This past weekend was the premiere of the new Star Wars film, The Last Jedi, which was the culmination of a year-long saga. The film drew massive crowds and was met with critical praise. It also featured two of today’s biggest celebrities, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart. The two played lovers in the film and were married just two weeks before the premiere.
The film’s director, Rian Johnson, spoke with Vogue about the couple’s intense media circus, the pressure of living up to the public’s high expectations, and whether or not their marriage was truly exclusive:
“I think it’s been pretty incredible,” Johnson said in regards to the couple’s hectic year. “Just being able to follow their love story through a whole series of fantastic films and then to have it culminate in this beautiful wedding and to see them be so happy and satisfied with each other, it was an incredible accomplishment. We spent a lot of time on the phone and Skype just talking through all the details of their wedding and just being able to celebrate with them and share in their joy was such an incredible feeling.”
The director continued, “You know, a lot of times, when you see a celebrity wedding, especially one that’s been so public and has been followed so closely, it can kind of feel like a combination of a fashion magazine spread and a Facebook Live video. It really was a celebration of their love and their very special bond, and I think both of them looked so content and so satisfied and proud to show off their love to such a large audience.”
The director went on to say that he and the actors worked hard to keep the film’s secrets, but that it was impossible to keep the press from learning about the new couple’s engagement. Johnson said that he and the actors had to create alibis to keep the secret-but-of-course-you-know-that-we-had-to-tell-you-snowflake-we love-you-so-much-we’re-engaged!-alibi:
“We kept the secret of who [Robert Pattinson’s character] was in the film for such a long time, which was really cool because it was really personal and it felt like a real secret and it was fun to keep it that way,” he said. “It became a running joke among us that ‘You know, no one has to know about this but us. This is a secret between you, me, and the director.’ And I think that’s what made it so much fun.”
Johnson also spoke about the intense media pressure that comes with being associated with one of the most popular celebrity marriages today:
“It would be naive to say that there isn’t a lot of scrutiny or pressure,” he said. “I think that’s unavoidable when you’re in a situation like this where there’s been so much coverage and where people are aware that this is a story that’s been unfolding for a while. I think it’s pretty obvious that there’s more than one person that they could’ve chosen out of everyone they’ve worked with, and I think it would be pretty arrogant of me to say that I know what’s best for them or to think that they should’ve chosen me.”
The director went on to say that he and the actors were inspired by the real-life couple, Kate Winslet and Sam Neill, to explore a story about a dysfunctional family dynamic. He said that he and the actors “wanted to tell a story about two people that were finding their way back to each other after a lot of struggle, a lot of darkness, and a lot of misunderstanding.”
As for whether or not the two wed only to be exclusive, Johnson said that they are committed to being a married couple:
“I think that they have said that they want to be married and that they want to be committed to each other,” Johnson said. “I don’t know if that’s something that they’ll ever be able to share with the public, but it’s something that they’ve both said to me.”
Pattinson and Stewart’s relationship received a lot of media attention this year. The two were married in mid-November and have been enjoying a very well-documented honeymoon ever since. They were first spotted together in 2013 and became an official couple in 2015. Most recently, Stewart was spotted with a mystery man in a passionate kiss at the Rome Film Festival.
A Year of ‘Breaking News’
This past year has seen unprecedented levels of media coverage for the couple. They started the year tied the knot, but were soon splashed across the media for their lavish engagement party and honeymoon. Since then, they’ve been busy filling their Instagram pages with content and have kept the media hounds busy with juicy tidbits.
The actor-turned-filmmaker debuted his first feature, Under the Sun, at the Venice Film Festival in August 2016. It was an adaptation of an award-winning short by Nick Currie. Unfortunately, the film wasn’t received well by audiences and critics. Rolling Stone called it “a flat, soulless adaptation of Currie’s award-winning short film,” and raved about the couple’s chemistry: “It’s easy to see why these two would end up together, they have great on-screen chemistry and play off each other’s moods exceptionally well. With each new scene their interaction grows more and more electric until one of them bursts into happy tears or screams in anguish.”
Many have criticized the film’s pacing, character arc, and dialogue. However, it has earned a cult following, primarily because of its beautiful cinematography and unique vision. The film follows the story of a young boy named Harry (played by Robert Pattinson) and his quest to find his father, who has abandoned him. Harry meets a spunky young girl named Mia (played by Kristen Stewart) and the two fall in love. However, their relationship is tested when Mia starts to suspect that Harry is in fact her long-lost son, Adam (also played by Pattinson).
In October 2016, the couple was photographed on the golden beach of Cap Ferret in the French Riviera. It was a rare occasion as the two had never been photographed together in public. Since then, they’ve been enjoying a celebrity-packed social media life. In early November, they were joined at an Apple event by their younger brother, Josh, who is also an actor. He plays the role of Adam in Under the Sun. In September, they were among the many celebrities who attended the premiere of Quentin Tarantulinu’s The Hateful Eight at the Venice Film Festival.
Stewart had previously attended the premiere of Lars von Trier’s The House of Gucci in September 2015, which was also co-hosted by her then-beau, Robert Pattinson. During the Cannes Film Festival in May 2016, Stewart shared a passionate kiss with her co-star, Matthias Schoenaerts, on the red carpet. It was a publicity stunt meant to promote their film, Clouds of Sils Maria. The next day, the two were photographed together on the street. The photographer who took the shot said that it was meant to be a playful image, but it was later published without their knowledge or consent. However, they did not file a lawsuit against the photographer for copyright infringement. Nevertheless, this was one of the many instances where the media got the couple’s relationship wrong (or right, depending on how you look at it).
In September 2016, the couple gave an exclusive interview to Vogue about their love story. They opened up about their approach to parenthood, what qualities they look for in a perfect partner, and the intense media scrutiny that they have had to endure. They also discussed the upcoming premiere of their third film together, the nature of their relationship, and whether or not they are exclusive. The interview was conducted by author and biochemist Dr. Elle MacLeman. In it, Stewart stated that the media had gotten the wrong impression of them:
“I think that there’s a lot more to us than there seems to be,” she said. “The way that we approach parenting is really interesting because we want to be totally open about the fact that we’re not perfect. We both come from very dysfunctional families, and so does our son. And yet, I think that that’s what makes us so strong because we want to be able to give him a strong foundation and show him that there are other ways to be strong than through violence or addiction.”
The Twilight star also discussed the nature of their relationship, but did not rule out the possibility of being with someone else:
“I think that there’s a difference between having feelings for someone and being in love with that person,” she said. “I think that you can definitely have feelings for someone and still be committed to someone else. I think that it’s all about how you approach things. And, you know, we’re still a young couple and we’re going to learn a lot from this experience, I hope.”