Films

Kristen Stewart discusses playing the late Princess Diana: ‘It’s hard not to feel protective’

Kristen Stewart is preparing to take on the role of a lifetime.

The “Twilight” franchise star is set to embody the late Princess Diana in an upcoming film, titled “Spencer,” and opened up about the opportunity she has to make her mark in the story of the royal who died in a car accident in 1997.

“I didn’t grow up with her maybe in the same way, I was really young when she passed away,” Stewart, 30, said during an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on Tuesday night, adding she feels “protective” of Diana. “I feel sort of the same way about her. It happened really quickly.”

Stewart, who was 7 years old at the time of the tragic event that rocked the world, recalled to the late-night host that she vaguely remembers the litany of floral arrangements set up outside Buckingham Palace in Diana’s honor after the tragedy.

“I was really young, [I] didn’t know what was going on,” she said. “It’s hard not to feel protective of her. She was so young.”

She continued, “I mean, everyone’s perspective is different and there’s no way to get anything right because what is fact in relation to personal experience.”

Stewart maintained that in portraying the late mother of Prince William and Prince Harry, she hopes the feeling viewers receive is one that brings them back to the moment instead of just creating a biopic that retells the same story many have heard time after time.

The film is intended to showcase Diana’s final days leading up to her untimely demise. At the time, Diana (née Diana Spencer) – one of the more outspoken modern royals – was grappling with the difficult decision of whether she should end her marriage to Prince Charles, who at the time admitted to having an affair with Camilla Parker-Bowles, per the New York Times.

Diana divorced Charles in 1996 and he later married Parker-Bowles after Diana’s death.

“My movie takes place over three days, and it’s this really poetic internal imagining of what that might have felt like rather than giving new information,” Stewart said. “We kind of don’t have a mark to hit, we just also love her.”

Stewart came clean in an October interview with InStyle, published for their November 2020 cover issue, that she was “intimidated” to take on the role of the beloved princess.

“We don’t start shooting until mid-January. The accent is intimidating as all hell because people know that voice, and it’s so, so distinct and particular,” Stewart said. “I’m working on it now and already have my dialect coach.”

She added that she has been feverishly brushing up on her Diana history by reading a number of related books and articles.

“In terms of research, I’ve gotten through two and a half biographies, and I’m finishing all the material before I actually go make the movie,” Stewart said. “It’s one of the saddest stories to exist ever, and I don’t want to just play Diana — I want to know her implicitly.”

Added the “Happiest Season” actress: “I haven’t been this excited about playing a part, by the way, in so long.”

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