With her Balenciaga ads, Chanel campaign, and Tinseltown superstardom, Kristen Stewart is taking a cue from Angelina Jolie and stepping behind the camera. The Twilight alum is making her directorial debut with a music video for country group Sage + The Saints as part of Buffalo David Bitton’s Blank Check Series. The initiative, now in its third installment, couples cultural innovators with funding to “embark on a new creative journey.”
“I’ve been saying I want to direct movies since I was 10 years old,” Stewart told Rolling Stone from the New Orleans set of her new comedy American Ultra. “And then I started making movies and working with such incredible people that I realized what I was up against.”
Stewart added that it took some convincing from The Saints’ eponymous lead and friend Sage Galesi to charter the new creative front and face the challenge of being the one in charge.
“As an actor, your job is to lose yourself in the moment,” Stewart said. “Losing yourself is the last thing you want to do as a director, so it goes against my instinct. I had to harness my energy rather than let it explode all over the set.”
She had help from co-director David Ethan Shapiro and cinematographer James Gallagher to execute the project, a documentary-style clip for Galesi’s “Take Me to the South,” shot in Nashville, Tenn. The video, which Galesi says Stewart perfected by not “over-directing,” follows the singer as she performs and hangs out with friends in the country music capitol. As for Stewart’s newfound stake behind the scenes, there’s more to come.
“I definitely need to take a break and reorient my mind, because if I’m going to put that much time in, it needs to be something I’d die for,” she told the glossy. “There’s a couple of shorts that I’ve written that I want to do really badly. I’ll probably move forward and f___ up a few times… A director is only as good as the people they work with. I gotta figure out who my boys are!”
Watch Stewart work on the video below and mark your calendar for its world premiere on May 28th: