Kristen Stewart will portray Princess Diana in the forthcoming drama Spencer, directed by Pablo Larraín. Bizarre casting, or low-key brilliant casting? Let’s investigate.
According to Deadline, the plot of Spencer “covers a critical weekend in the early ‘90s, when Diana decided her marriage to Prince Charles wasn’t working, and that she needed to veer from a path that put her in line to one day be queen. The drama takes place over three days, in one of her final Christmas holidays in the House of Windsor in their Sandringham estate in Norfolk, England.”
Stewart does not immediately seem like a logical choice to play arguably the most iconic royal of all time. Diana was known for her style and glamor; Stewart is known for having the most naturally pissed-off glower in Hollywood and for politely telling ghosts to fuck off. At first, these two seem totally incompatible.
But then you realize...Diana didn’t look terribly pleased most of the time, either. At the very least, she often looked like she’d rather be somewhere else. There’s certainly nothing wrong with that, and I can’t say I blame her. But it definitely takes a certain kind of actor to summon such a perpetually faraway look.
Even when Diana’s smiling, her eyes still betray a deep sadness that only one actor can truly capture.
Tell me I’m wrong.
Larraín himself seemed ready to defend casting Stewart against critics, telling Deadline,
“Kristen is one of the great actors around today,” Larraín said. “To do this well, you need something very important in film, which is mystery. Kristen can be many things, and she can be very mysterious and very fragile an ultimately very strong as well, which is what we need. The combination of those elements made me think of her. The way she responded to the script and how she is approaching the character, it’s very beautiful to see. I think she’s going to do something stunning and intriguing at the same time. She is this force of nature.
“I’ve seen movies from Kristen that are so diverse it’s incredible, showing different layers and her diversity and strength as an actress,” he said. “We’re very happy to have her, she’s very committed. As a filmmaker, when you have someone who can hold such a weight, dramatic and narrative weight just with her eyes, then you have the strong lead who can deliver what we are looking for.”
I can’t wait to see Stewart with a feathered haircut.