Last month, the actress Kristen Stewart she became the youngest president of the jury in the history of the Berlinale. This position has been occupied by great actresses such as Isabella Rossellini, Meryl Streep and Juliette Binoche. After her first Oscar nomination for her role as Lady Di in “Spencer,” the actress announced last week that she will play Susan Sontag in a production that combines documentary and fiction. This role marks another step towards auteur cinema for an artist who has long been trying to distance herself from the “Twilight” saga. Olivier Assayas has said that “Kristen Stewart is the best actress of her generation”.

Stewart began acting as a young girl in films such as ‘Panic Room’ (David Fincher, 2002). She co-starred with Jodie Foster, one of the few Hollywood stars who, like Stewart, have publicly stated that they are LGBTQ+.

Before turning 18, the star had already worked with directors such as Jon Favreau (Zathura: A Space Adventure, 2005) and Sean Penn (Into the Wild, 2007). He never went to high school. He grew up between shoots and developed an early aversion to paparazzi flashes. On a red carpet at just 11 years old, she told a photographer that she couldn’t even open her arms because of her nervousness. In 2015, the same paralysis would prevent her from keeping the César Award she won for her role in Olivier Assayas’s film, Clouds of Sils Maria.

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In 2008, the actress starred in the first of five ‘Twilight’ films. Despite box office success, the films did not help Stewart’s reputation as an actress. “She’s so ungrateful that you wonder why these supernatural creatures are so mad at her,” said critic Richard Roeper. Her character, Bella Swan, was also criticized by feminists, who disapproved of her toxic relationship with the glamorous vampire Edward Cullen. In “New Moon” (2009) the young would-be vampire twice tries to kill herself in order to get her boyfriend’s attention.

Events in her personal life, such as keeping her relationship with Robert Pattinson a secret, cheating on him, and later coming out as a lesbian, were instrumental in her loss of popularity in Hollywood. Former US President Donald Trump went so far as to post eight tweets advising the latest Batman star not to go back to Kristen Stewart. “She cheated on him like a dog and she’ll do it again – just watch. He can do much better!’ And he continued: “Robert Pattinson should ditch Kristen Stewart. In a few years, he’ll thank me. Be smart, Robert.’

What annoyed the audience the most was Stewart’s reluctance to smile during the performances. Hollywood is less generous to those who don’t pretend to be happy at all times. No one understood why she didn’t like being famous. After watching the first scenes of “Twilight,” the producers asked her to smile more. One reporter even dedicated a tongue-in-cheek post to “The 22 Times Kristen Stewart Smiled in 2012.”

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In 2013, The Cut ranked Stewart as the second most hated star in Hollywood. He must have gotten the message, because the following year he took on a project in Europe. Olivier Assayas, who had first seen her perform in ‘Into the Wild’, called her to offer her a role in ‘Clouds of Sils Maria’ (2014) after his first choice, Mia Wasikowska, back. Stewart appeared alongside Juliette Binoche in a film full of references to both the work of Ingmar Bergman and the actors’ own careers.

“People who despised her were surprised to find her likable, intelligent and a good actress. I knew we hadn’t seen everything she was capable of,” said director Assayas. Stewart became the first American actress to win a César Award, and in 2016 she reteamed with the French director in “Personal Shopper,” a film written especially for her that finally reconciled her with critics.

Stewart continued to work with great directors. He filmed Café Society (2016) with Woody Allen and co-starred in Craig William Macneill’s The Borden Family Murder.

Last year he participated in David Cronenberg’s “Crimes of the Future”, while as announced during the Berlinale itself, filming has already begun on a biopic about the philosopher Susan Sontag.