Did Kristen Stewart protect Diana’s motherhood in ‘Spencer’ movie?
Though Spencer, the Princess Diana biopic (of a sort) directed by Pablo Larraín is yet to come out in theaters, critics who’ve been able to see the movie already have praised Kristen Stewart’s performance as the titular character. Stewart has spoken about what the experience of transforming into the late icon was like at length while doing press for the movie at various film festivals.
Though there are still a few highly anticipated movies set to be released later this year, Stewart’s performance is already being talked about as one of, if not the best of the year. Stewart herself has spoken about feeling as though the late Diana Spencer was giving her some sort of spiritual blessing to do the role, and that her presence was very much felt during filming.
Spencer follows Diana over a three-day weekend during Christmastime. The film depicts her decision to leave her marriage and separate from her husband, Prince Charles. Stewart herself grew up without following the lives of the British monarchy. What she learned about Diana before taking on the role was through her own research. The result is what many are calling Stewart’s best performance yet.
Stewart stated in an interview about Spencer that she felt that Diana’s motherhood was one of the most important parts of getting her character “right”. She spoke about how Diana wasn’t able to protect herself from the forces working against her, but she was clearly a devoted mother who knew how to look after and protect her two sons, William & Harry.
Stewart has also spoken about the support she received on set while portraying a woman going through such a difficult time in relative isolation. She had to balance the real woman with the character in the movie, which is being marketed as a “fable”. She said she felt very mentally & spiritually connected to Diana and felt she was able to bring her to life in a way through the making of Spencer.
In preparation for the role of Princess Diana, Stewart did a lot of research in an attempt to uncover who this person was that she’d never met. She also got a dialect coach to get Diana’s voice right. If you’ve seen the Spencer trailer, you know by the end that Stewart nails the very British upper class accent and soft delivery Diana was known for. She also reportedly studied and was coached on Diana’s posture.
Stewart watched interviews with Diana, which taught her a lot about her way of presenting herself to the world, as well as what it was about her that people responded to so strongly. Diana was, as Stewart and many others remarked, a presentation of opposites. She was raised wealthy & privileged, but cared for those less fortunate. She was rather shy, but became a star when she married into the royal family.
Though Diana has been hailed as a strong woman for all she endured from the press and her husband, she also had a softness and a way of displaying strength and vulnerability simultaneously. These were things Stewart took note of in order to embody the character based on the person.
Many have pointed out that Stewart, at first thought to be an unlikely choice to portray Diana, is actually the perfect casting for the role. She has a way of embodying the same vulnerability & toughness, shyness & openness that Diana herself was known for. Outside of this, the two may not have much in common, but it’s easy to see how Stewart felt this spiritual connection.
Spencer takes place over a three-day weekend close to Christmas. It’s during this holiday that Diana, surrounded by her family, realizes how alone she is in so many ways and decides to divorce Charles. It dives into Diana’s eating disorder and depicts the callous attitude Charles is rumored to have had towards her and her struggles. Despite all she was grappling with, motherhood was one of Diana’s strengths.
The closeness Stewart felt to the late Diana during filming was what drove her to be protective over the character and the things that she was protective of; namely, her children. Stewart stated that this connection felt so real that remembering that Diana was no longer alive was quite devastating for her. Like Diana, there’s an unpredictability to Stewart’s reserve that is electrifying to watch.
Are you looking forward to watching Spencer? What’s your favorite Kristen Stewart movie? Let us hear your thoughts in the comments!