The upcoming Snow White and the Huntsman, an armor-plated retelling of the classic fairy tale interpreted by first-time feature director Rupert Sanders, transforms the apple-blossom character of Snow White into something out of a Robert E. Howard pulp novel, and represents a departure for both Charlize Theron and Kristen Stewart. Theron says that she was intrigued by the psychological demands of the material in playing the complicated Queen Ravenna, and Stewart’s performance as Snow White, the fairest of them all, in her first action-heroine role, kept her literally in constant motion. But both women enjoy being challenged—by work and in conversation.
Here’s part of the interview, you can read the full article here.
Kristen Stewart on working with female directors:
Quite a few, yeah, which is rare. It’s hard to generalize about that subject because the women I’ve worked with have all been so different. But if there’s one consistency, it might be that you do have to handle yourself differently on a set. Women can be more emotional—at least they sometimes show it more.
Kristen on why she wanted to play Snow White:
There’s so much that Snow White has been deprived of in terms of having the proper time to really develop and hone who she is. She’s put in jail at the beginning of her life, so she’s a stunted person. She has a really idealized concept of what the world is, and how people should live, and how wonderful things all can be, and there is this debilitating isolation that she feels because she has been locked away in a little cell for seven years. And I can kind of relate to that. There is something . . . It’s not the reason that I wanted to do the movie, but the fans and people who lovedTwilight, they do put you on this sort of different plane where you’re not real. It’s like you don’t exist. And Snow White doesn’t exist. That’s how she starts out in the story—she’s just a false hope. She also doesn’t believe in destiny. It’s like, how could she defeat something that all of these people’s own hearts and own homes were broken by? How could that be possible for one girl? And it’s just about heart. I wanted to join her cause. The reason I wanted to do the movie was because I just wanted to go, “I know it hurts, but this is your burden, and I’m behind you.” We also don’t have a purely evil queen. It’s not like Ravenna completely lacks humanity. It’s just that she’s not able to be fully human. So what I also loved about it was that we didn’t have two polar opposites where good defeated evil because it’s better. It’s just that in hard times, you have to have strength of heart. You can’t be a selfish bastard. Some people are gonna get hurt, but it’s about making sure that the whole prospers.
Kristen on Charlize Theron:
She is unlike anyone I’ve ever encountered. She is one of those people who walks into a room and everyone knows it. She’s a fucking movie star. It’s funny, too, because she always says, “I’m not really a performer.” But I’m like, “Yeah, not at all.” [laughs] She’s an actor and a performer. I think she loves being an actor and is so true to it that she might not acknowledge everything she’s capable of. But she’s so real all the time. She’s not the type who is easily rocked on a set. She’s very much in control of her thing.
Charlize Theron on why she wanted to star in Snow White:
It was a combination of things. I saw a great challenge in taking something that was so iconic and turning it upside down and shaking it up a little bit, which I’d never done. And then I also saw a character that was such an emotional wreck and has never truly been explored in that way. I keep talking about Jack Nicholson in The Shining, but that movie came on television at a time when I think, in many ways, I was questioning whether I should do this film or not, and that was the thing that sealed the deal to me—that and one night at 2 a.m. I woke up and watched the end of Se7en and I was like, “Oh, my god. The queen is Kevin Spacey. She’s a tribal serial killer.” [both laugh] Believe it or not, I’d also never been in a movie of this size and scale and epic nature, and I just thought Rupert was such a visual guy with so much passion, so I was really interested to see what it was all about. I’m a huge Kristen Stewart fan, too. There’s not an ounce of her anatomy that knows how to half-ass anything. So everything just kind of aligned for me to where I felt like I would be an idiot not to do it.
Charlize on always knowing she would adopt:
You can’t really be too calculated about everything in life. I think I’ve gone through my life with the understanding that you’ve got to let go and you can’t think that you’re going to control your destiny. I think I made peace with that at a very young age because I went through an experience that taught me that as soon as you think that you know how your life is going to be, something in the universe will make you realize that you really are not that in control of it. So in terms of wanting to start a family, this was not how I ever foresaw it. But then again, I try not to be a prisoner to those kinds of thoughts or ideas of what I think my life should be or shouldn’t be. That’s why I’ve never had a five-year plan. I always knew that I wanted to have children. It wasn’t kind of something that I discovered later. I also never felt the biological clock ticking because I think I always knew that I wanted to adopt. It never meant that I didn’t want to have my own children—I always felt that if I were in the right circumstances then I would totally have my own children. My mother found a letter, though, that I wrote her when I was 8 years old. She just found it, like, two years ago, and it was a letter where I asked if she could take me to the orphanage because I would like to adopt a little baby. I think back then it was more like I wanted to adopt a baby to be my sibling, but even at that age, I had this awareness of adoption, so this wasn’t a last-minute thought. It was something that was always under my skin, that I knew would be a part of my life, and, to be honest with you, when I decided to start filing, it was very clear. It was like I knew that this was exactly what it needed to be. So then you go through the process, and it’s tough. It’s not the easiest process—and then again, I’ve never liked things too easy in life. But it emotionally knocks you out. It’s a really difficult thing to experience, but I never once faltered and thought that I didn’t want to go through with it. You kind of go through situations that don’t work out, and then all of a sudden you have this baby in your hands and you forget about all of that. You forget about the last three years of your life. You just realize that everything unfolded exactly the way it was supposed to unfold . . . Wow, I just went on forever there.
Charlize on her new son, Jackson:
He’s great. I’ve been doing things myself in the sense that I haven’t had a night nurse or anything like that, so I’ve spent every night with him except for the nights that I’ve had to travel. I’ve had to make two trips to New York and one really quick trip to London and Paris, but other than that, I’ve been with him every single night of his life and done every feed. A girlfriend of mine was like, “Why are you doing this? Get somebody to help you!” But the truth is that I’ve realized how little sleep I actually need. There’s nothing about it that actually makes me want to moan. I actually love it, and when I’m not doing it, I really miss it. I was joking to my girl- friend. I said, “I want to do it because when he’s older, this is all I will have to hold over him!” I can’t do what my mother did, which is tell me every single day of my life about her labor and how long it was and how it was 36 hours of hell . . .
I don’t know what I did in a past life to deserve this, but he’s such a good boy. And he has a grandmother who basically eats him up every second that she gets.
There is so much more of this interesting article, which you can read here. Kristen and Charlize both really opened up, and it was such a great article. I love the pictures that went along. Photos by Mikael Jansson. More pictures at the source as well.