The Redemption of Kristen Stewart

by Valentina I. Valentini 11:01 AM PDT, April 09, 2015
Photo: Getty Images

Admit it. You were a Kristen Stewart hater too. Ok, hate is a little strong of a word. It was just that attitude; that “I’m better then you and I don’t have to pander to your whims” attitude that always seemed to irk anyone over 30. If you are twentysomething though, your feelings may differ, since Bella Swan played such a seminal role in your YA life.

But the 24-year-old actress, who reportedly brought in $22-million in 2013, has cast herself in a different light over the last couple of years. Despite some philandering and some mediocre acting, K-Stew has seemingly risen out of some bad decisions and positioned herself as the go-to gritty girl--not that she’s doing it for any of our sakes.

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1. Her shy/awkward/fearful/cantankerous demeanor when being interviewed (so say many journalists off-the-record) sometimes brings forth meaningful musings. "I really like being thrown into the unknown and then finding my way,” she told Marie Claire last February. “I don't want to show someone something. I want people to watch me find something."

2. Stewart became the first American actress in 30 years to win a César Award--the French equivalent to an Oscar--for her role in Clouds of Sils Maria. She plays the assistant to a successful middle-aged movie star (Juliette Binoche). When the actress agrees to participate in a theatrical revival of the film that made her famous in the first place, she’s cast as the older woman in it and the younger role--which she played originally--is given to a scandal-ridden, vapid celebrity (Chloe Grace Moretz). It’s not meant to be tongue-in-cheek, but it works to Stewart’s advantage as the former (seemingly) vapid celeb herself.

3. It wasn’t so much that she was part of a situation that broke up a family (the affair with her Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders), but that she cheated on Robert Pattison. By default, she is now liberated from breaking that poor boy’s heart because he’s reportedly engaged to singer FKA Twigs.

4. Stewart is the sort of Hollywood poster child for cool, adolescent angst--but to adults she’s reminded them of that, and they don’t like it. Her role in Camp X-Ray as an Army Sergeant stationed at Guantanamo Bay is the opposite of that ‘tude.

5. While Julianne Moore’s role in Still Alice garnered her a best actress Oscar, the New York Times didn't overlook Stewart's “excellent work.” The paper went on to proclaim the role as Moore’s daughter “should help re-establish her as an insightful and unpredictable talent.”

6. Because the number of eyeballs that saw Twilight probably make up more than the total number of eyeballs that saw all of Stewarts indies put together, to so many she still seems like a celebrity trying to pose as an actress. But in a self-aware state she told The Hollywood Reporter that actresses like the Binoche character "who are interesting and good and strive to do cool stuff and do stuff that makes people think" must coexist now, more than ever, alongside people like the Moretz character, "surface BS, put-together commercial/commodity-type actresses.” 

Bonus Fact: Her parents are film crew -- mom is a script supervisor/writer/director and dad is a stage manager/production designer. That makes anyone cool in our eyes. 

Look back on the actress' previous looks going back to her edgy Twilight days: