Kristen Stewart is a young actress pulled in a number of different directions.On one hand, the 18-year-old actress is doing press for the April 3 release of "Adventureland," a touching and low-key coming-of-age comedy. She's also on the eve, though, of starting work on "The Twilight Saga: New Moon," the sequel to the worldwide blockbuster "Twilight," a film that's anything but low-key.
What excites Stewart about returning to Stephenie Meyer's vampire and werewolf-filled world?
"Just picking up where we left off," she tells reporters. "The story, there's like a six month period between when the first one ended and the second one picks up, but nothing's changed. They're at a good solid place in their relationship, whatever. I'm interested to see him leave, because that's what the first one is entirely based on, it's just that abandoned devotion, just the ultimate love story and she's going to be stripped of that. So Bella's actually an interesting character on her own and Taylor Lautner's Jacob and it was under deliberation for a while and we're glad that's he's back..."
Much was made of the possibility of recasting Lautner between "Twilight" and "New Moon" to reflect the rather dramatic changes impacting Jacob Black's physicality. Instead, Summit stuck with the 17-year-old actor and Lautner's transformation has, apparently, been impressive.
"He's jacked," Stewart says with a smile. "It's crazy."
Stewart continues, "I've seen the steady progression. I've seen him a lot since then, so it's not been like... If I had seen Taylor who did 'Twilight' to Taylor who's about to start 'New Moon,' I'd be like... He's an entirely different person physically and he's also, it took him so much time, so he's devoted. He's amped. He's really excited."
"The Twilight Saga: New Moon" is set for release this November and the studio has already planed a swift turnaround into the franchise's third film, "Eclipse," expected to open in the summer of 2010. Stewart, though, is looking forward to switching gears to play Joan Jett in the rock-n-roll biopic "The Runaways" between the movies.
"Joan is such a remarkable role model for any young girl," Stewart gushes. "She was the first female to start a record label. She was so young, if not 18, I think she was in her early 20s. She's an activist. She's a feminist. She's a great role model."
Stewart's preparation for "The Runaways" will include vocal training, but she isn't sure if she'll be heard on the movie's soundtrack.
"I don't know yet, to be honest," she says. "I want to, very badly, but I also want it to sound right. I don't know if it'll be a combination, like they'll layer voices on top of each other, or if it'll just be her or just me. We'll see. We'll see how able the other actors are to play the music themselves. It would be awesome. We'll definitely have the band practice. We're gonna be a group of people who can actually make music, because there's a lot of performance in the movie."
"The Runaways" will also featured a fair amount of drama, which Stewart is also looking forward to.
"I like the big conflict," she said. "It's like Cherie can't really handle the success, nor does she want it necessarily, in that respect, and Joan is very steady and self-assured. This kick-started her whole career and to watch it all fall apart and for her to still stand, I'm excited about that. It's a really explosive scene, amps are kicked through and guitars are smashed."
The Cherie in question is Cherie Currie, who will be played by Dakota Fanning, who will also play the deceptively dangerous vampire Jane in "New Moon."
"I've always loved what she's done," Stewart says of Fanning. "She's very controlled and poised and in terms of the actual work that she makes, it's always so different and she's gonna rock this. Talk about abandon, she's gonna have to lose herself in this, because it's pretty heavy."
While Stewart admitted to often getting overwhelmed by the scale of the "Twilight" phenomenon, she's approaching the second movie with a new sense of expectations and a new approach.
"It's so much easier," she says. "It's just experience. It's just realizing that it's a different world. I'm just more aware. It's easier. It's like I'm not freaked out by it. It's all going to be fine, but at first I was just freaked out."
Does that mean she's able to have fun with her newly enhanced profile?
"Sometimes things are fun," she admits. "As long as I say what I mean and it's not entirely jumbled and I feel like something's gotten across, then I'm proud. Whatever. As long as I keep doing doing what I like to do, whatever happens with all this stuff is just going to happen."
"Adventureland" opens on on April 3.
"The Twilight Saga: New Moon" opens on Nov. 20.