LOS ANGELES: “Twilight” megastar Kristen Stewart won best supporting actress for her role in “Clouds of Sils Maria” at the Cesar awards Friday, the first American actress to ever take home one of the so-called French Oscars.
Best known for playing Bella in the blockbuster vampire romance-thriller trilogy, Stewart’s role in “Clouds of Sils Maria” alongside Juliette Binoche is a return to the indie films that marked her early career.
Directed by France’s Olivier Assayas, the movie stars the 24-year-old Stewart as the personal assistant to a famous actress played by Binoche and follows their complex, sexually-charged relationship.
“Clouds of Sils Maria” premiered at Cannes last May.
Stewart said she was honored to work with the Oscar-winning Binoche — she shouted out “I love you Juliette” in French, as she collected her Cesar in Paris — and described the film as complex and something of a hard sell.
“It’s not marketable, it’s not easy to sum up. Its ideas are not packaged and delivered in the way that American films do. It doesn’t think for you, it lets you think,” she said during the Cannes festival.
“It’s a rare opportunity for a young actress, an American actress, to be in a movie like that and I jumped at it.”
“Clouds of Sils Maria” is the latest in a series of films featuring the California-born Stewart to earn critical acclaim.
In “Still Alice,” she plays the daughter of Oscar-nominated Julianne Moore, who portrays a linguistics professor suffering from early onset Alzheimer’s disease.
Stewart’s role as an aimless young woman in the 2010 “Welcome to the Rileys” nabbed her a BAFTA Rising Star Award and also a best actress win at the Milan International Film Festival.
The actress has gained a reputation for taking on passion projects, sometimes for little pay.
She reportedly earned less than $200,000 for her role in the 2012 film adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s beatnik novel “On the Road,” and starred as a Guantanamo Bay prison guard in “Camp X-Ray”.
Stewart, a Los Angeles native, was first discovered by a talent scout who spotted her in a school play at age eight.
Her breakout role came opposite Jodie Foster in the 2002 thriller “Panic Room”.
But her career rocketed into the stratosphere when, at 17, she took on the coveted role of Bella Swan, the teen who falls in love with a vampire in the “Twilight” films.
Stewart has said she dreamed of being a musician before she set her sights on acting, and combined both when she played legendary rocker Joan Jett in 2010s “The Runaways.”
Her personal life has been fodder for gossip magazines, with tabloids closely covering her off-screen romance with “Twilight” co-star Robert Pattinson.
Paparazzi have also kept close tabs on the broody star’s rock-inspired fashion and daring hair styles. –