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For anyone who’s had to watch a loved one suffer with a disease, Still Alice heart-breakingly and realistically shows how it not only affects the individual, but everyone in their lives. Directed by Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland, it is the largely first-person experience of Alice Howland (Julianne Moore, in a stunning performance), a happily married, renowned linguistics professor with three grown children (played by Kristen Stewart, Kate Bosworth and Hunter Parrish), who learns that she has early-onset Alzheimer’s disease and struggles to stay connected to who she once was, as she terrifyingly starts to forget everything around her.
During a conference at the film’s press day, co-stars Julianne Moore and Kristen Stewart talked about trying to understand what it’s like to live with Alzheimer’s, that it’s a disease that’s rapidly gaining ground, how the Alzheimer’s community really feels that they’re close to something meaningful, whether they’ve had any personal experience with the disease, and what they enjoyed about working with each other. Check out what they had to say after the jump.

Question: Julianne, how did you approach portraying this woman, when nobody knows what it’s really like to live with this disease?
JULIANNE MOORE: That’s a great question. Nobody really knows. That, of course, is the great challenge, and that’s what we talked about a lot, when we were working on the movie. This is an unusual project because it’s the first movie I’ve seen that talks about a condition like this, presented completely subjectively, often from her point of view. Generally, we see these stories and they’re from the caretaker’s point of view, or a different family member. This is inside Alice’s experience. So, the only thing I could do was research it. Not that I’m ever going to understand it completely, but I spoke to everyone I could. I started with the head of the Alzheimer’s Association, and I spoke to these different women on Skype that had been recently diagnosed. I went to Mt. Sinai and talked to clinicians and researchers. I took the cognitive test that they give. I went to the New York Alzheimer’s Association and worked with some support groups there and talked to the women there. I went to a long-term care facility. I tried to meet everybody, at every stage fo the disease. They were so generous with their time and information, but I would always say to them, “Can you tell me what it feels like?,” and they would try to explain it. They would say that it’s not always the same, and that you have good days and bad days, and that you can look for a word and reach for it, but have it not be there. We really think about what’s on the inside, and I think that’s why Alzheimer’s is so terrifying to people. They’re like, “Well, who am I, if that’s gone?” So, I don’t know what that’s like, but I got as close as I could. I think we all tried to represent it, as much as possible.

As a culture, we always seem to think we can go out and fix whatever is wrong, but there’s nothing that we can really do to fix Alzheimer’s, at this point. Is this something that concerns you?
MOORE: There was an article in Time magazine that said that women in their 60s have a one in six chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease, which is the same as their chance of developing breast cancer. It’s a disease that’s rapidly gaining ground. The terrifying thing about it is that, once you are diagnosed, there’s very little you can do to alter the prognosis or even the progression. We don’t know anything. We know that there are correlations between brain health and heart heath. There are some genetic markers, but later onset has to do with age. But 30 or 40 years ago, no one knew what to do about cancer. With enough money, time and research, there are so many things that they can do now. People in the Alzheimer’s community really feel that they’re a stone’s throw away from something meaningful.

Kristen, you’re a successful actress who’s been a part of a big franchise, but in this film, you play an aspiring, struggling actress. What was it like to get into that mind-set?
KRISTEN STEWART: One of the greatest struggles of becoming an adult is figuring out what you want to do and what makes you happy. Lydia actually figured it out quite early. The courageous thing is to stick with it and see it through and see if you were correct. I admire her for the same reasons I admire some of my friends who have not achieved what they ultimately would like to, in their wildest dreams. They’re still working for it. I am fortunate enough to have outlet after outlet at my disposal. I still am looking for it, though. With every project, you feel like you’re trying to find your place to vent. For any actor, that’s typically the feeling that drives you to do it. I can relate. If I stopped working tomorrow, I would still have these impulses and feelings to get out, and these questions and desires to explore. I feel that way every time I’m approaching the idea of taking on a responsibility as great as saying, “I’m good enough to be in your movie.” It’s a huge statement to make, and every time I do it, I think, “Is this the right choice?”

Julianne, you play a wife and mother in this film, and you are one, yourself. How do you feel about finding the balance between the two?
MOORE: One of the things about this movie that’s interesting is that you’re meeting a woman at a time when she has achieved a lot. She has been very successful in her career, she has a happy marriage, and she has three kids that she hopes are well on their way to happiness. You really see her at the point where we all feel like we’d like to be. When she’s hit with this news, it’s pretty dramatic and pretty life-altering, for the whole family. I think that’s interesting, just in terms of storytelling. Things can appear to be perfect, or things can appear to be static, but I don’t know that they always are. There’s so much beauty in the movie. In the beginning, you see this beautiful, wonderful family. There’s beauty in watching them transform, in reaction to their mother’s issues and illness, and there’s beauty at the end, when you realize what it’s all been about. We have this discussion of work and family, and how you balance it all, but at the end of the day, isn’t that all there is. That’s what we have. We have the work that we want to do, to express ourselves, and we have the people in our lives that we love. It’s interesting because that’s the kind of stuff of our lives.

Kristen, if you were in this situation, do you think you’d react like your character does?
STEWART: Well, I think that it is easier for a person who lives and indulges in the ambiguity of life, considering Lydia is this artistically inclined person that is not entirely comfortable having the answers. She does not profess to be able to tell you exactly what she wants. What she’s telling you is, “I don’t know what I want, and that is okay. I am traversing that.” I think it’s easier for a child looking at a mother with something that is so undefinable. It’s easier for a child to appreciate and live in the moments. Just because you can’t have a final answer, in terms of how it’s all going to work out, or you can’t call it by a name, it’s still worth living in that potentially wonderful moment. Whereas somebody who wants to map it all out, if they can’t solve it like an equation, then they can’t have it in their lives. I can relate to my character, in that I definitely don’t have the answers, and that’s not even what I’m looking for. I’m not the type of person that just needs to feel concrete and like nothing’s going to change. I revel in the change. It’s not that she’s more apt or has the tools to be emotionally stronger. It’s not strength. It’s just the way people are. Within this story, and within anyone’s reality that might be similar, I hope to god they have someone who doesn’t need the answer and who is just willing to sit there and forget every other sentence, and still enjoy the afternoon.

Have either of you have any personal experience with Alzheimer’s?
MOORE: I have had no personal experience with Alzheimer’s. I’ve been lucky on that score.

STEWART: I’ve never had any personal experience with Alzheimer’s, with a family member or a loved one. I have one story from when I was a kid, at a family friend’s house for dinner. I walked into a room and there was an older lady there, and I had this strange experience. We started speaking, and I very quickly found that there was something wrong. I was little, so I didn’t know what it was, but I was very aware that she was what you say about somebody who might have Alzheimer’s in their older age. I had this exchange with her that just slammed both of us into our bodies and into that moment with such force that you could feel that we were emotionally connecting, and I could see in her eyes that this was precious and that it was going. And then, she asked me where her sister was and I was like, “I don’t know. Bye.” We had dinner, and she was absent from the dinner. She was sitting at the table, but was completely and utterly ignored. I felt like there was no way that the soul of this person, as much as her body and her mind was limiting her, wasn’t singing. She was just not being heard. I remembered that, for a long time. It was the first thing I shared with Wash [Westmoreland] and Rich [Glatzer], when we talked about the script. I don’t judge the family that was ignoring her, at all. I was a kid who was there for 30 seconds. That’s probably not the case. They probably have these connections where they fuel each other and give each other a lot. But what really stuck still-alice-kristen-stewart-julianne-moore-2with me is that people are forgotten, but they’re not lost. Everyone could be so much happier and have so much more to hold. That made me so emotionally invested in this, in a way that I wouldn’t have been, had I not seen that.

Kristen, what was it like to work with Julianne Moore?
STEWART: We’ve known each other for a few years, and I knew that I could play her daughter and have this relationship with her. I’ve probably only spent, cumulatively before this movie, very little time with her.

MOORE: It was time at events, and stuff.

STEWART: But what I found, other than what I expected, that she transcends the technical aspect of what she does, yet she masters it, and actually is able to live and breathe in it. I’m a kid, so it sounds silly for me to speak to this, but I have watched a lot of people do this. I was really fueled by the fact that she really likes to straddle the emotional and spontaneous and scary side with the controlled and prepared side. Once she’s there, she lets herself be there. I love her, and it’s weird to talk about her in a room like this, but I’m candidly and embarrassingly saying, straight up, that if you called her a jerk, we would have serious problems.

I learned a lot. I learn a lot with actors that I don’t think are good. Every experience shapes you. I’ve had experiences with actresses – and I say actresses because there’s just a woman thing – that have achieved what she’s achieved, by means that I can’t understand. When I met Julianne and actually started going through this process with her and was able to observe this monumental task that she has completed, I could fully relate to the way she approaches everything. It made me feel so good. I want to know where we’re being seen from, I want to know every angle, I want to talk to the D.P., and I want to annoy the director, all day, about what the shot list is ‘cause I want to be able to utilize every single half-second that we have to tell the story that we have to tell. That’s fun. I don’t think that that takes anything away from being completely entrenched, involved and lost in a situation. She’s a soulful technician. I’d never seen it, and it makes me feel better about not being the type of person that’s like, “Oh, I don’t even know where the camera is, I just am so in it.” No, she knows. That’s why she’s better than you.

Julianne, how did you feel about working with Kristen Stewart?
MOORE: Either you like a person or you don’t like a person. I don’t have to love somebody to work with them. I’m a professional person. But when you get the bonus of really liking someone and really connecting with them and really enjoying them, it’s a fantastic thing. And I think we felt that as people, as actors and as partners. It’s very freeing. It made it all very, very easy for us.

Kristen, what do you look for, in a character, when signing on for a movie?
STEWART: Most of the work that I’ve done, I’ve been so personally drawn to that I felt that was the most honest way to do it, not only for the good of the project, but for the reason that I am an actor. I have very rarely stepped outside of myself to play a character that I couldn’t fully understand. I don’t know if I’ll ever do that. Maybe one day. I don’t know. There isn’t a specific through-line for the characters that I gravitate towards. I think that you see me in them because I can’t hide that and I’m not trying to. I’ve played a few characters that have been based on real people, and those have been the times that I feel stretched the furthest. But even then, I think the reason I was drawn to those characters was because I felt an unbelievable amount of myself in them, and undiscovered aspects of myself in them, which is more important. I’m not fully interested in just playing things that I know. Of course, I’m comfortable running my hand through my hair in a moment that I get insecure, and that might be caught on film, so you can assign me that affectation for life, and that’s fine. But the reason that that’s happening is because I want to be there and I want to do it. I want to learn why I’m worked up about a project. I want to know why I get this feeling when I read a script, or I get on the phone with a director. I need to live it, so that I can get on the other side of it. Hindsight is 20/20 and I learn something, but in the moment, I am fully there. That’s what I like to do.

Still Alice is out in theaters on January 16th.

– Via – Source


Rama’s Screen
In the film, STILL ALICE, Julianne Moore plays a happily married woman, Dr. Alice Howland, with three grown children. She’s a successful linguistics professor but then she gets diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease which pretty much affected her family. One of her daughters is an aspiring actress named Lydia, played by “Twilight” star, Kristen Stewart. There were scenes in the movie where Lydia talked about her upcoming local theater gigs and she even got to perform one of them, and it was well-received.

I asked Kristen Stewart at the press junket, seeing that she was previously part of a huge vampire franchise, if it was challenging to get back into that aspiring struggling actress mindset for “Still Alice”, knowing that she herself is already this big mega movie star.

“One of the greatest struggles as somebody becoming an adult is figuring out what they want to do and what makes them happy.

I think Lydia actually figured it out quite early. The courageous thing is to stick with it and see it through. See if you were correct. I admire her for the same reasons I admire some of my friends who have not achieved what they ultimately would have liked to in their wildest dreams. They are still working for it. I am fortunate enough to have outlet after outlet at my disposal. I am still looking for them though. With every project you feel like you are trying to find your place to vent. For any actor, that is typically the feeling that drives you to do it.
I can relate because if I stopped working tomorrow, I would have these impulses, these feelings to get out and have these desires to explore. I still can completely relate. I feel that way every time I am approaching the idea of taking on a responsibility as great as saying that I am good enough to be in your movie. It’s a huge statement to make and every I do, I think ‘Is this the right choice?’”
A few years ago, Vulture reported that “Twilight” stars, Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner earned $25 Million for the against 7.5% of the theatrical gross for starring in both parts of “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn.” The three actors also stamped their palm prints on Hollywood walk of fame in front of the legendary Chinese theater. So Kristen Stewart has reached the success that most actors in Hollywood are still dreaming about; a success that has also given Kristen opportunities to now just choose roles that would challenge and hone her skills. This past year alone, in addition to “Still Alice, she also starred in “Clouds Of Sils Maria” and “Camp X-Ray” which I actually found very compelling.

This is an actress who could choose to keep doing big budget movies with big payoffs, but I respect that she instead takes the time to give little movies a fighting chance.

– Via – Source



NBC confirmed that the “Still Alice” actress will appear on the 1/15 edition of “Late Night with Seth Meyers.”

Stewart will serve as the night’s lead interview guest; Andrew Rannells and Phoebe Robinson are also due to appear.

The TV show screens on the NBC network at 12.35am/11.35am CT. Check local listings.

– Via – Source


Here is Kristen’s interview which aired on The Today Show this morning alongside her Still Alice co-star and friend, Julianne Moore


Here is the new DP/30 interview now in full


via – Kristen Stewart has a come a long way since the “Twilight” franchise that launched her fame into the stratosphere. The hit series only wrapped two years ago, and already Stewart has distanced herself from the films that made her name by appearing in a number of smaller projects this year that prove her worth as an actress.

She kicked off 2014 by wowing in the Sundance Guantanamo Bay drama “Camp X-Ray,” soon followed by Cannes where she held her own opposite Juliette Binoche in Olivier Assayas’ latest “Clouds of Sils Maria.” That project drew career-best raves for Stewart, and the goodwill continued when her latest film, “Still Alice,” screened in Toronto where it was swiftly acquired by Sony Pictures Classics for distribution. In the devastating drama, Stewart plays Lydia, a struggling actress and daughter to a renowned linguistics professor (Julianne Moore) struggling with early onset Alzheimers. It’s Moore’s picture, but Stewart leaves a distinct mark as a young woman forced to cope with inevitable tragedy. The film was directed by partners Richard Glatzer and Wash Westmoreland. The former is living with ALS.

Did “Still Alice” strike a chord for you personally? Is there anyone you know who suffered through something similar?
I very fortunately have never experienced that personally. I’ve never had a loved one who has had to traverse the very scary path that one must who is diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. I did have one very formative experience as a young kid with an older lady, a mother of a family friend, who was clearly in a severe state of dementia. In retrospect, I have no idea if it was Alzheimer’s or not, but she was clearly gone. She had clearly lost parts of herself, and what remained was very desperate to connect. I was 12 and I walked into this room and started hanging with this lady, and I soon came to realize there was this lapse, yet there was this really real, almost desperate awareness over the fact she was treasuring these moments because they were about to leave her. Then we had dinner, and everyone at the table ignored her and was treating her as if she didn’t exist, but I had just met her and I had seen her personality, her soul, her presence, her essence – it was all so clear to me. And it was all being taken for granted so much at this table. I remembered this for a long time. I told this story long before I read the script for “Still Alice.” I just couldn’t forget it.

When I read this script and met with the directors, I felt like I had to prove myself that I was worthy to play such a special person, because Lydia is endowed with something that not everyone is in that she can deal, she can focus on the positive and the light and not make things so black-and-white; she can take things for what they are and enjoy them and appreciate them without having to call them a name. She lives in the ambiguity and can appreciate it, and I feel very similar. And it was a perfectly clear test considering Wash and Rich are dealing with something entirely similar and just as grotesquely scary and devastating. With someone with ALS, they just get sort of brushed over and ignored all the time. It’s hard to acknowledge. It’s easier not too. And Rich is the smartest person in the room, so when I met with them and we found ourselves mutually wanting to work together, we knew we had to do it.

I also knew I could do it with Julie [Julianne] because I’ve known her for a couple years. I knew I could be her kid. I just knew that everything was going to be honest and right. We weren’t making anything up, so it would be heavy.

Everyone always asks, “How did this movie change you? What did it give you?” And it gives you in the most basic sense a fundamental perspective. You want to go home and call your mom, or you want to stop being so petty. It gives you this massive jug of perspective.

My biggest fear in life is death, and right up there is losing my memory. I know you don’t play Alice, but was the process of making this film extremely difficult? Or was it a pleasure to make given who you got to work with?
I have to say it was both. I was watching Julie work so hard. The only way someone could pull this off and not be associated with Alzheimer’s is due to them being a sheer genius and just being multi-faceted. You have to have such imagination and the wildest control over your body. One thing that made it easier, and really painful in the most correct way, was to see someone like Julie be so strong and so capable and so vital. The notion that they could ever lose that, because she was also playing someone who was just as impressive as a woman, it made it harder to see Julie go through that because she is what she is. The idea that that could happen to anyone – me, you, someone who you idolize, someone who is entirely in control all the time – it was not acting, it was so real. Anyone, even if you don’t have personal experience with the disease, you have a mom. I have a mom, so I know what that experience feels like. I understand what it would feel like to lose her.

I think also the most important part of the movie is understanding the disease. When you’re young, and this is just dumb but it’s also plain normal, you hear kids saying, “Old timer’s disease,” and it’s just simply not. It’s easer to cast aside and say they’re just old, but no, this is a really ravaging disease and it can happen to someone really young. I was unaware of that. People know about early onset Alzheimer’s, but I didn’t know how common it is. It’s absolutely rampant and easy to ignore, which is a terrible combination. I learned a lot. I’m glad to be a part of something that’s getting that out there.

What are you most fearful of?
I think we’re all pretty afraid of dying and the unknown. But I think the scariest thing about this disease and watching this movie is how alone you are before you die. You’ve lost your life before you’re dead. The idea that I might overlook something in my life and make someone feel that way scares me.

You’ve now worked with two of the best actresses in the business – Julianne Moore and Juliette Binoche (in “The Clouds of Sils Maria”). What did you pick up from working with both ladies?
To be in the presence of people like that who are so talented, even despite age, that’s absolutely going to shape you and motivate you. I loved working with Julie because I felt there was a serious commonality in terms of how we reach our goals in acting. Juliette, on the other hand, just floored me. She achieved this greatness by means that I don’t understand. I love her for that. She perplexes me and she keeps me going and keeps me asking questions. Juliette kind of drives me crazy, whereas Julie has such attention to detail. The way she manages losing herself and finding herself with such precision is like she is a soulful surgeon.

I’m so aware of the camera. I always want to collaborate with the director and the DP and all the other actors. I want to talk about everything too much. But in this case I actually felt affirmed, because we think the same and really approached it the same way. It made me feel so much better because I want to achieve what she achieved. I want to do things that feel undeniably real and un-ignorable. She’s done that because of who she is. I felt such a bond and a friendship there. It gave me confidence. I don’t need to immerse myself so greatly in something where I don’t know where I am. I want to know where I am. The reason she is better than most people is because she has the mind to manage all of it. I admire her for that.

It sounds like in many ways your working relationship with the actresses kind of mirrors the characters you play in both projects. In “Still Alice,” you play Julie’s daughter, so you’re obviously going to share similar same traits. With Juliette, you’re her employee and you look up to her as this mysterious figure of sorts.
Absolutely! It’s as if it was planned.

The character you play in “Still Alice” is an actress, meaning she shares a lot of the same ambitions that you do, and her personal sense of style — and please forgive me if I’m wrong — seems to mirror the one I’ve seen you adopting over these past couple of years. Would you say you share a lot in common with Lydia, more so than any other character you’ve played?
I’ve played a couple parts that have felt drastically different from myself, primarily the parts where I’ve had to play someone who has existed in reality, so people like Joan Jett [in “The Runaways”] and Luanne Henderson [in “On the Road”]. There were certainly elements of those people I could relate to, there were parts of myself that were similar and that I found because of them, but it wasn’t me. It was absolutely a departure for me.

I don’t think I can ever step outside myself fully. It’s not the type of acting I want to do. I’ve been lucky enough to be allowed to do this. Everyone can tell me that I run my hand through my hair too much, and that’s fine because I’m truly there and very present in these moments. With the roles I’ve been playing, especially recently in films like “Sils Maria” and “Still Alice,” the way to do those parts justice is to just really be them and to learn the things they’re learning. You got to walk in their shoes for real and experience what they experience. In that regard, I didn’t feel like I was playing characters. They were so there for me, I just wanted to live in them.

Kids nowadays, we all dress the same. If you’re trying to be an actor and you come to LA, you’re probably wearing skinny jeans and a t-shirt. So I didn’t want to riddle her with shit that was going to distract you from the honesty of the relationship. So it definitely resembles me because I didn’t try otherwise. There was no effort on my part to hide myself [in “Still Alice”]. All I tried to do with this part was to find myself and show myself. The best way to service this character was to be there honestly, so all affectations were meaningless. I could just have my own. It was selfishly a personal experience, but it had to be so that the viewer would feel it as well. I didn’t need to play a character who was outside myself.

The performances that hit most, even if they are craftily designed by someone and executed perfectly, it’s really the soul and honesty that gets across most. My purpose was to support and serve Julie, so I was really just me. I was playing her daughter for real.

Because of that very personal approach you take to the material, the people you play must be hard to let go off once shooting wraps.
Absolutely. Julie and I will now know each other in a way that we wouldn’t have had an opportunity to, and appreciate each other in a way we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to, and appreciate the subject matter in a way we wouldn’t have had the opportunity to. I said before that I didn’t have a personal experience with Alzheimer’s, but now I do. Not to generalize, but more so than most projects, something like this shapes you. I had the beautiful opportunity to stand up to something difficult and we all triumphed and did something positive out of something that is quite dark.


The official movie trailer for Kristen’s movie Still Alice is finally here which you can watch below –


Here is the full video of Kristen from the Still Alice press conference at the press junket in LA yesterday (December 7th)