‘Spencer’ Star Kristen Stewart Talks Oscar Buzz and Why She’d Love for Guy Fieri to Officiate Her Wedding
Actress also opens up about proposals, paparazzi, and playing Princess Diana during her Stern Show returnNovember 3, 2021
Kristen Stewart was seven when Princess Diana’s tragic death shook the world. She was old enough to remember wall-to-wall news coverage of the beloved royal’s fatal car crash but too young to fully comprehend what it meant to be one of the planet’s most scrutinized public figures. Nearly a quarter century later, Stewart finds herself under an eerily similar spotlight. The acclaimed actress, filmmaker, and fashion icon has covered more magazines than most presidents and barely has time to walk down the street for a cup of coffee before paparazzi photos of her stroll have become a trending topic on Twitter. The “Twilight” heroine turned indie-film darling’s star shows no signs of dimming, either. As an early favorite to win an Oscar for her titular role in Pablo Larraín’s Princess Diana biopic “Spencer,” Kristen is in fact the talk of the town.
During her sit-down with Howard Tuesday morning, Stewart acknowledged she and Princess Di both struggled to maintain some semblance of privacy.
“I definitely understand the whole, ‘Dude, keep your curtains closed’ thing. Like, if I keep my windows open, people are allowed to shoot through them and then publish those photographs [from] within my own home,” she said.
In her mind, however, that’s where the parallels ended. “The difference is that when I make a movie I really want everyone to go see it,” Kristen told Howard, explaining that while she didn’t appreciate a “trail of cretins” following her around with cameras, she operated with far more freedom than her onscreen counterpart. “I am allowed to say whatever the fuck I want. I can make stupid mistakes, I can fall on my face and nobody is going to kick me out of the family,” she continued
The Princess of Wales was killed in 1997 as paparazzi chased her Mercedes through a Parisian tunnel. “I’ve been in vehicles going through that tunnel being chased by really aggressive paparazzi in Paris,” Kristen said Tuesday. “Sitting here right now I still can’t believe that that’s how it went down, that’s how it shook out. I can’t understand it.”
Decades passed since Princess Di’s untimely demise, but her popularity hasn’t waned. Stewart thought she understood why. “There’s this fixation on what we would have been able to get from this woman if we had her for longer,” she said, adding, “There are some people that are just born with this sparkly, protruding, beautiful, just like incredibly infectious energy—and she was one of those people.”
A Royal Pain in the Jaw
Howard was curious how an American actress might go about portraying a real-life member of the British royal family.
Kristen admitted she spent months working just on the accent and did her best to change the physical mechanics involved with how she spoke. “When I speak, I barely open my mouth. When [Diana] speaks, it’s just open,” she said while demonstrating the technique for the cameras.
Stewart did plenty of research while getting into character, too, and memorized every one of her lines in “Spencer” exactly how it had been written. At the same time, she wanted to keep her take on the character fresh. “I felt like the way to really do her justice was to be so present and spontaneous. This woman to me, from everything I’ve seen of her, was so live-wire. She feels a little bit spooky. She walks into a room and you just don’t know what’s going to happen,” Stewart said.
Despite Kristen’s intense preparations, her nerves seemingly got the best of her just two weeks before shooting commenced. “I literally couldn’t open my mouth,” she told Howard, explaining she’d come down with a brief case of temporomandibular joint disorder. “It was like a physical manifestation of stress.”
Thankfully, everything fell into place as soon as the cameras started rolling. “The day that we started shooting it just opened. I was so swept up with the experience I just knew it was going to work out,” she said.
Happiest Award Season
Kristen’s commitment to the character has seemingly paid off. While Oscar nominations won’t be announced until February, there is plenty of buzz surrounding “Spencer.” Some even consider her a frontrunner to take home the Best Actress trophy.
She told Howard she was excited to be considered and “totally” wanted to win an Oscar, but she also admitted her feelings about the Academy Awards were complicated. “Over the course of being alive and watching the Oscars every year, sometimes you’re like, ‘Why do people win these things? They’re not always the best performances.’” she said, explaining pitting performers against one another even seemed antithetical to the spirit of acting.
“But at the same time, I’m like, ‘Yeah, for sure I want to be a part of this conversation. I want everyone to see this movie. I’m so proud of it,’” she continued. “It’s kind of a once in a lifetime thing. I just don’t think this will ever happen again, so I’m kind of smooth sailing through this one.”
As excited as Howard was for Kristen’s continued ascent, he couldn’t help but wonder if winning Hollywood’s biggest award would make it harder for him to book her as a guest in the future. “If you get the Oscar for this you won’t have to do this show anymore,” he joked at one point.
“Yeah, that’s kind of why I did the movie,” Kristen responded with a laugh.
Tying the Knot … in Flavortown?
During her 2019 Stern Show debut, Stewart shocked Howard and the rest of the world when she revealed her plans to one day marry her girlfriend, Dylan Meyer. On Tuesday morning, Kristen revealed wedding bells were indeed still on the horizon. Furthermore, her girlfriend had recently popped the question.
“We are totally going to do it. I wanted to be proposed to, so I think I very distinctly carved out what I wanted, you know, and she nailed it. It was really cute. She did very well,” Kristen said. “We’re marrying. It’s happening.”
Explaining why Dylan had been the one to propose, Stewart said she felt like she’d already done her part during her last Stern Show visit. “I blew my load on Howard Stern and then basically was like, ‘Now it’s your turn. I kind of did it,’” she said. “It’s not a given that I’d be the one. With two girls you never know whose going to fulfill what gender role thing.”
Howard had several questions about his guest’s impending nuptials which ranged from what she might wear (jeans, no shoes, and a cut-off tuxedo t-shirt) to whether the couple envisioned a live band for the reception (“no, you need the hits”). He also wondered who would officiate.
Kristen said the couple would probably perform the ceremony themselves, but if they did opt for an officiant she had one famous name in mind. “We did hear that Guy Fieri from the Food Network officiates a lot of gay weddings,” she said. “So, the idea of that man—that sweet, sweet spikey headed man—coming to our wedding and officiating it, it just makes me laugh so much.”
The Mayor of Flavortown might not be the only big-name celebrity in attendance, either. Kristen also invited the King of All Media himself.
“We would love to be friends with you. Full standing offer: come to the wedding,” she told Howard toward the end of their conversation. “We welcome you.”
Kristen Stewart’s new film “Spencer” opens in theaters Nov. 5.