doesn’t recognize anything. It’s growing on her.
What has surprised you about scent?
Probably that I like it? I was never really a fan of the idea of putting on some synthetic scent. I didn’t like the idea of it. But when I started using it, it became a part of me. It felt natural.
Some perfumes just smell awful. They smell like your grandmother. This one never did to me. I genuinely use Flora all the time. Rosabotanica is a deeper scent to me than Flora. In this one, the rose is pretty strong. It’s [a] muskier fragrance. It’s the nighttime version, more serious. This is vague and kind of silly, but it’s like New York versus L.A. Or night versus day. Or red versus white. It’s the darker version of it.
I saw you got rid of your cornrows.
Yeah, I took those out literally yesterday. They last about a week or so, if you are hard on your hair, which I am. I’ll re-do it at some point. I liked having it. It’s comfortable and keeps my hair out of my face. And I liked the way it looked. But you need to re-do it once a week, or else it will start to look gross. They were fuzzy.
What is your beauty routine like?
I use Proactiv. It works. It’s really good. I’ve used it for a long time. I’m reliant on it. I use their three-step [system]. And I try to moisturize more than I ever had. Apparently, that’s good for you. That’s about it. I drink a lot of water. Like, if you don’t drink water, you look awful. If you do, that’s a huge part of my “beauty” regimen, I guess.
I use mascara, eyeliner, and maybe some concealer. Chapstick. I don’t like color on my lips unless I’m doing full-on.
I don’t do much with my hair. When I’m working, I treat it so often. There’s heat or color on it. When I’m not working, I just like to let it be healthy. I don’t wash it every day. I like to switch up my shampoo. I like Kerastase a lot. I like using, going back and forth, using fully organic. People give me a lot of shampoo and conditioner, so I’m always like, what is that? I don’t always necessarily know what I’m using.
So you’re not using hotel shampoo.
I hate when I forget shampoo and I have to use it. Only because afterwards it feels bone-dry.
Or it feels limp.
Or that. And flat. Totally.
How do you view beauty and your beauty regimen as part of your day-to-day routine?
I’m super lucky because my job allows me to have fun and take things to the extremes. When I’m not working, I have a really basic regimen. I don’t think too much about my clothes [gesturing]. I don’t wear a lot of makeup. I’m always striving to get to the point where I look like I’ve woken up in the last hour. You know that look you get when you’re fresh-faced? You’re a little puffy but looking really good? That’s what I like.
How do you keep that going throughout the day?
I mean. It doesn’t. But that’s okay. I just like it when people look like they’re not trying. And the only way to do that is by not trying.
Sitting down with Kristen Stewart, I knew I wasn’t in for an interview with your typical, perky perfume spokeswoman who wants to pose for selfies and gab about her go-to mascara (although I asked). She was surprisingly real—wearing a black Balenciaga leather jacket, no nail polish, and her signature mussed-up waves. She was also very candid about the fact that what you see on the red carpet is the product of a talented team—she wakes up with “raccoon eyes” just like the rest of us. And if you’re wondering: She smiled and laughed. Here, Stewart reveals her thoughts on the new Rosabotanica fragrance from Balenciaga (for which she is the face) and the two things you’ll never see her wear.
What do you like most about Rosabotanica?
It’s the perfect counterpart to Florabotanica, which I really grew to love and use constantly. I haven’t had much experience with fragrance, so it’s nice to expand my collection—even though I’m at two right now. It’s slightly warmer and a bit more bold; you get a lot of the rose in there. I might wear it at night versus day.
Where do you spritz it?
Classic spots: two under the neck and one over what I’m wearing so it stays on the clothes. Neither of them is too in-your-face—Florabotanica even less than Rosa.
Before you were introduced to Balenciaga, what was your go-to scent?
This is where I started. I started doing this when I was 22 or something. Possibly 21. I hadn’t really experimented with using fragrance.
So there wasn’t even a bit of Curve or cucumber melon body mist in the mix as a teenager?
No, I wasn’t that type of teenager. I started off well [she said, pointing to the fragrance].
Growing up in a family of all boys, how did you learn about beauty?
Sort of by default. It was never a huge priority for me when I was younger. It was something I had to do for my job and something that I always strained to do. I think I noticed a pointed difference in how I approached this whole world when I met Nicolas [Ghesquière] on a photo shoot. It was really concept-oriented, beautiful, and elaborate—the same energy I really appreciate on a movie set was on this photo shoot [with Bruce Weber for Interview]. [Nicolas] was so awesome and driven and clearly a very talented artist. He opened my eyes to that side of things. I would probably be a very different version of myself without [all this]. It pulls out slightly more buried sides of you. I grew up as a full-on tomboy—looked like a boy until I turned 15.
Somehow, I don’t think that’s possible.
Dude, you could not decipher between my brother and me.
Was your hair really short?
Yeah. I wore his clothes, full on didn’t care at all about anything—I realized I was a girl when I turned 14. It’s been a slow, steady progression, but looking at things now from the outside, I’m super into it. I like the extremes of [beauty]—I like that you can go really hard to one side or the other. I don’t like that middle ground that’s deemed “pretty” [she said, using air quotes].
We often see you in a smoky eye, but rarely a bright lip. Why?
I like a nude lip more, but I don’t like anything in between. So you’re right, if I’m going to do a lip, I’m going to do a lip. I’m going to do a really bold, deep color—usually red. Usually it coincides with the outfit; it depends on what I’m wearing. When it works, I think it really works.
What is the best beauty tip you’ve ever learned?
Water and sleep.
I suppose both are a rare indulgence for all of us.
If you think about it and you’re feeling kinda rough, if you just give yourself a nice week of treating yourself really well, you’ll look better. This is so lame—my answers are ridiculous right now—but if you’re happy, you look better. If you stay positive—negative people just walk around and…
Yep, nobody likes a negative Nancy.
The only reason I’m saying this is because I genuinely don’t have these beauty tips, but I try not to wash my hair so much because it gets dry. And that’s about it.
So how do you get your perfectly undone waves?
Well, my hairstylist woke up really early…I don’t really like to use too much heat on my hair when I’m not working. I think he used a few loose curlers and sort of [finger-combed] and used a little bit of hairspray. My hair was really clean, too, which usually I don’t like. I like to add volume with dry shampoo and mousse—I like to gunk it up. So I’m feeling fresh today!
You’ve had various hair colors, ranging from blond to black. Which do you think suits your personality best?
Probably brown hair. When I’m blond, I feel very blond. I like having darker hair, but to have jet-black hair, it is a thing. It becomes your look a little bit. I like to stay neutral. When I’m not working, I like to be ready to sort of—it sounds lame—but transform. If I’m ever definitively something, I’m always like, Oh, God, well now I’m going to have to change that soon anyway. It’s always very fleeting.
You’re famous for your porcelain complexion. What’s your secret?
I use the Proactiv [three-step system]. It really works for me. I’ve used it since I was a teenager and I just sort of kept it going. And if I stop [my skin] will go crazy. Maybe that’s not true, but I’m just going to hold onto it while it’s working. I try to moisturize a little bit more because it has a tendency to dry your skin out a little bit. I like Dr. Hauschka and Dermalogica [products].
Do you have any tricks for getting a smoky eye—at least when you’re doing it yourself?
Yes, that’s a very different situation. I’m actually really lucky because I don’t have to do much makeup because I have raccoon eyes—they are so dark. It’s good and bad for me—it’s not just the top, it’s the bottom, too. That I roll with. I use concealer for the bottom. I use black eyeliner and mascara messily, smudge it, and literally that’s it.
What are your go-to goods for that look?
I switch it around often. I’m given a lot of makeup, so I just use what I have. I’m not that specific. It’s fun when you do find something that really is awesome.
So what’s an example of a product that’s really awesome?
There’s actually this [black] eyeliner from Topshop. It’s inexpensive, really good—I buy five of them at a time because they stop making stuff like that. You’ll find something you really dig, and then it’s gone.
What is your biggest beauty mistake?
There have definitely been a few because I’ve been doing this stuff since I was so young. Literally, at 12 or 13 I was walking my first few red carpets. So I bet if I looked back through a few of those photos…I mean, it doesn’t really matter because I was 12, 13, or 14, so it’s hard to harshly judge myself—but I’m like, What were you thinking?! But I do take credit for all of it, the good and the bad. I was into it then, so there ya go.
Gotta own it. So who is your beauty icon now?
I just worked with Juliette Binoche, and really, it’s alarming almost, her beauty. When she walks into a room, people gravitate toward her. You can’t help but look at her. This might sound a little ridiculous, but genuinely she has a grace that’s undeniable. She’s really a woman to look up to. She’s amazing.
Is there something you would never try, like, say, teal eyeshadow?
I feel like I’ve done teal eyeshadow! I probably wouldn’t do black lipstick, unless we were doing some weird, high-concept shoot, which could be cool.
Never say never, I guess.
I don’t like peplums [she says with gusto]. It’s insane that they exist. There are one or two things that the stylist I’ve worked with since I was kid, since I was literally 13, will never get me in—like a high-heeled boot.
They’re great on other people. I just have this very odd aversion to high-heeled boots and peplums.
Hey, everyone has their thing. What was it like to play a female soldier in Camp X-Ray?
She’s an interesting girl, that character, because the times where she feels most comfortable and most like herself is definitely when she’s in uniform. So trying to find her outside of uniform was interesting because it was very bare, but not necessarily in a good way. She has to build herself up a little bit before that vulnerability is an attractive quality. Every time she put on the uniform, it was like you bind the hair, you wear no makeup, don’t pluck your eyebrows, and you take any chance of being considered pretty away. It’s like you’re not going to think about it, it’s not even an option. My makeup artist was awesome. She added a lot of freckles and made me a little bit sun-damaged—it was really subtle, you wouldn’t notice unless I said it. Then you’d be like, Wow, I can’t believe that’s makeup.
So I assume that meant less time in hair and makeup every day?
It was really quick. It was pretty amazing.
Of all the characters you’ve played over the years, whose beauty look do you identify with the most?
It’s tough because the characters I’ve played are very specific and slightly extreme, like the ones who actually have definitive looks—like Joan [Jett]. Some of the other parts that I’ve played are just very normal, just a girl. In a very boring way, just because I’m fairly simple and practical—I’m sure people will love this—but Bella in Twilight is pretty straightforward. And to be honest, that’s very much like who I am. At the same time, if I think about what I aspire to…all of the characters in On the Road, as much as it’s a period piece and it’s hard to identify with the specific clothes, the garments themselves, the way they wore them is so cool. We’re not used to wearing dresses and stockings, but they were. So it was taking those things and making it look like it’s not formal in any way. I like things that look lived-in.
As long as they’re not a peplum or a high boot.
Last year ELLE interviewed Kristen Stewart, and being a beauty interview the discussion naturally turned to hair. Back then she told us that her next experimental hairstyle would be cornrows, the exact hairstyle she debuted at the Sundance film festival this weekend,
You see Stewart isn’t afraid of experimenting with her hair for the sake of her art, ‘I’m pretty much open to anything – if I really loved the part I’d do anything. You know, hair grows, relatively speaking it doesn’t take that long in exchange for a good experience so I think it’s worth it,”’ she told ELLE UK. ‘I’ve been blonde, dark, I’ve had reddish hair, short, long. I run the gamut, you know”’.
Despite her dedication to the cause, in her own time she prefers low-commitment styles that aren’t so try-hard.
‘Last year everyone started shaving the side of their head. I’m shooting for a couple of days in New York but then at the end of November I’m done for the year. I’m going to get a couple of tight cornrows put in. It almost gives the impression of no hair so I’m stoked about that,’ said the star. ‘I think a shaved head is a little forced, but the cornrows gives you the effect without the commitment.’
We love Stewart’s new, albeit temporary look, what do you think?
Kristen Stewart says the Guantanamo-set ‘Camp X-Ray,’ in competition at the Sundance Film Festival, has everything she looks for in a project.
It is, Kristen Stewart agrees, just like falling in love.
“It’s just a very familiar, necessary feeling when you read a script you want to do,” the actress says, coming alive at just the memory. “I’ve gone with my gut, taken a lot of the thinking away, and been very lucky.
“As an artist,” she continues, her energy rising, “If you view what you do as product, you’ll never do anything true to yourself, never do anything you’re proud of. I’ve never thought, ‘My career should go in this direction.’ There’s no way to be tactical for me.”
Stewart got that familiar feeling when she read writer-director Peter Sattler’s script for “Camp X-Ray,” which has its debut Friday as part of the Sundance Film Festival’s dramatic competition.
A quietly involving drama, part character study, part meditation on the nature of shared humanity, “Camp X-Ray” is powered by Stewart’s focused, convincing performance as Cole, a young Army guard at Guantanamo who makes a connection with a prisoner played by Payman Maadi, the star of Iran’s Oscar-winning “A Separation.”
“It had been two years since I worked, but it wasn’t my choice to take a break,” the 23-year-old actress says, sitting in a Sunset Boulevard conference room a few days before the festival began. “But nothing had given me that compulsion, nothing that made me feel it was meant for me to do.”
Even though “Camp X-Ray” was “a tiny little movie, a million-dollar budget, five-week shooting schedule,” Stewart responded to it at once. “The character seemed so whole to me,” she says, “it was very emotional and a genuine fresh perspective on something current. It had everything I look for in a project.”
Once Stewart committed, she was all in, reading extensively, watching films, talking to people who filled her in on the military mind-set. “I developed a back story for Cole, I know her father, her mother, I can tell you anything about that girl,” she says. “It’s important to be a real person, not a representation.”
Stewart is also always on the lookout for what she calls “footholds, touchstones, little details that communicate to an audience, that make things evident without being heavy-handed.”
To express Cole’s uncertainty, for instance, the character wears tube socks and sandals on a day off, “trying to be cool but missing the mark.” Even more vivid is the way Cole attacks her long hair, forcing it into the most precise bun imaginable.
“She takes her long hair and binds it, oppresses the … out of it,” Stewart says. “These buns are a reflection of the soldier, and Cole’s is perfection. The only moments she feels confident is when she is in uniform.”
Even doing all this work doesn’t stop the pre-production anxiety that is part of Stewart’s experience. Though in person she is aware, lively and engaging, the actress says that “there is a scary thing about signing on to a project that feels ambitious: ‘Can you stand up to it?’ is the fear. I don’t want to ruin a brilliant script. I give a disclaimer to every director I work with: I will do anything, I will jump off buildings, but I don’t know if I will be able to deliver what you want.”
That fiercer than fierce commitment to the part can also manifest itself during production. On “Camp X-Ray” Stewart is processing what happened during the shooting of the film’s climactic emotional scene between guard and prisoner. It was a scene in which director Sattler made the decision to start with costar Maadi’s coverage, with Stewart playing the scene off camera rather than the other way around, which the actress would have preferred.
“I am such a weirdo freak of an actor that I can’t repeat anything, and Maadi has done a lot of theater, he likes to do a scene over and over,” she says. Not having her first reactions on camera “made me hysterical, at the end of the day I sat in the cellblock crying, I was just done. I was so anxious to have that experience. Looking back on it now, it still makes me crazy, I want to bang my head through the table.”
An established independent film actor before she took on the role of Bella Swan, Stewart is relieved to find the frenzy around the “Twilight” series starting to abate.
“It was crazy, it reached insane levels,” she says, still a bit disbelieving. “People would ask about maintaining that and I said, ‘Everyone take a breath. That is not going to happen.’ There is no way you could ever want to stay at that level.”
Smiling and saying that her “Twilight” experience “has given me a unique perspective on the world, that’s the positive way of looking at it,” Stewart wonders why it is sometimes difficult for others to realize that it was her unmistakable passion for the work and not a zeal for celebrity that led her to acting.
“It’s not easy for people to understand my discomfort with the spotlight, they say, ‘Why would you become an actor if you feel that way?’” Stewart says. “People don’t know what to do with those feelings, they feel you’re ungrateful, and that does kind of kill me.
“You can’t be saying, ‘You’re wrong about me,’ the worst thing is if you remotely sound like you’re complaining. Then you become the misconception.” All you can do, Kristen Stewart realizes, is to continue to do the work, and that’s what she has done.
Kristen Stewart has signed on to play the lead in “Like Crazy” director Drake Doremus’ futuristic love story “Equals,” and it’s making her a nervous wreck.
“I can’t believe I agreed to do it,” said the “Twilight” actress about her upcoming role in the sci-fi drama, which also stars Nicholas Hoult of the upcoming “X-Men: Days of Future Past.”
Stewart describes “Equals” as a slightly updated version of the 1956 film “1984,” based on George Orwell’s classic 1949 novel about rebellion in a repressed futuristic society. “Equals” begins filming later this year.
“I’m terrified of it,” said the 23-year-old actress in a recent interview. “Though it’s a movie with a really basic concept, it’s overtly ambitious.”
“In ‘Equals,’ things go wrong because you can’t deny the humanity in everyone,” said Stewart. “It’s the most devastating story.”
Adds Doremus of his sixth film: “It’s about love in a world where love really doesn’t exist anymore.”
Written by Nathan Parker (“Moon”), “Equals” is the first film Doremus will direct that he didn’t write himself.
“I trust Drake’s process and I know we will do something really natural and real,” said Stewart. “But I told Drake, ‘Don’t expect that I am going to be able to do this. It’s too hard.’ But he wouldn’t take ‘no’ for an answer. I’ve given directors disclaimers before, but never this much.”
Jennifer Lawrence, who appeared in 2011′s “Like Crazy,” also read Parker’s script, Doremus said. “Jen and I worked together before and she was fantastic,” said the director. “It’s exciting to talk about the character with different people, but it became evident in my head that Nick and Kristen would have great chemistry.”
“It’s a love story of epic, epic, epic proportion,” added Stewart. “I’m scared.”
This week, the actress heads to the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, where she’ll star in writer-director Peter Sattler’s soldier film “Camp X-Ray.”
Now past the Twilight zone, Kristen Stewart is primed for a big-screen comeback and a lead in a fragrance campaign that’s as previous-with-a-prick as the actress herself.
It’s been a tough year for Twihards. The film series ended, Robsten split, and neither Kristen Stewart nor Robert Pattinson has graced the screen since. But wait: Stewart’s angsty lip curl can now be spotted on a new crop of Balenciaga ads for Rosabotanica (Florabotanica’s follow-up scent), where her stony, smoky-eyed stare contrasts the vivid floral vines creeping over her shoulder. The spicy rose-pepper blend aptly reflects the non-conformist personality the 23-year-old’s fans have come to adore.
Stewart’s F-bombed frankness and red-carpet Chuck Taylors are some of her best assets—because they’re real. “I had looked at the fashion world as superficial,” she admits when asked about her collaboration with Balenciaga’s former creative director Nicolas Ghesquière, whom she considers a “true artist.” “Before the photo shoot I did with him, it was always fucking torture,” she says of studio sessions. It’s this passion-first attitude that precipitated a gutsy two-year acting hiatus. “Unless there’s a story that you just fucking have to help bring to life, it’s not worth it,” she explains. Two roles have lured her back. In Sils Maria, she portrays a personal assistant to a troubled, aging actress, played by real-life Oscar winner Juliette Binoche. And in Camp X-Ray, a drama set in Guantanamo Bay, she plays a simple girl with unwavering ideals who realizes life isn’t black-and-white. “Her eyes are smashed open, and I know that feeling,” Stewart says, hinting, perhaps, at last year’s troubles.
As Twi fans wait for those flicks and her newly announced Chanel fashion campaign to be released later this year, they continue to beg, via tear-filled YouTube tirades, for a Bella-and-Edward reunion, be it fictional or real. Meanwhile, gossip blogs speculate daily about the pair’s on-again, off-again status. “They cast you as easily identifiable characters they can sell to the masses,” says Stewart. “When people pick up newspapers and read perfect summaries of my life in little concise stories, it’s kind of silly. Can anyone’s life be put into words like that?” Stewart is far from one-dimensional, and it’s that sense of mystery that keeps us hooked. A rose any less thorny surely wouldn’t be as sweet.