The first look at Kristen Stewart’s latest high-profile role has been revealed — and it’s looking like a real stunner.
The Hollywood Reporter has the first official photos of the actress in the upcoming biopic Spencer, which focuses on one specific weekend in the life of Lady Diana Spencer — or, as you probably know her, Princess Diana.
Directed by Pablo Larraín, the filmmaker behind the 2016 biographical drama Jackie, Spencer will chronicle a few days in the 1990s during which Princess Diana decided to pursue a separation from her husband, Prince Charles. During the events of the movie, the two distant spouses spend one final weekend together — over the Christmas holidays, no less — at the royal estate of Sandringham in Norfolk, England.
In the first-look photo, Stewart has been completely transformed — wearing a short blonde wig, a red jacket and black blouse, and a cropped black veil attached to a fashionable hat. The actress has sported all kinds of different looks over the years — from long brown hair during her days playing Bella Swan in the Twilight saga to a choppy blonde ‘do as seen in 2019’s Charlie’s Angels reboot, in which she portrayed the rebellious Sabina Wilson. But here, Stewart truly bears a striking resemblance to the late Princess of Wales.
Also starring a roster of venerated actors such as Timothy Spall, Sean Harris, and Sally Hawkins, Spencer was first revealed to the world at large during the 2020 Cannes Film Festival — although there’s no word of an official release date yet. In the meantime, however, fans have plenty to get excited about for Stewart’s next big role.
Thanks to shows such as The Crown, which cast the young British ingenue Emma Corrin as Diana in the early stages of her courtship to Charles, the late Princess has dominated the pop culture consciousness in recent months. And of course, playing a figure so hugely beloved as Princess Diana is a huge undertaking, but Stewart, who rose above her roots in teen fare like Twilight to become a highly prestigious performer, feels more than right for the role.
For starters, Stewart appears to have both a deep understanding of and respect for Princess Diana, and knows what the real-life events depicted in Spencer meant to the British royal. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, she explained:
“Spencer is a dive inside an emotional imagining of who Diana was at a pivotal turning point in her life. It is a physical assertion of the sum of her parts, which starts with her given name: Spencer. It is a harrowing effort for her to return to herself, as Diana strives to hold onto what the name Spencer means to her.”
Additionally, Stewart also has plenty of experience in equally challenging roles, which suggests she’s perfectly capable of taking on the responsibility of portraying Princess Diana. In recent years, she stunned audiences in her role as Valentine in Clouds of Sils Maria and blew critics away as Maureen Cartwright in the psychological thriller Personal Shopper. Stewart has even been around the biopic block before, portraying Bridget “Maggie” Sullivan, the lover of acquitted murderer Lizzie Borden, in the 2018 feature Lizzie.
There’s no denying that Diana Spencer is a much different role for Stewart, and one that carries a lot of weight with it, especially considering the late princess’ untimely death in a car crash in 1997. But it seems like Stewart really should be able to pull it off with grace and care.
And the role could be a game-changer for the actress, too. Though Stewart won France’s version of the Oscar, the César, in 2015, she has yet to earn an Academy Award nomination stateside. If she pulls off her portrayal of Diana, however — and there’s every reason to believe that she will — Stewart might just finally reach that career milestone.
There’s no release date for Spencer just yet, but it’ll certainly be worth the wait — if only to see Stewart’s take on one of the most famous royals of all time.