Kristen - spirited away by Assayas

Twilight star on ghosts, communication and energies.

by Richard Mowe

Kristen Stewart, Olivier Assayas and Sigrid Bouaziz in Cannes
Kristen Stewart, Olivier Assayas and Sigrid Bouaziz in Cannes Photo: Richard Mowe
Kristen Stewart: 'I truly believe I’m driven by something that I can’t really define'
Kristen Stewart: 'I truly believe I’m driven by something that I can’t really define' Photo: Richard Mowe
Kristen Stewart was first American to win a best supporting actress César (French Oscar) for her performance in Clouds Of Sils Maria, directed by Olivier Assayas. So it was hardly surprising that she would want to work with him again.

This time, in Personal Shopper, they delve into ghostly territory with Stewart, as a fashion PA, coping with the death of her twin brother. Sigrid Bouaziz co-stars. The Twilight star confessed at the Cannes Film Festival that she was “really sensitive to energies”.

She continued: “I truly believe I’m driven by something that I can’t really define. It gives me a feeling we are not alone.” She prefers “ghosts to vampires” but would not be drawn further on the subject. Personal Shopper she said was “a ghost story to be sure, but the supernatural aspects of it lead you to basic questions”.

Stewart, who also starred in the Cannes opener Café Society by Woody Allen, completed the two films back to back. She confessed that Assayas did not give her a lot of direction. “There is a communication that is undeniable. We don’t talk to each other a lot. He never answers my questions,” she said.

Assayas smiled enigmatically at her response. He has the dubious distinction of attracting the first chorus of critical boos in the 69th Festival at the conclusion of the film. He said: “It happens to me once in a while where people just do not get the ending. It’s the closest I can get to a happy ending.” He was sorry if the critics did not get it. “When you come to Cannes you have to be prepared for anything,” he suggested. Stewart assured him that not everybody was booing - indeed many in the media rallied to his defence.

Personal Shopper director Olivier Assayas: 'When you come to Cannes you have to be prepared for anything'
Personal Shopper director Olivier Assayas: 'When you come to Cannes you have to be prepared for anything' Photo: Richard Mowe
Meanwhile at the film’s red carpet premiere last night (May 17) Stewart received a 10-minute standing ovation for her performance which seemed to make up for any negativity lurking in the media ranks. She looked suitably surprised … and grateful.

Much of the film’s impetus comes from texting and electronic communication. Stewart admits that she is mobile-addicted. “I’m absolutely guilty of constant stimuli that are not stimulating at all. It definitely says a lot about how we interact with each other.”

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