As "Twilight" frenzy swept the world, Kristen Stewart was propelled into stardom. She'll be returning as Bella in the eagerly awaited sequels, now in filming. In the meantime, you can see her in a startlingly different role in "The Cake Eaters," directed by Mary Stuart Masterson. Stewart plays a teenager afflicted with Friedreich's ataxia, a terminal disease of the nervous system, for which there is no cure. She'll also star in the Joan Jett biopic "The Runaways." Stewart is hoping that the notoriety she's gained from "Twilight" will draw fans to her upcoming films.
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PARADE Magazine: You met some girls who suffer from this terminal illness. What did you take away from that?
Kristen Stewart: Not to sound totally cliché about a disease movie, but all the girls I met have a resistance to any sort of patronizing and any box that you want to put them in. It's overwhelmingly inspiring to meet them. It's about not letting your life end. To them, it's like they're different and so they're going to have to live a different life. But it can still be great. I could identify with that.
Your character is very outspoken. Are you like that?
Georgia is all about the truth. She really calls everything by its right name. She's very honest. I'm honest, but I don't think I have as much to say as she does. But I'm free with my words when I believe in something, I guess.
Related: Take the ultimate "Twilight" quiz
Were you shocked when Catherine Hardwicke was replaced as director of the next "Twilight" movie?
It wasn't like it was a big bomb that was dropped. It wasn't such a shock. To be honest, I don't know about the inner workings of whatever was going on within the studio. But everybody has creative integrity, and everybody has to be on the same page when you're making a movie. And in this case, Catherine and Summit just agreed that it was the best thing to do for her to move on. It wasn't like, "You're fired!"
The "Twilight" DVD is coming out soon. There is a lot of curiosity. What can we expect?
We did an audio commentary. And I can't wait for everyone to see it. Literally, there wasn't a day that went by that we didn't have camera crews on set, so I'm sure that they have hours of footage to cut together for the eager audience.
Talk about system overload: In the midst of filming the next two "Twilight" movies, we hear you're also going to be starring as Joan Jett in "The Runaways."
Everyone wants to know what she's like.
She's so cool. One of the nicest, most soulful women I've ever met. And so many people love and admire her. It's an immense responsibility to play a real person, one of the most intimidating things that I've ever had to confront. Her story is an incredibly triumphant, feminist story. The main thing that Joan talked about was just how much she cared about the days when she was a teenager and started singing with the Runaways. She told me that the band was what started her entire life.
Will you be singing or lip-syncing her songs?
I don't want to speak out of place. I really hope to be able to actually perform the music, but I just don't know yet. Hopefully, I'll be able to tell you guys soon.
Like some of the characters you've played, have you had problems coping with your teen years?I don't think so. I have sort of a picture-perfect family. My parents are awesome, and my brothers are like my best friends. But you change. You're so yourself when you're a little kid, and then you turn 13 and all of a sudden you are concerned about what you look like and you have all these insecurities. But, then, after you go through the different stages, there's like a sort of triumphant, "I'm done with that, and I'm becoming who I am." That's where I am now, I think.