Kristen Stewart Talks Going (Partially) Nude in ‘Personal Shopper’ and Audience Booing
K-Stew’s newest movie Personal Shopper is a fashion-centric, supernatural horror film, i.e. ghosts, haute couture, and yes, some partial nudity.
Kristen Stewart’s performance is also being called her best to date, and the movie is receiving rave reviews.
Personal Shopper, directed by her Clouds of Sils Maria director Olivier Assayas, stars Stewart as Maureen, a young American woman living in Paris who is mourning the death of her twin brother, and meanwhile works as a personal stylist to a rich celebrity. But the film is much more intricate than just a story on loss: you see, she and her brother were both mediums, and she’s waiting for him to communicate with her from the dead.
At once a psychological thriller and an “identity crisis movie,” as Stewart referred to it today (May 17) during a press conference, Personal Shopper seems to be amongst the most beguiling and fascinating movies to have premiered at Cannes, especially since some of the audience responded to it at the end by booing on Monday night. By no means was the adverse reaction universal, though. “Hey, everyone did not boo,” Stewart said with a chuckle.
Assayas meanwhile responded that perhaps the audience was put off by the ambiguous ending, and compared it to giving birth. “When you come to Cannes, you’re prepared,” he said. “You’re prepared for anything…It’s interesting because it happens to me once in awhile when people just don’t get the ending…Movies have a life of their own…people have expectations of a film and then the film is something else. I suppose it [is similar] with giving birth or something…”
“Now imagine giving birth and being booed while doing it,” co-star Lars Eidinger joked.
The booing that occurred also doesn’t mean all critics are hating the film – in fact, they seem to be mixed and rather positive, with some hailing it as genius, and others simply not sure what to think of it.
judging by the boos that PERSONAL SHOPPER just got at #Cannes, it might just be one of the best movies ever made. can’t wait.
— david ehrlich (@davidehrlich) May 16, 2016
PERSONAL SHOPPER is a strange mood piece about the world seeming surreal and scary after a sudden loss. Maybe? I loved it. There were boos.
— Richard Lawson (@rilaws) May 16, 2016
You’ll hear that PERSONAL SHOPPER was booed, which is true. Hope you also hear that Kristen Stewart is great in it. Can’t fathom jeers.
— Kyle Buchanan (@kylebuchanan) May 16, 2016
Danger of high expectations. Claps & boos at press screening for Personal Shopper, starring an excellent Stewart in a slight ghost story.
— Anne Thompson (@akstanwyck) May 16, 2016
Stewart opened up about playing Maureen, as well as going (partially) nude during the press conference today, explaining that her character is very isolated by her own thoughts.
I am playing someone who is so stuck in this cerebral state and so disabled by over-analysis that…the idea of being physical to another person is impossible. It’s just not going to happen. She flits back and forth between that and actually being the most realized, absolutely present animalistic version of herself.
On going nude, she explained that it was essential for her character.
I wasn’t afraid of [the nude scenes]. I will do anything. I really appreciate all of it. The only way to really show someone who really couldn’t connect the dots was to show extreme versions of a person that wouldn’t typically go together…the movie is really about her finding herself…it’s an enormous identity crisis movie and I really leaned into that. I wanted to be the most naked person I could be…The only way to do that is to really get naked.
Stewart also opened up about what it was like playing someone who works for a celebrity and thus is in a position opposite to her own in real life, since she is essentially limited by her own fame and the paparazzi.
Sometimes I do feel a little bit like I’ve had my limbs cut off, not to say that that is a bad feeling, it’s just surreal. Maureen is so capable. She is incredibly tactile and she’s incredibly physical so it was fun to play someone who was so…just capable.
Watch the terrifying trailer for Personal Shopper below: