Kristen Stewart is, hands-down, the best part of the new action/romance/stoner comedy American Ultra. Hey, don’t look so surprised. Stewart has always been a talented actress, she was just too busy getting totally obliterated by Twilight lovers and haters alike on the Internet for anyone to really notice. But, with American Ultra, even the most fervent haters (still, really?) will have to give her props. As a pothead with a secret government operative boyfriend, Stewart’s Phoebe is smart, cool, and majorly kick-ass.
She’s come a long way since her Twilight days (and that headline-grabbing Rupert Sanders affair scandal), and it’s time for the anti-K-Stew brigade to give her a chance once and for all. In fact, here’s ten things to appreciate about the American Ultra star.
She Doesn’t Give AFDimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images
Not about the haters, not about critics, not about the speculation regarding her sexuality, and definitely not about Hollywood’s ridiculous standards for women (she called the industry “disgustingly sexist”). In a career where image is everything, Stewart does things on her own terms, and, honestly, that’s as cool as it gets.
She’s Turned in Some Truly Incredible Performances, And She’s Only 25
Yes, the Twilight saga is the most recognized thing on Stewart’s resume, but she’s so much more than Bella Swan. The young actress has showed some serious range in dramas like Clouds of Sils Maria (do yourself a favor and watch the trailer above, and then see the movie), The Runaways, and Still Alice, and has charm to spare in funnier fare like Adventureland and American Ultra. We’re betting the best is still yet to come.
She Can Hold Her Own With A-ListersJeff Kravitz/FilmMagic
K-Stew has worked with the likes of Julianne Moore, Jodie Foster, Charlize Theron, Patricia Clarkson, and the late, great James Gandolfini, among others. Even more impressive, her co-stars have had some very flattering things to say about her. Foster came to Stewart’s defense during the whole Robert Pattinson breakup kerfuffle, while Moore called her “an extraordinary actress.” She’s got one helluva support system.
She’s a Totally Adjusted Child Star
Yeah, she’s had some personal and professional hiccups (who hasn’t in their 20s?) but when you look at the state of so many other stars her age, particularly ones that grew up in the spotlight, she’s doing pretty damn well. Stewart (whose earlier work includes Zarthura, Cold Creek Manor, and Panic Room) has been in showbiz since she was just 8-years-old is an admirable example of how to keep your head on straight in a crazy and oft unforgiving industry.
She Has a Good Sense of HumorDouglas Gorenstein/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
She Has Awesome Chemistry with Jesse Eisenberg
Both off-screen and on-screen (see: American Ultra, Adventureland) it’s plain to see that these two friends have an awesome bond that can’t be broken. We’d take no issue with this pair making a third flick together.
She’s Helping Close the Hollywood Pay GapIan Gavan/Getty Images
While females are still wildly underpaid in Hollywood, Stewart rightly earned her paycheck for starring in the worldwide juggernaut that was Twilight. She was one of Forbes’ highest paid actresses, and she’s yet another shining example of why women in showbiz deserve the same as their male counterparts.
She Stays True To Her RootsSteve Granitz/WireImage
Even with her indie movie cred and critical praise, Stewart knows that she came from the Twilight cloth. Not only does she defend the series, but she is still close with some of her old pals. Case in point: she brought Taylor Lautner to the American Ultra premiere, sending Team Jacob fans everywhere into hysterics.
She Has Her Own Wicked Sense of StyleJason Merritt/Getty Images
Chuck Taylors and a fancy dress? Oh, hell yeah, K-Stew. You do you.
She Actually Does Smile, Thankyouverymuch!Frazer Harrison/Getty Images