Kristen Stewart cast as early ’90s Princess Diana in the new film ‘Spencer’

DianaKstew2

Various TV and film deals have been made during the three-month lockdown, and it will be intriguing to see how some of these “pandemic projects” pan out. This is definitely one of the weirder situations to come out of lockdown: the guy who directed Natalie Portman in Jackie, Pablo Larrain, will be directing a movie about Princess Diana. And Larrain has just cast… Kristen Stewart. As Diana. What in the…

Pablo Larraín is set to direct and Kristen Stewart to play Princess Diana in Spencer, a drama that shapes up to be a hot package for the virtual Cannes Market. The Steven Knight-scripted film covers a critical weekend in the early ‘90s, when Diana decided her marriage to Prince Charles wasn’t working, and that she needed to veer from a path that put her in line to one day be queen. The drama takes place over three days, in one of her final Christmas holidays in the House of Windsor in their Sandringham estate in Norfolk, England. Production is expected to begin in early 2021.

While growing up in Chile didn’t make Larraín as obsessed as many were in Diana and Charles’ storybook wedding, or the endless coverage as their high profile union was frayed by the pressures of fame and the crown. But he grew up reading fairy tales literature, and sees this as the antithesis of that trope.

“We all grew up, at least I did in my generation, reading and understanding what a fairy tale is,” Larraín told Deadline. “Usually, the prince comes and finds the princess, invites her to become his wife and eventually she becomes queen. That is the fairy tale. When someone decides not to be the queen, and says, I’d rather go and be myself, it’s a big big decision, a fairy tale upside down. I’ve always been very surprised by that and thought it must have been very hard to do. That is the heart of the movie. How and why do you decide to do that? It’s a great universal story that can reach millions and millions of people, and that’s what we want to do. We want to make a movie that goes wide, connects with a worldwide audience that is interested in such a fascinating life.”

[From Deadline]

Yeah, but Diana didn’t decide in one weekend to GTFO. It unfolded over years. She later said that their marriage was in tatters – like, irreparably damaged – just a few years in. Charles ran back to Camilla and by the late ‘80s and early ‘90s, Camilla was his flat-out established mistress. Charles and Diana lived almost entirely separate lives even before they formally separated. I’m just saying! Now, that being said, I enjoyed Jackie more than I thought I would, I liked Natalie Portman as Jackie Kennedy more than I thought I would. It will be very interesting to see Larrain try to get that kind of performance from Kristen Stewart! My God. I just want to hear K-Stew try to do Diana’s accent. Honestly though, as I was going through the photos… Kristen and Diana have similar faces, they really do. That’s why they both look great with short hair.

The UK Premiere of Charlie's Angels held at the Curzon Mayfair

20th Anniversary of Princess Diana's Death

DianaKStew1

Photos courtesy of WENN, Avalon Red.

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106 Responses to “Kristen Stewart cast as early ’90s Princess Diana in the new film ‘Spencer’”

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  1. Sofia says:

    Diana was a lively person and Kristen is… not so I’m interested to see how this turns out. I also do feel like Diana needs to (figuratively) be put to rest. She was hounded in life yet she still can’t be left alone in death

    • Justice4Diana says:

      Diana was a vibrant woman who walked confidently through minefields.

      This slice of bread can’t even lipbite and awkward walk her way through a red carpet.

      • Ginger says:

        I agree. She would be my last pick for someone to play Diana.

      • Intheknow says:

        @Justice4Diana
        “This slice of bread can’t even lip bite…” LOL. Thanks for my morning laugh. I needed it.

      • Wasabi says:

        You know who is a vibrant, confident woman? Joan Jett! And Kristen played her well. Seriously, she is not the bad actresses that people want her to be, she is just a messy, weird person that seems unlikeable to many.

      • Holly says:

        LOL!

      • HashtagNo says:

        K stew plays herself in every role. Moody spaced out. This is a an actress from the pre me too era. Hired & pushed on the public for sexiness, not talent.

      • HashtagNo says:

        K stew plays herself in every role. Moody spaced out. This is a an actress from the pre me too era. Hired & pushed on the public for sexiness, not talent.

      • Heather says:

        I guess the timeline of the film plays a role as well, to be fair.
        In her young, engagement & early-marriage days, Diana was quite shy and reserved. At times, she could have even been labelled awkward, in certain situations. It was not until she had the boys and found causes that were meaningful to her that she came into her own and discovered her own confidence and strength. Once she learned how to navigate “The Firm”, she became the Diana that we all know and love.
        Normally, I would give a big ‘pfffffft’ to any role played by K-stew, but I am curious as to how she’ll take on this role.

    • Lenn says:

      I don’t really consider Diana a vibrant, confident person, to be honest. She seemed hugely insecure and shy. After the divorce she gained some confidence, but still I wouldn’t use the word vibrant.

      • molly says:

        I completely agree with this. You read a lot that she was playing hardball with the press and manipulating things behind the scenes, but so many of the photos and interviews from the time make her look nothing but sad, insecure, stressed, young, and fairly broken. Maybe all that was part of her master plan too, but I’d never associate her with giving booming speeches about bold things on a stage in front of thousands of people.

      • Rae says:

        @Lenn I agree. Especially when she was younger. She seemed almost painfully shy.

      • Marigold says:

        I agree. She always seemed painfully shy and somehow fragile, and I thought that as a child growing up, watching her on television. When in interviews or giving speeches, she seemed like she wanted to run from the podium or like she was terrified to give her opinion.

        I was too young at the time to understand the emotional abuse going on behind the scenes, but though she was beautiful and glamorous , I never thought of her as vibrant–and certainly not confident.

        She never seemed confident to me, not even in the last years of her life. She looked happier, but she never lost that diffidence and hesitance. Revisionist memories of her confuse me. She was passionate and devoted to her work, and she had many wonderful human qualities that would have made her a credit to the royal establishment. She wanted to help people and make the world a better place. That family ground her up like meat and destroyed her, and we’ve seen them attempting the same with Meghan.

      • Tessa says:

        Diana was proactive, she got public speaking lessons to help build up her confidence and hone her skills as a royal. I give her credit for that.

      • Thirtynine says:

        I think- both? She was shy and insecure, especially with the amount of press attention, and accompanying Charles officially, at first. She did put in a lot of homework to live up to the expectations of the job, and was very determined not to let people down in her role, which meant she often had an air of nervousness in her early years. Not to mention the drama going on behind the scenes. But there is also clips of her being very giggly and joking, and I have often read comments from those who knew her well which said she was really funny. Maybe the mix of vulnerability and mischief was all part of her charm.

    • Lua says:

      It is very sad, especially for her children.
      Also… could they not find a British actress to play this role 🙄

  2. Aang says:

    She is a good 5+ inches shorter than Diana. Idk why that bothers me but it does. Diana was so striking because she was so tall. KStew has petite woman vibes. Totally different.

    • josephine says:

      I agree – Princess Di was 5’10″ and the actress that portrays her should be at least somewha close to her in height and looks. I don’t get this casting at all.

      And to top it off, Kristen Stewart is just not a great actress. Maybe there is a role that’s better suited for her range, but the few things I have seen her in were below average. Disappointing.

    • Cinnaber214 says:

      Yes! Diana’s height is always overlooked in casting. Naomi Watts in that one movie just did not have the same vibe as she is so tiny. Diana was a PRESENCE.

    • Chaine says:

      If Tom Cruise can be cast as Jack Reacher, K Stew can be cast as Diana. Maybe they will use high heels, boxes, and camera angles and a really short “Prince Charles” to make her look taller like they do with Tom. 😂

      • MissMarierose says:

        Jack Reacher is a fictional character.
        Diana Spencer is not.

      • Prayer Warrior says:

        The author has admitted casting Tom Cruise was a mistake. Also, Diana was a real person. We watched her grow up from 19 till death. To misrepresent anything about her is just wrong IMO

      • josephine says:

        Two wrongs makes it ok?!

    • minx says:

      As a tall person I agree with you. But it’s not just that—KS has sharper features than PD, who had rounder cheekbones and fuller lips. I don’t see any resemblance at all. I admit to being biased because KS does nothing for me.

    • kgeo says:

      I had no idea how tall she was from all the photos I’ve seen of Diana. I’m honestly surprised to learn she was 5’8″ because she gives off very diminutive vibes to me. Looking back at pics now, I see that she is much taller, but she just never struck me that way because of the way she was always so tucked and guarded.

  3. Lisa says:

    I don’t see it but ok.

  4. tifzlan says:

    I mean, i see the vague resemblance, but has poor Diana not suffered enough?

  5. Alexandria says:

    Did Diana bite her lip while looking up?

  6. Darla says:

    The height bothers me too. But there is a facial resemblance when you really take a look. Diana was one of the iconic figures of the 20th century, and she had a tragic early ending, so the fascination with her will continue. I don’t really think it’s a matter of not leaving her alone, she’s dead, she doesn’t know. It’s more of a tribute to what a iconic figure she was.

    • Erinn says:

      I see it in the nose and jawline. I also tend to think Kristen is someone who wears makeup well, and I’m sure they’ll be able to make them look similar enough. I’m not a Kristen fan, I’m more or less neutral on her, but I think she has the potential to pull it off.

  7. Seraphina says:

    I was a little girl when Diana was married and I watched and thought: this isn’t Disney, this is real life! While I had stars in my eyes. I will always have a soft spot for her. While I don’t see how she could be cast to play the icon, I’m curious to see how it ends up.

  8. Loretta says:

    I loved Jackie so much so I hope that this will be good. We deserve a good Diana biopic after that fiasco with Naomi Watts

    • xo says:

      We’ll be getting Emma Corrin as Diana in the next season of The Crown. . . .
      It will be interesting to see what they do.

  9. B says:

    She’s a terrible actress.

    • Lady Baden-Baden says:

      Matter of opinion, surely? Unless you’re talking about the Twilight stuff – then I agree she definitely didn’t elevate the (terrible) material! Personally, I thought she was great in Personal Shopper and Sils Maria. And didn’t most people say she was the only good thing about the recent Charlie’s Angels?

      I’ll wait and see with this Diana film. Might be inspired casting for all we know.

      • B says:

        I’ve seen several of her post Twilight films, including Charlie’s Angels, and i still think she’s a terrible actress.

      • Lady Baden-Baden says:

        Like I said – matter of opinion

      • AnnaKist says:

        Ok, ok. Fiiiiine. Looks like I’ll need to settle this.
        She’s a terrible actress.
        End of.

      • FicklePickle says:

        Eh, I’m willing to give the cast of the Twilight movies a pass. Actors do ultimately have to do what the director tells them to, after all, and Bella Swan was a character that was never going to translate well from book to film. Bella Swan exists much as Duchess Kate does, to be a blank slate for the viewer to project themselves upon and imagine themselves in the role.

        Plus, even Michael Sheen’s character was lackluster, and that man is a PHENOMENAL character actor. If even the veteran and consummate professional is flagging, it’s definitely a directorial decision.

    • HK9 says:

      Yeah, she doesn’t have or even want to acquire the acting chops to pull this off

      • xo says:

        (I’m not enthusiastic about this casting decision either, but the incessant criticism of KS is irritating me. She has limitations, we know.)

        She has a silent awkwardness. In the hands of a great director, that could be utilized in the telling of Diana’s story. . .

        Great directors & editors can play with a person’s strengths. If he doesn’t feel he can pull it off with her, he should have passed. Obviously, he has some degree of confidence. . .

        Personally, I think a Diana biopic is a terrible idea. I hated Natalie as Jackie, Naomi as Diana & Nicole as Grace. Actresses inevitably pale in comparison, it’s just the way it goes.

    • Kelly says:

      Agreed. She went from being absolutely dreadful and completely lifeless in Twilight to just being a mediocre actress with a limited range of emotions.

      She’s improved, but she’s still bad.

      • xo says:

        I watched Twilight relatively recently & while I didn’t come away with strong opinions about Kristen either way, the WRITING was shockingly bad.

  10. milliemollie says:

    I don’t see any resemblance and Stewart can’t act.

  11. Harper says:

    Sounds like this is pure fiction about Diana’s life, so why not I guess. He’s getting a lot of attention for the project by casting against type. It appears that the film will portray three days of angst on Diana’s part so he probably did want the biggest lip-biter/deer-in-the-headlights name out there.

    • Prayer Warrior says:

      and besides, maybe she’s sitting down for the whole thing, so the height issue may be moot

  12. Lucy says:

    Casting Stewart is a guarantee it will be a flop. Other than Twilight every one of her movies underperforms. Terrible choice for many reasons.

    • xo says:

      Do you think so? Hmmm. . . .

      Who would you cast, Lucy?

      I’m trying to think. Lucy Boynton isn’t right. Cressida Bonas would stir the pot.

  13. line says:

    Despite the films she made after Twilight, Kristen Stewart still doesn’t convinced not me as an actress. For the simple reason it is that she is not a versatile actress. Each film she offers the same actor’s game: intonation of voice, gestures and facial expressions. So Stewart incarnating Diana in these young years I am totally mistrustful of her potential. Before this projet She not convinced me as Jean Seberg in the film Seberg by Benedict Andrews where I find that she was completely missed the portrait of actress. They should have done as in the series The Crown is looking for a young actress completely unknown to the general public or actresses like Carey Mulligan or Mia Wasikowska.But at the same time Pablo Larrain is a good director!

    • Penguin says:

      Matter of opinions, I guess? Her films post twilight have been interesting, weird and intriguing. Not all great but she wasn’t the problem in most cases. And to mention Mia W. and Carey mulligan after more or less calling k-stew one note is rich. Those two women just play the same characters in every movie just a different time period. Just doing sad girl pouts throughout their films. But I will say I wanna see that new Mia film

      • line says:

        Except that there is a difference between an actor who plays the same type of role with an actor who offers the same actor’s games for each of these roles. This is the case of Stewart who offers the same actor’s games for each of these roles unlike Mulligan and Wasikowska. This is just my opinion about her . I find Stewart to be a terrible actress whose most post-Twilight films are generally bad apart from Still Alice, On the road and Welcome to the Rileys. Personal shopper I was many mixed about this movie.

      • xo says:

        Who would you say are the best young actresses working today?

      • line says:

        If I should have made a list of potential actresses who could interpret Diana are:

        - Elizabeth Debicki
        - Kirsten Dunst
        - Romola Garai
        - Carey Mulligan
        - Jodie Comer
        - Phoebe Waller-Bridge
        - Claire Foy
        - Mia Wasikowak
        - Lucy Boynton
        - Annabelle Wallis
        - Eleanor Tomlinson

        For a young Diana in the 80s
        - Florence Pugh
        - Saoirse Ronan
        - Sophie Turner

        For a Diana at the end of her life in the 90s:

        - Lena Headey

  14. February Pisces says:

    Seriously? Robert pattinson looks more like Diana than Kristen Stewart. There is just no way I think she can pull this off. Naomi watts wasn’t very good either. I’m hoping the girl in the crown pulls it off, from the pics I’ve seen she looks pretty good.

    I don’t think Kristen is a bad actress or anything but she hasn’t really matured outside of her depressed angst grungy tween persona. She’s always seems to be playing herself.

    • AMM says:

      I’ve watched a few interviews with her during the Charlie’s Angels tour and she didn’t seem angsty or depressed. I think she was in a weird spot during her Twilight years and not being herself, but has come out of her shell as an adult. She doesn’t act like she hates fame anymore. And she played a pretty
      Outgoing character in that movie, instead of the usual reserved characters she’s known to play.

      • February Pisces says:

        I’m not saying that ‘she’s’ depressed, but that she’s used to playing that sort of angsty alternative wannabe cool tween role cos that’s kind of similar to her own personality. That sort of part is fine if your a teen or in your early twenties but it’s hard to mature out of that role. All the characters she seems to play have almost the same look and style that she has in her real life. She’s not a chameleon in her roles, so maybe she will surprise everyone by branching out.

  15. Thirtynine says:

    I didn’t enjoy Jackie, but I think that was because I didn’t really know enough about the real Jackie to understand the performance. I liked Diana and I do like Kristen, I like the way she is who she is, and I’d be interested to see her take on it.

  16. ABritGuest says:

    I can’t see Kristin working as Diana& capturing her aura but you never know maybe will be pleasantly surprised.

  17. Jellybean says:

    I remember when my little sister was about 15, she walked past the TV when Diana was on, doing the simpering eyes and hair thing. Diana must have been mid twenties at the time and my sister snapped at her to grow up and that she, as a 15 year old, had got over fluttering her eyelashes for attention ages ago. It made me laugh.

  18. AMM says:

    I feel like Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) should play Diana in something if they keep insisting on making movies about her. She’s got a passing resemblance, can pull off the aristo accent and has a very similar build. Her name was being thrown around for the Crown too.

    I do wonder if her very weak link to Prince Harry and Meghan (via her sister in law) would prevent her from playing her though, out of courtesy.

    • FicklePickle says:

      Oh, no! In acting, personal ties to the story are bonus points in the research, character understanding, and verisimilitude categories, no matter how weak the ties may be.

      Extra bonus points for using a psychic/medium to get the posthumous ‘blessing’ of the person you’re playing or centering the story on.

  19. Becks1 says:

    I don’t see it, at all. I cant imagine KS getting Diana’s voice and accent right.

    I do like the idea of taking a snapshot in time and focusing on that, rather than trying to tell the whole story.

    • Erinn says:

      Ahhh I didn’t even think about the accent! That could be interesting.

      I still think there’s some facial similarity, but the thing is Kristen leans so far into the edgy looks now that I can see why it just seems like a completely bonkers casting choice.

      Part of me just wants to see her kill it, though. Because it’d be so unexpected.

    • Sara says:

      Her “English” accent in Snow White was baaaaad.

      • Diane says:

        Snow white was the worst film I think I have even seen. Kristen as Diana is a no for me….just no

      • Sara says:

        @Diane – I agree. It was so poorly put together. No flow to the story line – it was all over the place. No connection to the characters that I could find. And it got a sequel?!?!

      • Prayer Warrior says:

        @Sara ~ everything you said was the Director’s responsibility, not hers. Alas, we know he was cheating on his wife with her, so I guess distracted??? I can see a very slight resemblance around cheekbones and chin. I’m worried about the accent….will it be better or worse than Kate’s? (sorry, my bad for slag, but whoever taught Kate must NOT be chosen to teach Kristen). This is all my opinion, of course.

  20. CROOKSNNANNIES says:

    I agree K. Stew was not the right choice, but am struggling to come up with my platonic ideal of who should have played her instead. What do y’all think?

    • AMM says:

      I mentioned Sophie Turner in a comment above. Purely based on looks.

    • gemcat says:

      I think Streeps eldest daughter Mamie Gummer could work looks-wise, but she might be too old to play Diana during those years..

      • Prayer Warrior says:

        ooooh, yes, I like Mamie’s work but you are right, she might be too old for the era they are telling

  21. Lisa says:

    Elizabeth Debicki would be my #1 choice to play Diana in a movie. 6’2″, similar facial bone structure, excellent acting chops…she could definitely pull off Diana’s incredible presence.

  22. Cate says:

    Kstew was surprisingly lively and fun in the last Charlie’s Angels. She wore wigs and fun outfits and actually shocked me. So I think she might be able to pull this off if she puts in the work and studies Diana. I also recently watched a movie of hers Underwater, it was the first time she didn’t do a lot of her classic Kstew lip bitey mannerisms (lip biting, wringing her hands together, dead face). She carried the movie and was sexy and fierce. Again, it was quite a surprise. I was like awww my little lip biter is all growed up.

  23. LeonsMomma says:

    KStewart is a charisma vacuum. Even with one note actors or actresses, such as Demi Moore, there is some sort of spark. KStewart has some good agents and PR.

    Agree with Elizabeth Debicki as Diana (and she is a phenomenal actress.)

  24. Jay says:

    I’ve always thought Elizabeth Debicki or Lily James would be good picks for Diana in terms of looks (although I now realize that Elizabeth is Australian), but that doesn’t necessarily mean they can capture her personality.

  25. Lizzie says:

    Every movie about Diana that I have seen has gotten her wrong physically. Usually they use an awful short blond wig and I am out right there. I’m waiting to see the next season of The Crown to see if they do any better casting Diana. Diana wasn’t simply pretty, she was statuesque, had iconic hair always, knew how to wear clothes and was uniquely beautiful.
    As I remember things Diana did not decide to leave, rather she wanted the Queen to allow them to separate. That is quite a different thing and she would have still been HRH.

    • xo says:

      Diana provided grounds for divorce with her Martin Bashir interview. She said she didn’t want a divorce, but she forced their hand, really.

  26. vertes says:

    I don’t see any resemblance. Diana was a big woman. Very tall, large-boned, with bold facial features including a very big nose. Stewart is tiny with delicate facial features.

  27. Poodle says:

    On topic, and yes, it’s a matter of opinion, K Stew doesn’t have the chops to pull off Diana.
    Off topic, I can’t take my peeps off Charles’s frayed sweater.

  28. GR says:

    “Kristen and Diana have similar faces, they really do. That’s why they both look great with short hair.” All sorts of people look great with short hair, no matter their face shape.

  29. Sara says:

    I don’t recall Diana with her mouth constantly hanging open like she’s trying to catch flies. Or reacting to everything like she has seasonal allergies and is trying not to sneeze. Which is what K Stew calls acting.
    ETA: I forgot about all of the lip biting too. Maybe Diana did a bit of that? Is that where they’re coming from in this casting?

  30. Awkward symphony says:

    Omg this is the worst pick to play Diana! There are THOUSANDS of British actresses that resemble her and can do her accent. This will be another huge failure just like the Charlie’s angels reboot

  31. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    This was the worst pick if for no other reason than preconceived feelings for this particular actress. But maybe the choice was made precisely for the conversation lol.

    • FicklePickle says:

      Well, this director DID do the same thing with casting Natalie Portman as Jackie O, guess it’s his party trick. Though that one did turn out rather well, I hear. High hopes!

  32. Kkat says:

    Charlize Theron would be so much better than Stewart.
    But there are many actresses that would be better

    • AMM says:

      I think Charlize is a good ten years older than Diana was at the time of divorce, maybe older depending exactly when this movie supposed to take place.

      • Kelly says:

        I think it’d work. Charlize looks younger and Diana always had a more mature vibe to her.

  33. holly hobby says:

    Hahahahah. That’s all I got. Why do they persist in casting this very milquetoast actress for everything? I know there are great British actresses out there. Use one of them!

  34. shanaynay says:

    GMAFB!!!!!!!

  35. The Recluse says:

    No, just….no.

  36. Jaded says:

    She’s got all the charisma of a cold potato. There are many other actresses who could pull of Diana much more realistically. In any event, can’t they stop with the Diana movies…it does her a disservice.

  37. RedWeatherTiger says:

    Just when we think 2020 can’t give us another crotch-punch, this news drops.

    NO.

  38. Marigold says:

    Why–why on EARTH–would they hire an American actress to portray Diana? I’m an American, and I am sensitive to things like the hiring of British actors to portray American icons. There is something proprietary about that, so I dismiss it, but I feel it here, too. Diana belongs to the UK. Her influence reached the entire globe, and her example and her work benefitted people from many nations outside of the UK…but she and her memory belong to her country. That’s just how I feel about it.

    I wouldn’t trust la Stewart with a part that demanded a regional accent from the U.S. I shudder to consider her attempt at a British one. Sigh. Hopefully, I’m wrong, and she does well. Still. I can’t picture it.

  39. S808 says:

    As if Diana hasn’t suffered enough.

  40. yinyang says:

    Ah…No.

  41. Velvet Elvis says:

    K Stew as Princesa Diana? What a casting joke. She’s incredibly dull, zero charisma and generally just a bad actress.

  42. Ladiabla says:

    Pablo, you a dumb ass. No, no, no. And I’ve seen all the twilight films and the Clouds of Sils Maria. I can buy her as Joan Jett (that seems like more her vibe) but Diana? Bugger THAT. I’m just hoping that the Crown gets it right, I’m excited about their choice of actress for the role. Diana was so loved around the world, and this fool is asking KStew (arguably the most polarizing of actresses) to capture her on film? They must be looking at this as the greatest acting challenge of all time lol. I can totally buy miss artiste thinking that.

  43. Cali says:

    She was good in The Runaways. Even Joan Jett was happy with her casting because she said she and Kristen occupied and moved through space in the same way and have similar energy. But most everything else I’ve seen her in hasn’t been too great. She’s gorgeous in her modeling spreads and all that but this is the worst casting. There weren’t any Brits available?? Or actresses who look similar to Diana?