Kristen Stewart Career Milestones
Born: Kristen Jaymes Stewart
Birth Date: April 9, 1990
Birth Place: Los Angeles, California, USA
An exceptionally poised young film actress with a knack for challenging roles as troubled adolescents, Kristen Stewart got her big break playing Jodie Foster’s daughter in David Fincher’s hot-wired thriller, “Panic Room” (2002). As the teen’s profile rose over the following years, Stewart consistently impressed audiences and critics alike with her realistic performances and her choice of projects – which echoed Foster’s early career by straying far from family fare and jumping right into demanding adult dramas with aplomb.
She would go on to make her biggest splash as Bella Swan, the tortured teen in love with a vampire in the pop cultural phenomenon, “Twilight” (2008) as well as its subsequent sequels. Such was her appeal as this particular film heroine that she would develop a huge fan contingent and hopeful rumors would abound about possible off-screen love with her equally gorgeous co-star, Robert Pattinson. Having come full circle as the tomboy trapped in a panic room to the dreamily romantic Bella, Stewart proved she was one of the more versatile young actresses of her generation.
Born April 9, 1990, Stewart was raised in Los Angeles, where her father worked as a stage manager, producer and director on numerous Fox television shows and her mother was a scriptwriter. Her performance in a grade school Christmas play caught the eye of a talent agent in the audience, so at the age of eight, Stewart began auditioning for film and television roles. She landed a bit role in the Disney Channel TV production, “The Thirteenth Year” (1999) and snared a more substantial part two years later in Rose Troche’s challenging independent drama “The Safety of Objects” (2001), in which she played the tomboyish daughter of troubled single mom Patricia Clarkson.
Stewart found herself at the center of a major Hollywood production in 2002 when she was cast as the juvenile lead in David Fincher’s “Panic Room.” Despite the presence of such veteran actors as Jodie Foster – to whom the youngster bore a remarkable resemblance – Stewart held her own and delivered an assured performance that led some critics to compare her skills to Foster’s early style.
In 2003, Stewart signed on to play the daughter of Dennis Quaid and Sharon Stone in another suspenseful project, Mike Figgis’ “Cold Creek Manor” (2003). However, it fared poorly with audiences. Her first leading role came with “Catch That Kid” (2004), a breezy, teen-friendly caper, with Stewart as a young mountain-climbing aficionado who orchestrates a high-tech bank robbery to pay for an operation for her gravely ill father. A minor hit with ‘tweens, it allowed Stewart a chance to show a lighter side of her acting talents and finally showcase herself to family audiences. The same year, she appeared in the psychological drama “Undertow,” which despite a cast led by Jamie Bell, Josh Lucas and Dermot Mulroney, received almost no theatrical play.
“Speak” (Showtime, 2005), based on the best-selling novel by Laurie Halse Anderson, gave Stewart the opportunity to play both dark and light in the same project. She portrayed a high school freshman who stops almost all verbal communication after being raped by an upperclassman, but retains a vivid and often sardonic running commentary in her head. She handled the complexities of the character with her customary skill and segued into Jon Favreau’s underrated space fantasy “Zathura” (2005), which, despite requiring her to remain in a state of suspended animation for part of the film, gave her a showcase for her comic skills. In 2006, Stewart starred in the Canadian feature “Fierce People,” a drama by actor-director Griffin Dunne, about a troubled masseuse (Diane Lane) who arranges for a better life for her teenage son and herself, with unfortunate results.
Stewart had a starring role in the moderately successful supernatural film “The Messengers” (2007), and her career began to soar with no less than 10 film releases in the subsequent two years. She starred opposite Meg Ryan and Adrian Brody in the comic drama “In the Land of Women” (2007), and gave a bold performance as a teenage commune dweller who falls for an idealistic young drifter (Emile Hirsch) in Sean Penn’s “Into the Wild” (2007), one of the top critics’ picks of the year. In Mary Stuart Masterson’s well-received directorial debut “The Cake Eaters” (2007), Stewart gave an excellent performance as a young woman with a debilitating disease, and in the Hollywood satire “What Just Happened?” (2008), she was memorable as the rebellious teenage daughter of a stressed-out studio executive (Robert De Niro).
In the fall of 2008, Stewart co-starred in the highly anticipated film adaptation of “Twilight,” Stephenie Meyer’s acclaimed novel about a teenage girl who falls in love with a handsome vampire. Finally featured in a youth-oriented mainstream release, Stewart earned legions of new fans through her work in the goth love story. The 18-year-old began to segue into young adult roles with the independent film offerings “Adventureland” (2008), a comedy about employees of an amusement park, and the domestic drama “Welcome to the Rileys,” starring James Gandolfini.
It was while working on the sequel “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” (2009) – that rumors began swirling that the much beloved onscreen coupling of Stewart and her co-star, Robert Pattinson – her seductive vampire love, Edward Cullen – was becoming a lovefest off set. Blogs and teeny bopper magazines dissected every photograph and interview the two participated in, all in order to get to the bottom of the question at hand: was the couple dating? Neither officially said, but the furor only added more luster to the highly anticipated “Twilight” sequel.