Kristen Stewart has been the butt of many jokes. There is no shortage of cracks about her expressionless face in movies. But Stewart got a lot of attention and adulation for her parts in the Twilight series of films.
That celebrity was stoked even more by the fact that she and her Twilight co-star Robert Pattinson were in a real-life romance. Then came the news that Kristen Stewart had cheated on Robert Pattinson with a married man, director Rupert Sanders. The two worked together on Snow White and the Huntsman.
The news rocked the tabloid world, and the world seemed to withdraw all love for Kristen Stewart. Now, three years after the scandal. Kristen Stewart is talking about it, without really talking about it directly.
"I lit my universe on fire," Stewart tells Marie Claire of her actions in years past, "and I watched it burn."
Stewart expands on that thought.
"Speaking very candidly, it was a really traumatic period in my early 20s that kick-started something in me that was a bit more ... feral."
How did she weather through all the hate directed at her during that time? She was the girl who broke the heart of a heart-throb who seemed to worship the ground she walked on, even when so many girls were screaming that she was not worthy of him.
"The public kind of burned me at the stake," she acknowledges. "But that's OK, I can take it. I'm not dead."
In fact, Stewart thinks that the experience has left her better, more able to handle herself now.
"I'm really proud that I am able to move forward and not fall into every mental crater," Kristen Stewart says. "That's a new thing for me. Age has made me smarter and calmer. And it is fucking awesome."
Stewart's struggles and demons go back further than her botching of what seemed to be a storybook romance with Pattinson. She was a tomboy growing up. But when she hit age 13, that role no longer fit, and the boys noticed.
"All of a sudden, it wasn't cool to be one of the boys anymore," Stewart recalls.
A guy friend once wondered aloud, "in front of our whole group, 'Kristen's not a girl. What is she?' And I just died," Stewart revealed. "It was a totally clichéd, very real insecure breakdown moment, when I was like, 'I fucking hate myself.'"
"So many people say, 'Oh, it must have been so easy for you.' You think because I'm an actor that I didn't have a normal progression of self-hatred? Between ages 15 and 20, it was really intense. I was constantly anxious. I was kind of a control freak. If I didn't know how something was going to turn out, I would make myself ill, or just be locked up or inhibited in a way that was really debilitating."
Anyone who holds Twilight against Kristen Stewart is being stupid. There. I said it.
— Benjamin Kramer (@benjaminkramer) July 14, 2015