LOS ANGELES — With the opening of “Breaking Dawn — Part 2,” the sun is setting on the blockbuster “Twilight Saga” film franchise.
Whether or not she is ready to walk away from the series that made her a household name, Kristen Stewart is glad she doesn't really have to.
“Genuinely, I don't feel like I have to walk anywhere. I don't have to. It's what I love about this job, is you hold these things. I wouldn't have done it in the first place, unless it was something that I was going to always carry,” she said in a recent news conference at the Four Seasons Hotel.
“Breaking Dawn — Part 2” picks up immediately where its predecessor left off, with heroine Bella Swan (Stewart) experiencing her first moments as a newly transformed vampire. While her immortal husband, Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), reintroduces her to his coven, Bella also reunites with her werewolf pal Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner) and meets the half-human/half-vampire daughter, Renesmee (Mackenzie Foy), she carried and birthed as a human.
Now 22, Stewart was just a teenager when she started playing Bella, who over the course of Stephenie Meyer's best-selling four-book supernatural saga grows from an uncertain adolescent experiencing love for the first time to an adult certain of her place in the world, even if she had to become a vampire to get there.
“If you were to take the fact that she becomes a vampire completely away, it's just a more realized version of who she's been the entire time. I think it's why it really touches so many people. ... It really does represent that stage of life where you're full, pumping, like bubbling over with something that maybe you can't put your finger on.”
‘Breaking in' Bella
After portraying a fragile human surrounded by paranormally powerful vampires and werewolves for four films, the Los Angeles native was eager to leap into the role of a formidable action heroine. But she admitted she got a bit overzealous when it came to doing her own stunts.
“It was also like breaking her in, like a car, as well. Like, ‘how fast does it go?' And it was fun,” Stewart said with a smile.
“I broke my thumb maybe like the first or second day of our really sort of intense actiony-type stuff, so that was really frustrating. But it was fun. ... What can I say? I think I'd been on the sidelines for so long, just itching, going like, ‘God, I think I could do that pretty well.'”
Meyer, a mother of three sons, praised Stewart, who doesn't have children, for her convincing portrayal of Bella as the “mother bear” the author envisioned.
Despite the praise for her on-screen parenting prowess, Stewart said she's not quite ready to be one in real life.
“I can't wait to be a mom, but like, no. I can wait,” she said with a grin.
“It was one of my favorite things about the story from Day 1. There was never enough about that in the script for me. And, luckily, Stephenie's been really involved in this last one (movie) especially, because ... it was something that we were really together about,” she added. “It was one aspect of her that I was really most excited to play. It feeds into, you know, vampires have slightly more animalistic nature.”
Although she isn't sprinting away from the “Twilight” phenomenon with supernatural speed, the longtime actress is thrilled to get the final chapter of Bella Swan's saga to the big screen.
“I'm so happy that the story is told. You have no idea. Usually you've got five weeks, five months to look at a schedule and go, ‘Whew, that day's coming up, that day's coming up.' We had five years. And so, you know, the fact that this thing is out and it's not weighing on us anymore, super excited about that. But I don't want it to sound like I'm excited just to be done with the experience, because to be honest, it's like such a particular tone; anything, you do an interview for ‘Twilight,' you go back,” she said.
“It's a feeling, and I will definitely miss that. But again, I feel like it's not going anywhere. ... I mean, it is sad, it is strange. But I mean, it's normal, things shouldn't stay stagnant. Got to move on.”
She added that she can't get specific about what is next.
“I think scripts can really surprise you. ... Things have fallen in my lap and I've gotten incredibly insanely lucky to get the right feelings and meet people that share them. You know, if I can keep doing that, I will be a happy girl.”
Travel and accommodations provided by Summit Entertainment.