The gaze. The head tilt. The uneven shoulders. Kristen Stewart embodies the late Princess Diana in “Spencer,” a biopic about a weekend in 1991 when the British royal decided her marriage to Prince Charles wasn’t working.
The “Happiest Season” star has transformed into the former Lady Diana Spencer for the Pablo Larraín-directed film. And judging from Wednesday’s first look, the actress is again proving her chameleonic abilities and clapping back at naysayers who were not amused by her casting over the summer.
It’s a testament to the film’s creative team, namely its costume and makeup departments, headed by Jacqueline Durran (2019’s “Little Women”) and Wakana Yoshihara (“Murder on the Orient Express”).
“’Spencer’ is a dive inside an emotional imagining of who Diana was at a pivotal turning point in her life,” Stewart said in a statement. “It is a physical assertion of the sum of her parts, which starts with her given name; Spencer. It is a harrowing effort for her to return to herself, as Diana strives to hold onto what the name Spencer means to her.”
Joining the “Twilight” alum in the biopic are actors Timothy Spall (“Mr. Turner”), Sally Hawkins (“The Shape of Water”) and Sean Harris (“Mission: Impossible — Fallout”).
Principal photography has begun on the independently produced film, which is set in December 1991 and focuses on a Christmas weekend at the royals’ Sandringham estate in Norfolk after Diana and Princess Charles’ marriage has grown cold and rumours of affairs and divorce abound.
Larraín’s film is written by “Peaky Blinders” scribe Steven Knight. It is currently filming in Germany before moving production to the UK “Spencer” is expected to debut in the fall, ahead of 2022’s 25th anniversary of Diana’s tragic death.
The film has already hit a few PR snags, causing a dust-up with Stewart’s initial casting announcement in June. Then in November, it put out a casting call for actors to play Diana’s eldest son, Prince William, which said British actors need not apply for the role “due to new Brexit rules from January 1st 2021.”