Stewart is receiving good reviews for her role in a new film, Camp X-Ray, in which she plays a soldier stationed at Guantanamo Bay. The film debuted at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. If there was any desire for Stewart to leave behind any traces of Bella Swan, this role, critics say, may certainly do it.
Stewart, 23, has been acting since the age of eight. Seemingly born to be an actress, her parents are both in the entertainment industry. Her father is a successful stage manager, producer and director, and her Australian-born mother a scriptwriter. It was easy to see how Stewart developed a flair for the dramatic, which is perhaps what the talent scout who discovered her observed when she performed in a school play. Stewart’s DNA and her parents introduction to show business at an early age has most likely helped define who Kristen Stewart is, and whether she can successfully shed the Bella Swan image.
In one of her first roles, Stewart’s raw talent was apparent when she played the daughter of Meg Altman (Jodie Foster) in the box-office hit Panic Room. The film centers around a mother and daughter dealing with a home invasion gone terrifyingly wrong. Stewart held her own with the likes of not only veteran actress Foster, but also recent Golden Globe winner Jared Leto and Academy and Golden Globe winner Forest Whitaker.
Stewart also received positive reviews in her role as Kristen Tilson in the film Cold Creek Manor, playing the daughter of Cooper and Leah Tilson (Dennis Quaid and Sharon Stone). The film can be categorized as a “suspense thriller,” in which a family is cruelly intimidated and brutalized by the previous owner of their home.
Stewart has been cast in solid films, many of which have received good reviews. She has acted with some of the best in the business, including Robert DeNiro, Charlize Theron, Chris Hemsworth, Dakota Fanning and, of course, Robert Pattinson. Stewart has consistently been a solid performer, oftentimes, according to critics, employing an “understated” technique which works well on the big screen.
Her most famous role thus far has been Bella Swan. With the success of Twilight and the character Stewart embraced, came many various spoofs of the film, particularly the character of Bella Swan. One of the most popular which spoofed Stewart’s character was a comedy called Breaking Wind. None of the spoofs seemed to deter Stewart’s Twilight fan base.
In spite of the overwhelming success of Stewart as Bella Swan, it is becoming more obvious who Kristen Stewart is and whether she can succeed at shedding the image of Bella Swan. Already IFC has purchased the rights to Camp X-Ray, and Variety has said Stewart “will surprise and impress those who only know her from Twilight films.”
By Wendy Waring