Kristen Stewart has two movies out this weekend. One is “Equals,” a sci-fi indie; the other is “Cafe Society,” the new Woody Allen. She thinks that’s weird. “I just figure you’d have to really, really like me to see two movies in one weekend,” she jokes.
We're talking "Cafe Society," in which the 26-year-old she plays a young woman in 1930s Hollywood who falls for a young man (Jesse Eisenberg), even though she’s sleeping with his movie mogul uncle (Steve Carell). She chooses the uncle, and the two part ways, only to reconnect much later, when their lives have dramatically changed.
Random question first: What’s your spirit animal? And sorry for putting you on the spot to come up with a funny response.
Yeah. I really overthink these things, too. “What does this really mean?” Do you have one?
I decided mine was a walrus, for no reason.
Have you seen “The Lobster”?
Yes. We can talk about “The Lobster,” if you’d like.
I love that movie so much. I’m going to meet up with the director [Yorgos Lanthimos]. What I thought was trippy — and I don’t know how I would fit into this as an actor — was every line in that movie was a metaphor. Nobody’s really feeling it. He creates an environment that is such a suspended reality. I’ve never seen anyone do that. And then I wonder for the actors what that must have felt like. Because you’re really constructing something. I’ve never really worked like that.
Woody Allen has his own style, too, but it’s not as extreme as in “The Lobster.” Were you someone who watched all his movies growing up?
I haven’t seen all of his movies — not even in the least. The ones I really like are, obviously, “Annie Hall.” My favorite is “Vicky Cristina Barcelona.” I love that movie so much it’s crazy.
They can be really dark and honest, but in a way that doesn’t feel depressing. It’s just like, “That’s life!”
I think he has a casual approach to his anxieties. People who are so overwhelmed and tripped-out about anxieties are actually not that anxiety-ridden. Because the ones that are are like, “I’ve been dealing with this since I was born. I’ve always been thinking these existential, pit-of-the-stomach thoughts that you can’t get past.” That’s interesting to me. Without being really sad or feeling a lot of pain, you’re never going to be happy. Conversely if you’re never happy you’re never going to be in a lot of pain.
The characters here are really up-and-down like that. They have great heartbreak, then they move on but still think fondly of the past.
What I like about this movie is it’s so optimistic. People think it’s sad, but [her character] isn’t sad and [Jesse Eisenberg’s character] isn’t sad. You have two characters who look back at something and think, ‘I don’t need to own it or hold onto it to value it.’ Every single person asks me, “Did she make the wrong choice?” I’m like, [shrugs] “I dunno.” It’s not about that.
Usually love is so end-of-the-world in movies. If a relationship ends the characters’ lives are over. But sometimes love just ends and you move on. Sorry, I'm babbling a little.
I do the same thing constantly. But you’re making total sense and I’m feeling what you’re saying. [Laughs]
I’m thinking something brilliant and not articulating it in any way.
That’s always going to be going on here [points to self], too.
But it’s terrible because I will transcribe you and then reword my questions so I sound smarter.
That’s actually a good point. That’s not fair.
Journalists are such jerks.
Yeah, I hate you all.
I should ask about your experiences working with Woody, because he has a very unusual way with actors. He doesn’t like to talk to them or give them much direction. Some actors love it and some are freaked out by it. How was it for you?
It didn’t take me long to get used to his blunt nature. Most directors are always protecting their precious little actors and their egos. They want to fill them with confidence, because a more confident actor is better. He kind of does the opposite. Every other actor would come up to me and say, “I think he hates me.” I was like, “Trust me, I thought he hated me, too. He might still hate me.” If I ever had questions I knew not to ask him, because he really wants you to think about it yourself. That feels nice. There’s a little confidence you can take from that. But also, he would straight up walk up to me and say, “You look terrible.”
Oh yeah. Because he doesn’t like the dress. “We have to change it.” He just has no…
Like, none. I would say, “Am I f—ing this up completely?” And Jesse was like, “It’s just the way he is.”