Kristen Stewart reunites with with French director Olivier Assayas in the hotly anticipated Personal Shopper, which screens at the New York Film Festival. Their last collaboration was the critically acclaimed “Clouds of Sils Maria,” which earned the actress both a Cesar and a New York Film Critics Award.
“Personal Shopper” is a supernatural thriller in which Kristen Stewart plays Maureen, a personal shopper who obtains pricey and chic outfits for her one high-profile customer, but whose main interest is modern art. She also communicates with the dead and is desperate to reconnect with her twin, who recently died of a heart attack.
During the press conference for the film which the star and director attended, every seat in the audience was filled because of Stewart’s star power.
About his process, the director said, “I write stories and I have no idea how they will be acted.” He added that this is the first time he has made a movie starting from a blank slate. About spiritualism and other-worldly presences, Assayas said, “I was dealing with an area I was not really familiar with. I discovered that spiritualists are adjoined with modern art, which is something I kind of discovered in the process of writing and I became fascinated with.”
“It’s weird that that’s the first time you approached something like that and this is what happened,” noted Stewart. “Yeah. It makes sense. It’s cool.”
Stewart looked terrific in a low-cut tuxedo jacket that looked like she had nothing underneath and funky, stripped trousers. Stewart is refreshingly candid, bright and unfiltered and drops the occasional four-letter word.
Throughout the film, Maureen interacts with someone or some thing on the phone which directs her on a chase that involves a murder and a ghostly vision. She is stalked but goes along with it.
Asked about stalking and modern-day surveillance, the actress replied, “I think Maureen wants to be entirely invisible and at the same time really seen. I think she really struggles with that, and that’s pretty much everyone right now,” she said. “We stalk each other. I stalk people. I get stalked. We are all obsessively (watching each other).”
In line with her profession in the film, where Maureen zips along the streets in her scooter to high-end boutiques in pursuit of pricey couture items and accessories, Stewart was asked if she herself had a personal shopper. “I have a stylist. She’s rad,” noted Stewart. “But I choose my shit. I don’t like getting dressed by someone. This isn’t mine. We just borrow this stuff and go ‘Thanks!’ And then we give it back. They’ll all be getting this stuff back.”