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Kristen Stewart, Spencer
Via YouTube/@NEON

Kristen Stewart on the ‘looming pressure’ of playing Princess Diana

‘It started as this beautiful little snowflake of an idea and then it just started rolling down this hill and became heavier and heavier’

Pablo Larraín’s Princess Diana drama — or “horror film”, as composer Jonny Greenwood describes it — is finally here, hitting UK cinemas on Friday (November 5). Alongside the release, Kristen Stewart has offered a deeper insight into how she prepared to play the people’s princess.

Discussing the pressure of portraying Diana in a recent interview with Insider, Stewart says that it never reached the point where she questioned her ability to fill the role. However, she adds that there was “looming pressure that was constantly building” over the year and a half the film took to complete.

“It was a snowball going down a hill,” she says. “It started as this beautiful little snowflake of an idea and then it just started rolling down this hill and became heavier and heavier.” Nevertheless, she “wasn’t going to pass up” the opportunity to play the late royal, she explains. “It was too sparkly. But it is scary… Before you start doing something, you can't picture what it's going to feel like.”

Stewart previously discussed her decision to star in Spencer in a 2020 interview with InStyle, saying: “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. I haven’t been this excited about playing a part, by the way, in so long.”

At the time, she also expressed reservations about the “intimidating” accent, which became a focal point for fans when the first trailer dropped earlier this year. Now, she reveals how she took on the more technical aspects of the role (and no, she didn’t keep the accent up when the camera wasn’t rolling, like Lady Gaga in House of Gucci).

“I didn’t stay in character when we were off set,” Stewart says in the Insider interview. “I like to be as present as I can because I love the process of filmmaking. I don’t need to do any backflip trickery. I don’t need to convince myself that I’m this person.”

“I learned the accent. It became very technical and physical. Once I realized that I had such embedded emotional protective feelings about this person it was just all there. We were ready to run.”

Speaking of Stewart’s love for the process of filmmaking, the actor also recently announced that she’s begun casting for the lead role in her directorial debut. Titled The Chronology of Water, the film will be based on American writer Lidia Yuknavitch’s memoir of the same name, documenting “a life that navigates, and transcends, abuse, addiction, self-destruction, and the crushing loss of a stillborn child”.

Revisit the most recent trailer for Pablo Larraín’s Spencer below.