ENo matter who she plays, talking to Kristen Stewart is always a special challenge. Although the thirty-one-year-old can now look back on twenty-three years in the film business, giving hundreds of interviews, she seems to be starting from scratch on every promotional tour. Other colleagues develop into experienced chatters in the course of their careers. Stewart is accompanied by her team of supervisors like a recently landed alien into the interview room in a London luxury hotel, where she has to adjust to the situation and the person opposite. She tries to sort her often erratic thoughts spontaneously into answers, which she underscores with intense glances. No trace of routine. This unconfigured item is both irritating and refreshing.
After spending so much time with Diana, how difficult was it to let go and go of her in the end?
To be honest, I still haven’t let go. And it was a very special experience to come back to London now for these interviews. I haven’t been here since filming. I’ve always associated this place with other feelings. Now I see this city with completely different eyes. At every corner, on every street, I imagine Diana could have walked this way. And it will definitely be years before anything changes about that. And then there’s the theme of the film, the psychological pain Diana suffered. This pain really got under my skin. I can’t just take it off after three days.
Was it really just a good experience, or was it sometimes an unpleasant experience, to expose yourself to these feelings?
Playing it was so beautiful and just a joy. The effect it had on people and its power are still present. I also absorbed this strength physically in addition to the pain. And that too is a very special experience that has changed me.
How have you changed?
Let me try this: I try to be nice to other people, to treat them well. I try not to think too much, to let my instincts guide me and to approach others with love. I’ve learned that this is how I can win people over. Actually, that’s a fundamental concept if you treat each other with respect. I believe in treating other people the way I would like to be treated and then get back what I invest. Diana practiced this on a completely different level. And although the film is set in this highly emotional, sad environment and I play an unhappy woman, I’ve never had so much fun filming it. And that left its mark on me.
What kind of traces are these?
It’s fun to approach people and touch their face in a very unabashed way. Although I’m not sure whether I’ll take over that from her, of all things. There is an invisible barrier between people. And Diana had the ability to transcend such boundaries and show her emotions that way too. And to live that in the context of this role or to wear it like an emotional costume, that felt incredibly good.
What are the consequences?
It kind of opened me up emotionally. I felt bigger than I played it, even though it was at a low point right now.