Vulture: Recently, you got a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and your Panic Room co-star Kristen Stewart came out to give a speech honoring you.
That was the unexpectedly great part of it, really — reconnecting with Kristen. There was something really emotional about it, because on Panic Room she was that little 10-year-old girl who I just loved so much. I thought she was the coolest kid ever, and I couldn’t wait to meet her when she grew up. It’s so moving, really, to have her come out and do this kind thing, and I know it’s not easy for her. She’s a little bit of a shaking leaf, and it makes me want to put my arm around her and tell her that I’ll make her dinner, you know?
Both Kristen and Jack O’Connell started acting when they were very young, as you did. Is there a kinship there because of that?
I think there is. It’s a weird way to grow up, and you hone a strange survival skill. Everybody does it differently, but you are forever changed by that experience. So there is a kinship to it. I will say, both Jack and Kristen are just wonderful, genuine people. So much for saying that being a child actor screws you up! They both have prioritized and trusted their authenticity, and that’s really what has made them so real.
Variety: “Café Society” stars Kristen Stewart as an Audrey Hepburn-like secretary. Did you know she had a lighter side?
I didn’t know. I took a chance. I had her read a paragraph and she read it so well, that all our apprehensions — which are not huge to begin with — vanished instantly. None of us knew her except in the heaviest of things. We did want to see if she had a lighter side. We assumed she did. She’s a young girl, and she’s certainly not going to be a grim.
She said you made fun of the way she walked.
I told her she walked like a relief pitcher coming in from the bullpen. I was expecting this beautiful creature to emerge and walk on. She suddenly looks like a guy coming out of a bullpen to walk out to the mound.
After “Twilight,” she became the first young female movie star to headline a franchise in the Internet age. Do you have a sense of how she’s dealt with that?
No, that’s something I have no idea of. I don’t have a computer. I’m not on the Internet. I don’t know anything about any of that. I’ve never seen her, except as in this Greg Mottola movie [“Adventureland”]. And in passing. I might be on the treadmill and surf through 60 seconds of the vampire movie, where she’d look so beautiful. Those kinds of movies were never of interest to me particularly. I don’t really know of her Internet life. If you told me she had 100 million followers or 2 million followers, it wouldn’t mean too much to me.
So you haven’t seen “Twilight?”
I didn’t see her in the vampire movie.
You’re missing out.
Oh, I’m sure. I get to see a limited amount of movies. There’s so many terrific movies I’ve missed out on in the last 15 or 20 years. I can’t believe how movie illiterate I am.
Do you have the actors in mind when you’re writing a role?
In this case, the story was prevailing, and I knew there were a number of terrific young actresses around. I knew I would have no problem getting them. When the time came, we felt that the two best ones for the picture were Kristen and Blake [Lively]. Kristen was perfect for that little Midwestern Nebraska secretary and we wanted someone that is completely the opposite of Kirsten, that is tall and blonde and had a different quality completely.
What about Kristen that made her right for the role?
She just has a simple beauty. She looks fresh off the farm — like she’s from Nebraska and so naturally pretty. And when you doll her up later, she can carry that because she has enough looks to be able to wear long earrings and furs and look tremendous. But I’m very Spartan with all my actresses with makeup. I try to keep that to the most minimum or nothing if I can get away with it.
Would you consider Kristen Stewart a movie star?
Yes, I think she has the look. She’s very young, very beautiful and talented. And if she just keeps her hand on the wheel and makes good decisions, she’s home free. She should have an incredible career. She’s not someone you cast just because she’s beautiful. She can deliver. She’s got a sense of humor. She can give you the heavy stuff. She’s one of the crop of young actresses around now — like Blake or Emma Stone, they are tremendous performers.
LATimes: Cannes is about the best venue around for a quick career reset, of many kinds.
To aficionados, Sevigny's return to the Croisette will bring a knowing, possibly amused nod. The actress is at the center one of the — how to put this delicately? — well-known moments in Cannes history. In 2003, she could be seen performing a real-life oral sex act at the end of Vincent Gallo’s “The Brown Bunny." For a festival whose claims to edginess can outstrip its appetite for it, the scene was a stunner, a hand-grenade in the middle of a pacifist rally. (She said she remains "proud" of the film and remains perplexed by the volume of the reaction.)
Sevigny will, notably, be in Cannes at the same time as Stewart, who is in the middle of her own transformation, arriving at the festival with two films, from Woody Allen and Olivier Assayas. Stewart is currently contending with the privileges and burdens of a 21st century It Girl status. That would seem to give Sevigny and her a bond.
"I'm really intimidated by Kristen Stewart. I want to be friends with her really badly," Sevigny said.
"We text a little and see each other at parties. But she's intimidating," the filmmaker added, alluding to Stewart's fast-talking, no-nonsense demeanor.
"Also, she's so famous. It must be hard to be that famous."
Btw when asked about this, Stewart said, "Chloe always says she's intimidated. I don't know why she says that." https://t.co/mj1mhHKMJt— Steven Zeitchik (@ZeitchikLAT) May 13, 2016