7 Times Kristen Stewart Surprised Us In Film & Completely Destroyed The Stereotype That She's Not A Great Actress

Most of what we often hear about actress Kristen Stewart is based on her relationship status with Robert Pattinson, or how much she's moping at any given moment. She's the girl from the Twilight movies who hates being famous, right? Well... not completely. Though her public persona can be more than a little mopey from time to time, Stewart does have a softer side. Just check out the music video for Jenny's Jewis' "Just One of the Guys" for proof. Her resume is also a lot more than teen werewolf romances (that's a real genre now). Beyond her Team Edward and Team Jacob dilemmas, she's actually had quite the list of compelling and challenging roles.

What many might miss in Stewart's non- Twilight roles are the subtleties of her performance. You might think she's one-note, but there's actually quite a lot going on underneath all of that stillness. I blame Silver Linings Playbook for convincing audiences that over-acting is good acting (yeah, I said it). So whether you love to hate K. Stew, hate to love her or just love her without shame, here are some of her most surprising moments on screen.

Still Alice

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Stewart portrayed Lydia Howland in 2015's gut-wrenching drama Still Alice. Though she did carry a bit of her signature angst in the film, it was layered with a frenzy of emotions as she dealt with losing her mother to early onset Alzheimer's. In this particular clip, it's the fear and curiosity that really comes through. She and Julianne Moore are doing something so commonplace while discussing something incredibly delicate and intimate. They're both adjusting their gears in this scene to make sense of this new normal.


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Not only was Kristen Stewart in a comedy, she was in a good comedy. As laugh-out-loud as many moments were, Adventureland had puh-lenty of drama. What was refreshing about Stewart's role was that she wasn't just the apple of some awkward dude's eye; she was a complicated character with actual layers. Here, she's torn between two men who both want more from her than she's capable of giving, and she crumbles.

Panic Room

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No wonder Kristen Stewart takes dark roles; even as a kid she dealt with some serious stuff onscreen. In most thrillers, it's the parent protecting the child, but, here, Stewart is the one helping keep Jodie Foster calm and collected. She even shows her how to be intimidating by telling the criminals to get out of her house.

Cloud of Sils Maria

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One of the most frustrating moments in any relationship is when you try to help someone who doesn't want to be helped. Valentine (Stewart) is trying desperately to help Maria (Juliette Binoche) break through with her work, and Maria continues to find reasons to question it. We've all been in Stewart's position before, and her portrayal of that kind of anger and love is spot on.

Welcome to the Rileys

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Amidst the Twilight highs, Stewart was also busy making some serious indie dramas. In Welcome to the Rileys, her character Mallory befriends a wayward traveler (James Gandolfini), and helps him and his wife put their relationship back together. In this particular scene, we can see her character's wall start to come down a bit as she connects with someone who has experienced as much, if not more, tragedy than her. She seems like the kind of character who thrives off being in the most pain, but this moment forces her to actually be sympathetic.

Camp X-Ray

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In this IFC Film, Kristen Stewart plays Cole, a soldier set to patrol "detainees" (prisoners) in Guantanamo Bay. There are some serious Jodie Foster vibes going on here, and it hits hardest with the, "Cut the Hannibal Lecter" line. Her stiff upper lip has never been stiffer.

Into The Wild

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There is something very vulnerable about Stewart's performance in Into the Wild. Her character Tracy is so young, but she believes she is wiser than her years. Here, we see her earnestly wanting to fall in love with someone who can't be kept. It's a surprisingly tender moment for Stewart, but maybe the real surprise is how people can continue to think she's not an amazing actress.