Saturday, December 5, 2009

Bella Swan ain't in Forks anymore.....

After the insane press tour for Twilight last November, Kirsten Stewart quietly slipped back to New Orleans to continue filming an indie flick she wasn't sure would ever find an audience. That film is Welcome to The Rileys and also stars James Gandolfini (Tony Soprano) and Academy Award nominee Melissa Leo. In Jake Scott's (son of Ridley Scott) feature directorial debut, Stewart plays Mallory, a stripper and prostitute who comes into the lives of the Riley's (Gandolfini and Leo), who are struggling with the death of their daughter.

Rumours abound that Stewart will be nekkid in this role, but I doubt it. She was only 18 when this was being filmed and there are many ways to cut a film to hide the nekkidness. Regardless, it looks like she will be barely clothed for much of it, if these first images are anything to go by. I have read the script and I have to say that the film has potential. The cast is impressive and story is interesting.

Gone is the sweet, doe eyed girl Twihards know and idolise. "Bella" is replaced instead by a heavily made-up, stringy haired girl who swears like a sailor and continually offers herself to a man old enough to be her father. Oh and if my memory of the script serves me correctly, she does work the stripper pole at some point during the film.

Welcome to the Rileys will be shown at The Sundance Film Festival in January, and hopefully will find a distributor so that the rest of us can see this film at the theatre as opposed to DVD. I am a fan of Kristen. I truly believe that she will go far beyond the Twilight Saga and will be able to overcome the potential stigma of being attached to such a cheesy franchise. Thankfully, she doesn't seem to be interested in the celebrity of acting, but the craft. Either that or she is an even better actor than I thought!

Before she even signed on for Twilight, Kristen made another indie flick that has yet to see the light of day. The Yellow Handkerchief is the story of three strangers who embark on a road trip through post Katrina Louisiana. The trio head out together, each motivated by his/her own reasons: Brett (William Hurt) must decide whether he wants to return to the uncertainty of his life and his ex-wife May (Maria Bello) for whom he longs, Martine (Stewart) yearns to escape her family, and Gordy (Eddie Redmayne) hopes to get close to Martine. Likely based partly on Kristen's probable ability to open a movie, The Yellow Handkerchief is now scheduled for an April release.

Stewart also has the Joan Jett biopic The Runaways set to open next year and the James Wood directed An American Girl in the works, amongst other things. Busy, busy time for my girl Kristen. Thankfully she seems to have had a little break for the past few weeks. I haven't heard a peep from her (or should I say, I haven't seen a shot of her anywhere). Yay to some small semblance of privacy.


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