The spirit of Diana, Princess of Wales helped Kristen Stewart portray her in a new biopic, the actress has suggested, as she claims she “kind of got the sign-off” to tell her story.
Stewart, star of new film Spencer, said she felt some “spooky, spiritual feelings” while shooting, with the late Princess feeling “so alive” to her.
“There were times where I was like, ‘Oh, God’, almost like she was, you know, trying to break through,” Stewart told the Los Angeles Times. “It was weird. And amazing. I’ve never felt anything like it in my life.”
Asked whether she had ever had a paranormal encounter, she added: “No. But I felt some spooky, spiritual feelings making this movie. Even if I was just fantasising. I felt like there were moments where I kind of got the sign-off.”
Stewart has been tipped for an Oscar for her portrayal of Diana, Princess of Wales, in a storyline set over three days at Sandringham as she resolves to end her marriage to Prince Charles.
The film was awarded five stars by Robbie Collin, The Telegraph’s chief film critic, who said the Royal family was “cast in a grimly unflattering light” and noted: “On Spencer’s opening day, you sense Meghan Markle might be first in the box-office queue.”
In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Stewart described the extraordinary process of embodying the Princess, saying she wanted to capture the “explosive, ground-shaking quality” which meant those who watched her would “never really know what’s going to happen”.
Diana ‘felt so alive to me’
Asked whether there were moments when she could “actually feel Diana” with her, she said her subject had felt “so alive to me when I was making this movie”.
Saying she would “fully break down” two or three times a week after remembering she was dead, Stewart added: “I just could not come to terms with it, because I was fighting to keep her alive every single day.
“Our movie is dramatised as hell. It’s condensed into three days. It feels like a ballet to me. But it was still a fight to keep her alive every day, and so remembering that she was dead was just absolutely lacerating. It just destroyed me constantly.”
Asked about her own experience of paranormal activity, in response to an appearance by the ghost of Anne Boleyn in the film, Stewart said: “It’s scary to tell a story about someone who’s not alive anymore and who already felt so invaded.
“I never wanted to feel like we were invading anything, just that we were kind of adding to the multiplicity of a beautiful thing.”