Cast as the teen protagonist in “The Twilight Saga,” Kristen Stewart soon became the emotional stand-in for a generation of teen girls — all while still, of course, having to deliver an actual performance in a five-film franchise as concerned with emotional reality as it is with supernatural conspiracy. We spoke with Stewart in L.A. about the challenges of the series’ end, what director Bill Condon brought to the film, and the odd experience of seeing your full-size replica lying dead.
We can’t talk too much about this, but there’s a great cliffhanger at the end of this — when you read the script were you frantically going ‘Where’s the next page?’ You know what happens next, but could you believe that that was where they were choosing to end it?
Stewart: That’s where I wanted to end it. It’s such a natural break, so I was really happy that there were no more words at the end of the script. I was like ‘Yes, perfect. That’s exactly right.’ I think it ends in the best way.
In the second and third films, there’s a lot of this over-arching plot and conspiracy. This film really gets back to the relationship between Edward and Bella in this great interesting way. Was that gratifying as well to sort of return to the heart of the story?
Stewart: Yeah, that’s what I keep saying Bill (Condon, director) did, is he really had his finger on the pulse of it. The thing is in ‘Eclipse,’ we’re all supposed to be sort of disconnected. In this it’s the first time you don’t think that (Edward and Bella) are possibly going to break up. That’s not the conflict in the movie. There are other conflicts now. I don’t know, there’s like this weird sense of clarity. Bill’s also not afraid of being really sincere, and sometimes sentimental when that’s what it is in the books. What affects you in real life is really sentimental sometimes. I mean it’s easy with this to go, ‘Well, we can’t make it corny,’ and its not. That was the part that hits, and I think that’s why it has the heart, because Bill wasn’t afraid of it.