Kristen Stewart is attending the Cannes Film Festival once again — but this time, her role isn’t as a movie star, but as a first-time director promoting her first film.
The “Personal Shopper” star is making the rounds at the annual film fest to promote “Come Swim”, her 17-minute foray into the nature of grief, and reveals in an interview with AP that she’s wanted to direct since she was 11 years old, when she played Jodie Foster’s daughter in “Panic Room”.
“I was working with Jodie Foster and I was like, ‘I’m going to direct. I’m going to be the youngest director that, like, exists,’” Stewart recalls, with AP reporting that the 27-year-old is already developing some other projects and plans to shoot a feature-length version of “Come Swim”.
Foster, who has directed films including “Money Monster” and episodes of “House of Cards” and “Orange Is the New Black”, was encouraging. “She was like, ’Dude, the first thing you’re going to realize is that you have nothing to learn,'” notes Stewart.
“Come Swim” will debut on the website Refinery 29, and focuses on a man who in the midst of intense grief that is represented by his being submerged in water, imagery that Stewart says she’s been carrying inside her for years.
“You don’t realize when you’re trudging through that water, you feel so alone,” Stewart says. “We’ve all been there. But when you’re in it, you feel like you can’t participate in life.”
While she’s been to Cannes before, attending the film festival to promote a film she directed is a very different experience.
“Oh my God, I’m like tripping out,” she admits. “It’s crazy. I mean honestly, I think [Cannes festival director] Thierry [Fremaux] is being nice to me or something. He’s just like, ‘OK, you can show your little movie here.’ I’m like, ‘Thank you!’”
Stewart also discusses juggling her day job as an in-demand actress with her behind-the-camera ambitions.
“I mean, I love acting too, though. Like I don’t want to trade one for the other. But acting in movies is so time consuming that I need to sort of be like, ‘No.’ I need to sort of allow myself to not be greedy or something,” says Stewart, who admits that she’s “proud” of her first directorial effort.
“I look at it and it’s its own thing and it’s like, ’I’m so proud of it,’” says Stewart. “It’s not even like I’m proud of myself. I’m proud of it.”