Ranking Our 5 Top Kristen Stewart Roles In Movies

She’s more than Bella Swan

In the mood to binge watch Kristen Stewart movies? So are we. Seeing the 31-year-old actress dominate the headlines lately because of her engagement to screenwriter Dylan Meyer and the launch of Spencer has put us in a mood to revisit our most favourite films of hers.

While those of us who grew up in the noughties would know her best as the stoic Bella Swan, the Twilight star actually has a rich portfolio of projects under her belt. In the last decade alone, Kristen starred in over 20 films, most of which are artistic indie movies that showcased her acting range. Ready to explore her filmography? Check out these five Kristen Stewart movies, ranked according to how much we love the roles she played.

#5: Sarah Altman in Panic Room (2002)

It’s easy to forget that Kristen started her career as a child actress because she became a household name in her late teens (she was 18 when the Twilight era started). Panic Room was one of her earliest films; here she starred alongside veteran Jodie Foster. The thriller film takes place in one location and involves only a few actors, with Jodie and Kristen filling most of the screen time. Despite the pressure from taking on a huge role and working with household names, the then-12-year-old was able to hold her own and shine in the role.

The movie starts innocently with new divorcee Meg (Jodie) and her daughter Sarah (Kristen) checking out their new house that comes with a fortified panic room. This little room came in handy when their house was broken into by a bunch of thieves, one of which was the previous owner’s relative looking to get his inheritance. Soon, it’s revealed that the hidden inheritance money is in the panic room where the mom-daughter duo is hiding. It’s a straightforward, suspenseful film that’s great for weekend watching.

Fun fact: Did you know that Kristen was not the original choice to play Sarah? She only got this breakthrough role when director David Fincher decided to replace the original actress because he liked Kristen’s “androgynous” quality.

#4: Em Lewin in Adventureland (2009)

Coming-of-age movies often fall into two categories: light, fun and raunchy or drama filled with intense moments. This film has a little bit of both in it. Kristen stars as Em, an angsty teen with a troubled home life who gets a job at the eponymous amusement park not for money but to have an excuse to leave her house for a few hours. What we love about Kristen’s role here is her being able to play a teen protagonist — aside from Twilight’s Bella — that actually acts like a youngster and makes juvenile mistakes. Her comedic chops also shine in this movie as she and her character’s love interest James (Jesse Eisenberg) get into some awkward situations. On the hunt for a coming-of-age movie that will deliver hearty laughs? Put this on.

Fun fact: Adventureland is the first of three films where Jesse Eisenberg and Kristen Stewart play the leads. They reunited for American Ultra in 2015 and for Cafe Society the year after.

#3: Amy Cole “Blondie” in Camp X-Ray (2014)

After reprising the role of Bella Swan five times, Kristen Stewart moved on to take part in movies that will show her acting prowess and Camp X-Ray was one of those. In this film, she brings to life the character of Cole who is referred to by prisoners as “Blondie”; as a soldier of a detention camp, she isn’t allowed to reveal her identity to detainees. Cole forms a bond with a prisoner named Ali (Payman Maadi) who is suffering from suicidal ideation. Through Kristen’s character, we get a perspective of what it’s like to be a female soldier and the unique challenges they face in a male-dominated field.

Fun fact: Kristen named her dog Cole after her character in this film. How cute!

#2: Valentine in Clouds Of Sils Maria (2014)

Cloud Of Sils Maria is one of those films that you have to watch two times or even three to fully grasp. It’s got impressive storytelling matched with equally strong performances. Kristen plays Valentine, who is a personal assistant to ageing actress Maria (Juliette Binoche). In her younger years, Maria found fame by starring as the daring Sigrid in the play and movie Maloja Snake. The play tells the story of the young Sigrid betraying an old woman named Helena. Years later, a new director wants to reboot Maloja Snake with Maria playing Helena. Lines blur between reality and fantasy when Valentine and Maria begin to have the same dynamic as Sigrid and Helena. It’s quite a mind-boggling film.

Fun fact: Kristen was nominated for a best supporting actress César award for her performance in this movie and became the first American actress to be given the recognition. She eventually won and also became the first American female actress to receive a César.

#1: Maureen Cartwright in Personal Shopper

Kristen named Personal Shopper as one of the five “really good films” she’s made in a recent interview and we can understand why. This film has everything that will leave you at the edge of your seat: a mystery murder, a ghost story and suspenseful scenes. At the centre of it all is Kristen’s character, Maureen, who is a personal shopper for the demanding supermodel Kyra (Nora Waldstätten). Maureen began to receive strange messages urging her to try on Kyra’s clothes (something she’s forbidden to do) after having a spiritual encounter with her brother at their old mansion. She obliges and afterwards finds out that Kyra has been murdered. Did the mysterious texter kill Kyra or was it Maureen? Kristen’s stellar acting will make you think either is possible.

Fun fact: Personal Shopper and Cloud Of Sils Maria have the same director (Olivier Assayas) and in both films, Kristen played the part of an assistant to an imposing personality.

Which of these Kristen Stewart movies will you be watching this weekend?

(Cover photo from: commons.wikimedia.org)

Next, check out our ranking of Sandra Oh's movie and TV roles.

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