Many interviewers and entertainment writers have described Twilight Saga actor Kristen Stewart as “cautious” and “shy.”
At least one news story refers to her as a “Self-proclaimed introvert.”
By the way, I am not presuming Kristen Stewart is shy, introverted or highly sensitive, and I don’t know her personally.
But just from my gut reaction to seeing her in movies and interviews, she does seem to have all those traits, like many other very talented actors.
She recently made press appearances at the Sundance Film Festival for her movies “Welcome to the Rileys” and “The Runaways” (she plays Joan Jett).
What is interesting is the reactions by some reporters, and their interpretations of her behavior.
A USA Today article (Kristen Stewart in a different light at Sundance, By Anthony Breznican) said, “Visibly shaking with stage fright, Stewart tended not to say much in front of the crowds.”
A Los Angeles Times article (For Kristen Stewart, this is her dawn, by Chris Lee) said she “appeared to not enjoy the red carpet activities” and referred to her “continuing hostility toward the celebrity limelight” and that she “appeared visibly repulsed by the red-carpet action.
In a New York Times article, Brooks Barnes writes about “Ms. Stewart’s shyness and hints of awkwardness” that “make her accessible to fans.”
The article adds that Stewart “has coped with the suffocating attention by giving off an air of inapproachability, a tough exterior that Chris Weitz, the director of New Moon, said she has methodically adopted.”
“Jodie Foster, the article continues, “who co-starred with Ms. Stewart in David Fincher’s ‘Panic Room’ said ‘Kristen isn’t interested in blurting out her emotions all in front of her, and that results in really intelligent and interesting performances.’”
[From Media Vampires, Beware, by Brooks Barnes, nytimes.com]
Getting more comfortable with experience
Kristen Stewart does seem much more relaxed and confident and expressive in more recent videos of her interviews, compared with ones she was doing a year or more ago.
She says, “I think I’ve gotten a lot more comfortable with talking about myself and knowing that what you say, people are really going to take into consideration.
“That always intimidated me so much that I minced every word that came out of my mouth. I couldn’t finish a sentence because I was so concerned about how it was going to sound. I didn’t want to come across insincere about something that I really love to do.”
[From dawnmasuoka.com interview]
And introvert-related actions like “holding back” in interviews and public appearances (and ordinary conversation, for those of us who aren’t celebrities) can often lead to negative judgments and reactions from others, such as fans writing that she is aloof, a snob, obnoxious or rude.
One of her co-stars in Twilight, Robert Pattinson, has also referred to himself as introverted, and others have called him shy.
Actor Christian Serratos (who plays Angela in the movie) thinks all the frenzied fame has affected Pattinson: “If anything he’s become more humble and more introverted.” [okmagazine.com]
Signs of sensitivity
Many highly sensitive people experience the kind of strong concern for authenticity and truthfulness, and caution (even perfectionism) when speaking that Stewart mentions above.
Another indication may be how much she cared about creating her character Bella in “Twilight” and making her dialogue ring true.
A magazine article noted, “Stewart, who was just 17 when she shot the movie, was uncompromising about what she’d allow her character to do and say. ‘We had to rewrite and improvise a lot of the most intense scenes, because Kristen will not say something if she doesn’t feel good about it,’ recalls [director Catherine] Hardwicke.”
[From Entertainment Weekly, Nov 14, 2008 - posted on kristenstewartweb.com]