Also Credited As:Kristen Jaymes Stewart
|Kristen Jaymes Stewart on April 9, 1990 in Los Angeles, California, USA|
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Born April 9, 1990, Stewart was raised in Los Angeles, where her father worked as a stage manager, producer and director on numerous Fox television shows and her mother was a scriptwriter. Her performance in a grade school Christmas play caught the eye of a talent agent in the audience, so at the age of eight, Stewart began auditioning for film and television roles. She landed a bit role in the Disney Channel TV production, "The Thirteenth Year" (1999) and snared a more substantial part two years later in Rose Troche's challenging independent drama "The Safety of Objects" (2001), in which she played the tomboyish daughter of troubled single mom Patricia Clarkson. Stewart found herself at the center of a major Hollywood production in 2002 when she was cast as the juvenile lead in David Fincher's "Panic Room." Despite the presence of such veteran actors as Jodie Foster - to whom the youngster bore a remarkable resemblance - Stewart held her own and delivered an assured performance that led some critics to compare her skills to Foster's early style.
In 2003, Stewart signed on to play the daughter of Dennis Quaid and Sharon Stone in another suspenseful project, Mike Figgis' "Cold Creek Manor" (2003). However, it fared poorly with audiences. Her first leading role came with "Catch That Kid" (2004), a breezy, teen-friendly caper, with Stewart as a young mountain-climbing aficionado who orchestrates a high-tech bank robbery to pay for an operation for her gravely ill father. A minor hit with tweens, it allowed Stewart a chance to show a lighter side of her acting talents and finally showcase herself to family audiences. The same year, she appeared in the psychological drama "Undertow," which despite a cast led by Jamie Bell, Josh Lucas and Dermot Mulroney, received almost no theatrical play.
"Speak" (Showtime, 2005), based on the best-selling novel by Laurie Halse Anderson, gave Stewart the opportunity to play both dark and light in the same project. She portrayed a high school freshman who stops almost all verbal communication after being raped by an upperclassman, but retains a vivid and often sardonic running commentary in her head. She handled the complexities of the character with her customary skill and segued into Jon Favreau's underrated space fantasy "Zathura" (2005), which, despite requiring her to remain in a state of suspended animation for part of the film, gave her a showcase for her comic skills. In 2006, Stewart starred in the Canadian feature "Fierce People," a drama by actor-director Griffin Dunne, about a troubled masseuse (Diane Lane) who arranges for a better life for her teenage son and herself, with unfortunate results.
Stewart had a starring role in the moderately successful supernatural film "The Messengers" (2007), and her career began to soar with no less than 10 film releases in the subsequent two years. She starred opposite Meg Ryan and Adrian Brody in the comic drama "In the Land of Women" (2007), and gave a bold performance as a teenage commune dweller who falls for an idealistic young drifter (Emile Hirsch) in Sean Penn's "Into the Wild" (2007), one of the top critics' picks of the year. In Mary Stuart Masterson's well-received directorial debut "The Cake Eaters" (2007), Stewart gave an excellent performance as a young woman with a debilitating disease, and in the Hollywood satire "What Just Happened?" (2008), she was memorable as the rebellious teenage daughter of a stressed-out studio executive (Robert De Niro).
In the fall of 2008, Stewart co-starred in the highly anticipated film adaptation of "Twilight," Stephenie Meyer's acclaimed novel about a teenage girl who falls in love with a handsome vampire. Finally featured in a youth-oriented mainstream release, Stewart earned legions of new fans through her work in the goth love story. The 18-year-old began to segue into young adult roles with the independent film offerings "Adventureland" (2009), a 1980s-set comedy where she played the potential love interest to a recent college grad (Jesse Eisenberg) forced to put his dream tour of Europe on hold in order to earn minimum wage at an amusement park. It was while working on the sequel "The Twilight Saga: New Moon" (2009) that rumors began swirling that the much beloved onscreen coupling of Stewart and her co-star Robert Pattinson, her seductive vampire love, Edward Cullen, was becoming a lovefest off set. Blogs and teenybopper magazines dissected every photograph and interview the two participated in, all in order to get to the bottom of the question at hand: was the couple dating? Neither officially said, but the furor only added more luster to the highly anticipated "Twilight" sequel.
While continuing to stay mum about her personal life, particularly in regard to her relationship with Pattison, Stewart ventured outside the "Twilight" universe to portray pioneering punk rocker Joan Jett in "The Runaways" (2010), an indie biographical film about the famed all-girl rock band from the late-1970s. The film focused on lead singer Cherie Currie (Dakota Fanning) and her acrimonious relationship with her band members brought on by sudden stardom and drug abuse. Stewart was singled out for her subtle performance as the icy tough Jett, imbuing her with touches of vulnerability that earned praise from critics. That same year, she again was front-and-center for the next installment to the series, "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" (2010), before playing an underage prostitute who helps a married couple (James Gandolfini and Melissa Leo) reconcile after they have spent eight years adrift following their daughter's death in the indie drama "Welcome to the Rileys" (2010).
After "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1" (2011) received some of the worst reviews of the series - though it still raked in the box-office cash - Stewart was the star of the revisionist take on the old fairy tale, "Snow White & the Huntsman" (2012), a huge summer hit that proved she was capable of mega success outside of "Twilight." With "Part 2" waiting to be released, Stewart was seen playing Marylou to Sam Riley's Sal Paradise and Garrett Hedlund's Dean Moriarty in the long-developed adaptation of Jack Kerouac's "On the Road" (2012). The actress uncharacteristically opened up to the press in the summer of 2012 by publicly confessing to cheating on Pattinson with her married "Snow White" director Rupert Sanders after incriminating pictures of them kissing were published in US magazine.
After saying goodbye to the "Twilight" saga with "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2" (2012), Stewart chose to stay below the radar for a period. She resurfaced with the military drama "Camp X-Ray" (2014), French director Olivier Assayas' theatrical drama "Clouds of Sils Maria" (2014), and the Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland family drama "Still Alice" (2014), in which Stewart co-starred opposite Julianne Moore.