This post contains spoilers for the HBO series Irma Vep.
Kristen Stewart was bound showing up in Irma Vep. The question had not been if however when show creator Olivier Assayaswho’s also the only real writer and director of the HBO miniserieswould deploy his favorite actor lately, dropping her in to the meta, eight-episode rumination by himself life (that is predicated on a 1996 film Assayas wrote and directed, itself a work of cheeky auto-fiction). In Monday-nights finale, Stewart is finally revealed, playing an artist whose complex relationship to fame is really a knowing reflection of the celebrities true to life.
Stewart plays Lianna, Eamonns girlfriend. All season long, Mira (Alicia Vikander) has been interested in Lianna, largely because she still has feelings for Eamonn (Tom Sturridge), who’s her ex-boyfriend. (The duo messily rekindle things in episode four, after Eamonn confides in Mira about Liannas recent, tragic miscarriage.) Lianna, as previous episodes revealed, is really a popular singer. She arises in the initial short while of the episode, dropping into Eamonns hotel late during the night after finishing a concert. Aesthetically, she lookslike Kristen Stewart, that is to state: draped in a Chanel coat, Chanel tank top, and sporty track pants, her blonde hair styled right into a wavy ponytail, and her signature arm tattoos on full display.
Lianna and Eamonn have a warm reunion in his suite, then immediately talk shop. Even while, Mira is spying in it within the next room, using her magical catsuit to walk through the walls of the suite and eavesdrop. When Eamonn asks the way the concert went, Lianna laments that her audience still skews young. It had been the most common sea of rabid 11-year-olds, she quips. Id give anything to cross into a older audience.
Once they finish discussing work, Eamonn and Lianna take their conversation out to the balcony. As Lianna smokes a joint, she gingerly asks Eamonn if hes seen Mira recently. He confesses they had a glass or two together, which in turn causes Lianna to lightly spiral. Youre in Paris. Youre bored, alone. Perhaps you require a little comfort, she surmises. Eamonn wraps his arms around her and lies his face off. Shes not just a part of my entire life, he says, assuaging Liannas concerns. The duo then visit the bedroom and thats that. Lianna never realizes concerning the affair, ending her story line on a false, happy high. Mira narrowly escapes, exacting petty revenge by stealing Liannas coat and tossing it in the hotel hallway.
The parallels between Lianna and Stewart are fairly strong, at the very least in the beginning. Stewart would definitely know very well what its like being obsessed over by way of a young audience, having increased to stardom through the blockbuster Twilight franchise, in line with the best-selling Y.A. vampire series. Although films endeared her to tween and teen fans, Stewart made a conscious choice to weave older fare among each Twilight film, including playing Joan Jett in The Runaways biopic and Marylou within an adaptation of On the highway. 2 yrs following the final Twilight film hit theaters, Stewart had officially shifted to another phase of her career, going for a supporting role in Assayass film The Clouds of Sils Maria. It had been her first collaboration with the French filmmaker, and a fortuitous one: The role earned Stewart a Csar for best supporting actress, making her the initial American performer to win the prestigious French prize. She and Assayas would reunite again for the moody ghost drama Personal Shopper, where Stewart plays a female looking for signs of her late twin brother in the afterlife.
However, the parallels between Stewart and Lianna arent quite as thrilling because the parallels between Stewart and Mira. Irma Vep is about stand-ins. The director character, Ren Vidal, is really a stand-in for Assayas himself. The mysterious Jade is really a stand-in for Maggie Cheung, the initial star of Irma Vep, who was simply previously married to Assayas before their 2001 divorce and eventual estrangement. Mira, an American celeb with luxury brand deals who flits between Hollywood blockbusters and serious French fare alike, could be interpreted, in ways, as a stand-in for Stewart. Assayas has said that Vikander was his first choice for the role, but has admitted that Stewart was an inspiration.
I dont understand that many American actresses, he previously told Vanity Fair, when I write a component for a American actress, yes, I get inspired with what I spied from Kristen.
He spoke similarly in another interview. There should be components of Kristen, he told The NY Times. Kristen is haunting the film.
Thematically, Irma Vep concerning the living ghosts of Assayass past. Cheungwho declined Assayass request to do something in the seriesis the dominant phantasm, but Stewart is really a close second. Her presence in the finale, a welcome volt of charisma, brings the meta narrative back to where it started finally.