Straight from press conference to photo shoot to me, Kristen Stewart is set to promote Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, when an assistant enters the room and tosses a pack of cigarettes.
Brightening, she rips open the pack, and heads to the hotel window, thoughtfully grabbing my digital recorder (“So you don’t miss anything”) en route to sitting on the sill, a little fidgety and blowing smoke out into the Manhattan air.
So we sat, 10 feet apart, talking about Ang Lee’s awkwardly-titled movie, taken from a Ben Fountain novel about a group of Iraq soldiers who go “viral” with video of their fruitless attempt to save a comrade (Vin Diesel), and who are honoured during halftime of a Texas NFL game (the Cowboys in the book).
They’re followed by an agent (Chris Tucker), who’s intent on turning their story into a Hollywood movie.
Stewart seems to have emerged from the glare of playing Bella Swan in the Twilight series with a remarkable measure of respect. The onetime child actress became the only American ever to win a Cesar (the French Oscar) when she won Best Supporting Actress for Olivier Assayas’ Clouds of Sils Maria
And she owns one of only two female roles of note in Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk – Kathryn, the sister of Billy (Joe Alwyn), who’s furiously trying to get her brother treatment for PTSD before he re-ups for another tour of duty in a pointless war.