BY DONNA FREYDKIN
In the French drama 'Clouds of Sils Maria,' Kristen Stewart is the loyal, tenacious assistant of an aging actress grappling with career issues. The New York Film Critics Circle named Stewart best supporting actress -- a huge deal -- and she won the Cesar award as well. Also a massive deal.
Think of everything you've heard about Stewart, and cast it aside. In person, she's friendly, thoughtful and acutely intelligent. And she takes the whole madness of the awards circuit with a few grains of salt.
"It is a trip. It's a wonderfully unexpected icing on a cake to a positive situation. We shot this movie a long time ago. It's a foreign film. It's a little quiet. It's not extreme," she says. "This was really shocking because it's two women sitting in a room, rehearsing lines, and talking to each other about the work that they do and where they are in their lives."
But congratulations, Kristen! You earned it! "Thank you, dude!" she responds with a grin.
Should the acting thing stop panning out, she could learn a lesson or three from 'Sils.'
"I'd be a great assistant. I would be really good at that I think. I could really take care of an actress. Especially if I liked her. I'd make sure she was handled," says Stewart.
Much has been written about the dearth of meaty roles for women, especially for women of a certain age -- and the expectation of eternal youth. Carrie Fisher said she was asked to lose weight before shooting "Star Wars," and another very established actress recently was offered the part of a girlfriend who spends most of the film in a coma. She turned it down.
"I'm so one-in-a-million lucky. I'm presented with spectacular material. I've never been bored. It is hard for me to speak to that, but if you look around, you can answer that," says Stewart. "I've never been screwed by that. If there aren't any roles for me, at any age, wherever I'm at, and I don't feel that stimulation, I will find it elsewhere. I'm not driven by being in the spotlight."
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