Miami New Times: I've always thought Kristen Stewart as a terrific actress. You reached out to her for this role, right?
Peter: We did. We took a Hail Mary, and one of my executive producers was able to get it to her agent and amazingly, she wanted to be a part of the film. The reason I got kinda of obsessed with Kristen, once I allowed myself to imagine that she could potentially be interested in doing it, is because she has the perfect mixture of a very tough exterior but then soft, kinda chewy inside. You see that she's got an edge to her. She's a feisty girl, but you can see how, yeah, she would be a soldier. She could hold her own with these other people in her squad, but at the end of the day, you can feel, seeping out of that, kind of this residual emotion, and that very vulnerable side of her seeps through the cracks, and to me that's the perfect mixture that the character of Private Cole really needed.
Q: I totally saw that. She really comes across as a hard person while slowly melting toward a truly sympathetic human being at the end.
Peter: Yeah, yeah. It's about stripping away those layers and the things that kind of make her character uncomfortable. It's like a character that's not comfortable in their own skin, which is why it's so satisfying for her to put on this "costume" of a soldier because she can just kinda pretend to be this soldier and not really get into that hurt and vulnerable part of herself. That's really what the movie, towards the end, is about. It's about opening up, and that takes courage. As we say in the tagline, "Connection takes courage."
Q: I think sometimes she gets a bad rap. I've totally believed her as an actress.
Peter: Yeah, it's an interesting phenomenon, the phenomenon of Kristen Stewart, not just as a person or as an actress. It's a very unusual thing, and I've never really understood it. Like, I remember before the movie came out, a lot of people were like really shocked that she was gonna play a character in a film like this. I never understood it because she's been doing these really interesting films for her whole career. I think the problem is that there is a small percentage of people out there who only know her from Twilight. That's one series of films in an otherwise rather large body of work that has pretty interesting dynamics. It has The Runaways to comedy, like Adventureland, so it's interesting. You know what the great thing is though, now? It's really cool that the conversation around her is changing and everyone's really starting to talk about her in a much different light, and I feel really honored to have been a part of this kind of new wave of Kristen Stewart's career.