Kristen Stewart seems to think that her performance in Spencer will be the only time she contends for an Oscar. I don’t agree - but if this is her one shot at it, she’s definitely giving it her 8 Mile. (I feel like not enough people remember or know in the first place that Eminem has an Oscar!)
Kristen is in New York this week on a late push for Spencer as it opens tomorrow, opposite Marvel’s Eternals, no less. She’s already considered one of the frontrunners for a Best Actress nomination. But a solid specialty box office would help those chances.
Kristen stopped by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon last night. I love this outfit, her hair looks amazing, her makeup is great, but most importantly the talk show strategy here is impressive. One of the stories they decided to tell (and remember these chats are always pre-produced between the talent and the show team ahead of time, that’s how late night talk shows work) was about her first acting job, on the set of Flintstones where her mother was working. She had one scene, you didn’t even get to see her face, but the point of this anecdote is to remind people that while she may have become famous because of Twilight, and even though she sometimes still looks like a teenager, Kristen Stewart is veteran. A child star. She’s had a long career, been in more movies than some actors 20 years her senior. She is, in other words, part of the Hollywood community. It’s a reminder to Oscar voters that she’s been doing this a long time, and she keeps doing it because she loves it, she loves their jobs, she loves the thing that they all love. That the thing they all love didn’t ruin her from childhood. That’s something Oscar voters respond to. And there’s a model for this in one of Kristen’s personal mentors: Jodie Foster. Kristen starred alongside Jodie in Panic Room, her first lead role. The Academy voted Jodie in as Best Actress twice. I wouldn’t be surprised if Jodie at some point campaigns for Kristen this season, hosting a screening or doing a Q&A. If the people running Kristen’s campaign haven’t thought of that and reached out, they totally should.
But a campaign depends on a candidate, and Kristen is an excellent candidate. This appearance on Fallon is coming just a couple of days after her revelation on Howard Stern’s show that she and Dylan Meyer are engaged. Which has been one of the top celebrity headlines of the week, just in time for her movie.
Howard’s social media team posted the clips on YouTube yesterday. Here’s where she confirms the engagement and you’ll note she kinda tells on herself off the top because Dylan is clearly in the room with her and she says that they talked about it beforehand, whether or not Howard would ask her about proposing and marriage.
She wasn’t caught off guard, then. There was at least some anticipation about the question and obviously some thought put into the answer. To me it seems like she and Dylan agreed that Kristen would tell Howard. The timing certainly doesn’t hurt. But she’s not going about it in a super-thirsty, self-exploitative way either.
It’s not super-thirsty either when she’s asked directly by Howard about being in the Oscar race. “I know”, she says. Straight up, no false modesty, just an acknowledgement of the fact. It is a fact that she’s a contender. She doesn’t need to waste energy trying to be humble about it. But even more than that you’ll see in the clip below just how chill and COMFORTABLE she is with the hustle. I never ever thought it would be Kristen Stewart schooling people on how to campaign for an Oscar. While brining in the usual moves. She concedes that it’s weird for there to be competition in art. And yet she also concedes that YES, she wants this award! She is proud of her work and of the collaborative effort. She doesn’t mind the recognition. But she’s not desperate for it either!
It’s a fine balance, isn’t it? Between faux nonchalance and desperation, it’s a tricky lane to occupy - but here’s Kristen Stewart smoothly riding down that path, even joking (in November!) about what she might say in her acceptance speech.
This is the actor who was mocked for a long time for her lip-biting and twitchy awkwardness. Not that Kristen Stewart isn’t still awkward. She’ll never be a polished Hollywood robot, not even on the campaign trail. But she’s found a way to be awkwardly and authentically her while going for the industry’s most conveyed status symbol. As an observer then, it makes you want it for her too.
But we still have months to go. She’ll have to keep this energy and find new ways to amplify it as we get deeper into the season. Because Lady Gaga is coming in hot.
Attached - Kristen and Dylan in NYC yesterday.