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Charlie's Angels: Origin of an Icon

Kristen Stewart Became an Icon by Staying True to Herself

Charlie's Angels: Kristen Stewart Became an Icon by Staying True to Herself


Kristen Stewart is one of Hollywood’s brightest and boldest stars. Whether she’s melting hearts in THE TWILIGHT SAGA, making headlines with her red carpet style, or dominating action scenes in the new CHARLIE’S ANGELS, Stewart has established herself as one of our very favorite actresses.

Stewart's idiosyncratic status doesn't just come from her performances in blockbusters or her relatable interviews. Stewart has paved her own path in Hollywood, consistently choosing to star in compelling dramas and excellent indie films. Maybe the only predictable aspect of Kristen Stewart’s career is how she’s always stayed true to herself – the mark of a true icon.

The Twilight Years

Kristen Stewart in Twilight

[Image Credit: Summit Entertainment]

Stewart had been acting for almost a decade when she appeared in the first TWILIGHT movie. Released in 2008, the romantic drama stars Stewart as Bella, a young woman who falls in love with Edward, a vampire played by Robert Pattinson, despite the many differences between them. (Beginning with the fact that she is technically food for him.) Over the course of five movies, Bella and Edward overcome the odds stacked against their romance to cement their love for one another while fighting the monsters and people who want to tear them apart.

TWILIGHT is a modern-day "Romeo and Juliet" story with a much happier conclusion, particularly for Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson. They became mega-stars in Hollywood virtually overnight. TWILIGHT and its sequels were massive hits, all but guaranteeing that Stewart and Pattinson could do pretty much anything they wanted with their newfound fame. Rather than trying to repeat their big success, both actors chose to take the road less traveled.

A Star Is Born

Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett in The Runaways

[Image Credit: Apparition]

Stewart was so perfect for the role of Bella in TWILIGHT that it would have been easy to keep playing similar characters. But amid all that early success, Stewart got ahead of the game by choosing roles that were very different from Bella in movies that were very different from TWILIGHT.

Take 2009's ADVENTURELAND as an example. Stewart co-stars as Emily, a young woman working a dead-end job in a Pennsylvania amusement park in the late 1980s. She connects with naive college grad James (Jesse Eisenberg), who takes a job at the park when his family falls into financial trouble. In THE RUNAWAYS (seen above), Stewart played a wildly different role: Iconoclastic rocker Joan Jett. In between the last two TWILIGHT movies, Stewart carved out time to make another fantasy blockbuster: SNOW WHITE AND THE HUNTSMAN, in which she played the title role opposite Chris Hemsworth. Though her choices in roles varied, one thing remained consistent and only grew more obvious: Kristen Stewart was a star.

And Now for Something Completely Different

Kristen Stewart in Seberg

[Image Credit: Amazon Studios]

By age 22, Stewart had already led a major blockbuster franchise, won notes for acclaimed independent roles, and added a live-action fairytale remake to her resume. That’s impressive for any young person, but not all that surprising from Stewart. After all, one of her earliest roles was in PANIC ROOM, directed by acclaimed filmmaker David Fincher. That's would be a good start for any career, and Stewart made the most of it.

Following the conclusion of THE TWILIGHT SAGA, Stewart turned her attention to the people behind the camera, looking for interesting and less conventional roles in movies made by filmmakers she found compelling. In 2014, Stewart delivered an awesome triple-header, starring in three movies that made her acting mission clear. In CAMP X-RAY, she played a soldier serving at the controversial Guantanamo Bay detention facility; CLOUDS OF SILS MARIA cast her as the assistant to an older actress played by the great Juliette Binoche; and STILL ALICE, a profound drama starring Julianne Moore as a woman coping with early-onset Alzheimer’s, featured Stewart playing her concerned daughter.

Each role was wildly different from the last; all offered Stewart the chance to show off her versatility. She’s kept up the run, with roles in supernatural drama PERSONAL SHOPPER (in which she plays a personal shopper communicating with a ghost via text message), the ambitious BILLY LYNN’S LONG HALFTIME WALK from acclaimed filmmaker Ang Lee, and the upcoming film SEBERG, in which she plays beloved French actress Jean Seberg.

Charlie's Angels: A Worthy Spectacle

Kristen Stewart in Charlie's Angels

Even with her tendency to choose roles in independent films, Stewart isn’t done with big-budget spectacle. In CHARLIE'S ANGELS, directed by Elizabeth Banks, Stewart plays Sabina Wilson, one of three new heroes (or “Angels”). The film is a sequel to the classic television series, and sees the Townsend Agency having expanded to offices around the world, with a trio of Angels in each one.

The three American Angels are played by Stewart, Naomi Scott (POWER RANGERS), and newcomer Ella Balinska. Elizabeth Banks, who previously directed PITCH PERFECT 2, has crafted CHARLIE'S ANGELS as a smart, fast-paced espionage comedy that puts the personality of its stars at the forefront of all the action. (Check out our video of Banks and Stewart at the recent Pioneer of the Year dinner.) Kristen Stewart has been a chameleon across her many roles in the past, but her own style is on full display in this new movie, and we can't wait to see it.

CHARLIE'S ANGELS opens on November 15!

All images courtesy of Sony Pictures, except where indicated.

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