As one of this millennium’s biggest box office stars, Kristen Stewart has blazed a trail as a fierce entertainment force. Her breakout role in the 'Twilight' series catapulted her to the top of the industry, making her an A-list star that has parlayed her fame into roles as an actress, director, and producer.
Born in Los Angeles, California, Kristen Jaymes Stewart was brought up in a showbiz family, with both parents employed behind the scenes before her birth. Her mother, Jules Mann-Stewart, is a script supervisor and director originally from Australia and father John Stewart is a producer and stage manager. Along with older brother Cameron B. Stewart, Kristen has two adopted brothers, Taylor and Dana. Until the seventh grade, Kristen attended regular schools but once she began working more as an actress, she completed high school by correspondence.
At only 8-years old, Stewart got her first role after auditioning for a part in The Thirteenth Year. Up next was a small role in Viva Rock Vegas, followed by the indie film The Safety of Objects with Patricia Clarkson. In 2002, she starred alongside Jodie Foster as her daughter in Panic Room, which was a blockbuster hit and raised her profile in Hollywood. The role garnered Stewart a Young Artist Award for her performance. Her next film was opposite Dennis Quaid and Sharon Stone in Cold Creek Manor in 2003, which yielded her yet another nomination for Young Artist Award for her performance.
Stewart’s first lead role was in the action-comedy Catch That Kid in 2004 with Cordin Bleu and Max Thieriot at 14 years old. Later that year, she played in Undertow as Lila and in the Lifetime film Speak from Laurie Halse Anderson. The performance was critically praised and solidified her as a serious actress. She co-starred with Adrien Brody and Meg Ryan in the movie In the Land of Women in 2007 and later that year with Sean Penn in Into the Wild, which he also directed.
In the fall of November 2007, Stewart was announced as the lead in the upcoming vampire series Twilight, based on Stephenie Meyer’s books. The following year, the first movie in the planned series debuted and was instantly a success and made Stewart a household name and one of the hottest young actors in Hollywood. In 2009, she starred with Jesse Eisenberg in the dramedy Adventureland and then as Bella in the sequel, The Twilight Saga: New Moon. In 2010, the third movie in the series, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, debuted to huge box office worldwide. Later that year, she starred in The Yellow Handkerchief, which premiered at Sundance Film Festival and then next alongside James Gandolfini in Welcome to the Rileys. Her next role was in the film The Runaways, playing rock star Joan Jett. The film received great reviews and landed Stewart on Vanity Fair’s 2010’s ‘Top Hollywood Earners List’, raking in $28.5 million over the course of the year. She received the ‘Rising Star Award’ at the 63rd British Academy Film Awards.
Aside from her movies, Stewart also became known as a sexy starlet, with High Times naming her ‘Stonette of the Year’ in 2010, FHM Online ranking her #3 on their ‘Sexiest Women in the World’ list, and on FHM’s list of ‘Sexiest Women in the World’ in 2010 and 2011.
The next release from the vampire series, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1, debuted on November 18, 2011 and was an immediate box office success, with Stewart appearing in the music video from the soundtrack by Marcus Foster, ‘I Was Broken’. The last film from the series, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, debuted and raked in $830 million that year, making it the highest grossing film from the series. By the end of the year, Stewart was named as ‘Hollywood’s Best Actors for the Buck’ by Forbes magazine. In January of 2012, she was named as the new face of Balenciaga and was named the highest paid actress of 2012, raking in $34.5 million.
Kristen presented at the 85th Academy Awards alongside actor Daniel Radcliffe on February 24, 2013 and was announced as the new face of Chanel’s fashion collection on December 11, 2013. Stewart’s next gig was as the official face of Chanel in an ad campaign stylized and shot by fashion giant Karl Lagerfeld, which was released in May 2014. She also was named as the official face of Balenciaga’s new perfume Rosabotanica and when Forbes releases its list of highest paid actresses for the year, she came in ranked at #3, with earning a total of $22 million dollars. She made the list in 2014 and 2015 as well, at #10, and #9, respectively.
Next up, Stewart received some of her best reviews in her career with her next film in 2014, Camp X-Ray, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival at the beginning of the year. Her next role in the film Clouds of Sils Maria earned Stewart arguably the best reviews of her career and the César Award for Best Supporting Actress, a feat no American woman had pulled off in thirty years, and the first American to win since Adrien Brody for The Piano in 2003.
In 2015, Kristen was named as one of Glamour magazine’s ‘Best Dressed Women’, with her next film directed by Karl Lagerfeld being Once and Forever starring as Irys Duke. Stewart next appeared in the indie drama Anesthesia, which was released in January of 2016. She starred alongside Nicholas Hoult in the love story Equals and then appeared in Certain Women in October 2016. Stewart collaborated with Woody Allen in the film Café Society opposite Jesse Eisenberg and Steve Carrell, and then next up in Ang Lee’s Long Halftime Walk, which debuted on November 11, 2016.
Stewart has recently announced her decision to work behind the camera as a director, with the short film Water chosen as part of Refinery29’s ‘Shatterbox Anthology’. Her next short film project is titled Come Swim, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2017. Upcoming projects include a bio-pic about JT LeRoy co-starring James Franco and Helena Bonham Carter, and possibly another short film.
Since becoming a global star with the premiere of the first movie in the Twilight series, Kristen Stewart has cultivated a rabid following, especially among younger fans. While dating her co-star Robert Pattinson, their romance became a frequent tabloid fodder and the two became the most followed couple in the world. The controversial pair split up after the release of the last installment in the Twilight series, prompting many to speculate as to the authenticity of the union over the years.
In 2008, she was caught smoking marijuana, with the media having a field day over the incident. Stewart, for her part, had no comment on the matter, and she became an unofficial spokesperson for legalizing marijuana nationwide.
Kristen filmed the movie Snow White & The Huntsman with Charlize Theron and while on set had an affair with the director Rupert Sanders, ending his marriage as well as her courtship with Pattinson. The scandal marked the biggest of her career and her fan base suffered as a result.
In 2012, Stewart was the victim of an internet hoax when social media falsely reported that the star had been in a deadly jet ski accident. Her PR team quickly released a statement attesting to her health after the fake news first broke.
After being linked with several high-profile women after dating Robert Pattinson, Stewart announced that she was dating women, confirming rumors of her open sexuality in the press.
Stewart is notoriously private in her personal life, but has been linked to actor Michael Angarano, whom she co-starred with in the 2004 movie Speak and also co-star Robert Pattinson from the Twilight series.
In July 2012, photos were leaked showing Kristen hooking up with the Snow White & the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders while she was still in a relationship with Pattinson. The images made headlines in worldwide magazines and newspapers, and tarnished Stewart’s public reputation. She’s since managed to bounce back from what she describes as a ‘traumatic period’.
Since 2016, the actress has been in a relationship with digital effects artist Alicia Cargile.
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Written by: Triston Brewer