Kristen Stewart is still living under the shadow of 'Twilight,' the movie that made her rich and famous. What it didn't do was give her credibility as an actress. (Photo: Interview magazine)

Kristen Stewart is still living under the shadow of ‘Twilight,’ the movie that made her rich and famous. What it didn’t do was give her credibility as an actress. (Photo: Interview magazine)

Kristen Stewart feels like she is a victim, in many ways, of her own early success. In a revealing new interview she tells singer Patti Smith that she’s afraid “Twilight” and acting defines her when, in fact, she’s still trying to figure out who she is.

“Something happened to me and I became really successful at something at a young age, and that stunts you in every other aspect of your life because you feel like that’s what you’re good at and so that’s what you need to stay in,” she tells Interview magazine.

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The success she’s talking about of course is from the vampire movie. It started out as a B-rated indie teen flick and turned into a worldwide phenomenon.

It not only made her rich and famous, it attracted intense scrutiny from the media, because on the film, and also because of her near four-year relationship with actor Robert Pattison, her on-screen love interest.

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The movie series also proved to be a double-edged sword. Fans loved it; critics didn’t. All four movies were widely panned and Stewart bore some of the criticism for her acting.

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But she makes no excuses for “Twilight” or her work in the film. In fact, she’s far from apologetic.

“The intention is so fucking pure in a weird way,” she says of the movies. “Anybody who wants to talk shit about ‘Twilight,’ I completely get it. But there’s something there that I’m endlessly, and to this day, fucking proud of. My memory of it felt — still feels — really good.”

She adds:

“I’m always asked about what type of things I want to do, and if I make decisions based on my last project. Say I do a big franchise movie about a vampire that falls in love with a normal girl. It’s like, ‘Now do you want to show them that you can be a real, serious actor?’ It’s like, ‘Was I not being a real, serious actor?’”

If Stewart suffered the slings and arrows of critics for “Twilight,” it doesn’t show. She’s had no lack of work since the series ended and has landed roles in some compelling films.

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“Camp X-Ray,” “Clouds of Sils Maria” and “Still Alice” all helped her stretch and shape her acting skills. And she talks excitedly about her next film, “Equals.”

The science fiction romantic drama, written by Nathan Parker and directed by Drake Doremus, stars Nicholas Hoult, Pattinson buddy, Guy Pearce, and Jacki Weaver.

The film is set in a utopian society where peace and harmony rule, until a strange disease infects her character, a writer named Nia, and her co-worker, Silas, an illustrator, played by Hoult. They become outcasts and must flee to survive.

She says of the film:

“I had a really great experience on ‘Equals’ because of Drake Doremus, who directed the movie. He typically works off an outline, and this was the first movie that he did with a screenplay because it was pretty high concept, and a bigger budget than what he was used to, so it was a necessary step. But it kind of felt like we were working off of each other—me and Nick and Drake.”

Unlike many movies, which are driven by “logistics” and budget, “Equals” was filmed differently.

“There was no f*cking expectation. One day we didn’t finish something; we didn’t feel it, we weren’t in the right mood to shoot it. So we postponed it. There is not a moment where we filled a blank with a lie. Whether the movie is great or sh*t, I have never felt so free in an environment. And that’s when you’re going to be the best.”

“I don’t think that there’s much hiding that actors can do,” says Stewart about her career thus far.

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“If you’re doing good work, you’re showing a part of yourself to someone, so I can’t say that Twilight doesn’t have anything to do with Still Alice and Sils Maria. They have everything to do with each other. They are who I am.”

Check out more from Kristen at Interview and be sure to follow IM on Twitter for the latest Kristen Stewart news you can trust.

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