Kristen Stewart made her debut as Princess Diana today. The casting decision was widely controversial and highly anticipated amongst fans in 2020 when the word of Princess Diana’s newest biopic, Spencer was announced. Chilean director Pablo Larraín selected Stewart to portray Princess Diana in his new depiction. The film began principal photography in England this week with announcements of a late fall release. Larraín previewed a first look at the Twilight Saga star stunningly photographed underneath a black veil in the late Princess of Wale’s royal fashions and signature hairstyle.
Kristen Stewart’s sorrowful expression gives fans a closer look inside the story which details one Christmas in 1991 when the relationship between Princess Diana and Prince Charles is at one of its lowest points. The film focuses on one weekend in the life of Princess Diana, when she spends the Christmas holiday with the Royal Family at the Sandringham Estate, and decides to leave her marriage to Prince Charles. The controversial Princess attempts to save face and appear to keep up a brave demeanor, though she recognizes her life is in for quite the transformation.
Larraín spoke with Deadline last year detailing Oscar-nominated writer, Steven Knight’s decision to breakdown Diana and Charles fairytale romance and what they tried to live in front of the cameras following their beautiful 1981 wedding.
“Usually, the prince comes and finds the princess, invites her to become his wife and eventually she becomes queen. That is the fairy tale. When someone decides not to be the queen, and says, ‘I’d rather go and be myself,’ it’s a big, big decision, a fairy tale upside down. I’ve always been very surprised by that and thought it must have been very hard to do. That is the heart of the movie.”
Director Pablo Larraín also speaks on his decision to cast Stewart as Diana in the film. He said that he was drawn to her “chameleon-like on-screen presence.”
“Kristen can be many things, and she can be very mysterious and very fragile and ultimately very strong as well, which is what we need. The combination of those elements made me think of her. I think she’s going to do something stunning and intriguing at the same time. She is this force of nature.”
Kristen, who has had an extensive acting career so far, has been involved in films ranging from her recent Hulu romantic comedy Happiest Season to science fiction action film Underwater. Though Stewart was only 7 years old when Princess Diana died in a tragic car accident in 1997, she speaks on how her youthful memories of that tragedy influenced her to take the part in Spencer.
“I was really young [and] didn’t really know what was going on,” she remarked last year on Jimmy Kimmel Live, “But now, it’s hard not to feel protective over her… My movie takes place over, like, three days, and it’s this, like, really poetic internal imagining of what that might have felt like rather than, like, giving new information. We kind of don’t have a mark to hit. We just also love her.”
Social media expressed their initial disdain in light Stewart being casted in the role last year, but now with Kristen Stewart fully characterized it appears the harsh critics have come around.
Filming will take place between Germany and the U.K. preparing for a fall 2021 launch. The year 2022 marks the 25th anniversary of Diana’s death. An interest in her life’s story is to be anticipated as we only see stories focusing on her untimely death. Look out for the film Spencer premiering this fall.