Kristen Stewart cameo brought 'happy energy' to Irma Vep set with Alicia Vikander
Sometimes, while reaching deep into the soul to extract the deepest emotions of the human psyche, you just need a good chat about ottomans.
Alicia Vikander and writer-director Olivier Assayas welcomed Kristen Stewart into the fold for a brief cameo on Monday's Irma Vep miniseries finale, and, despite playing with heavy material, the stars cleansed their palettes with lighter conversation.
"I remember we talked about furniture!" Vikander tells EW, adding that she and the Spencer star were both "finish[ing] up our homes" between shooting, and didn't bog themselves down with analyzing Irma Vep's heavy thematics between takes. "That's a deep subject, I don't know if we really got there. I adore her, she's so cool. I'm an admirer of the work she's done, especially the work she's done with Olivier. It was wonderful that she came and wanted to be part of this little film. She brought a happy energy, and it goes with the sense that Olivier creates in general, being where he is in his career. He just brings super talented, inspiring people that he's closer friends with. It's a communal, friendly vibe every day."
The Oscar-winning Danish Girl and Tomb Raider actress leads the series as Mira, an A-list movie starlet traveling to France to film a remake of Louis Feuillade's 1915 silent film Les Vampires in the role of villainess Irma Vep. The film serves as a meta meditation on Assayas' own career, and itself is a pseudo remake of his 1996 Irma Vep movie starring his ex-wife, Maggie Cheung.
Before boarding Irma Vep for one episode, Stewart appeared in the prestigious French director's 2015 drama Clouds of Sils Maria — for which she won the Cesar Award for Best Supporting Actress — and his 2017 supernatural drama Personal Shopper.
In the series, she portrays Lianna, a pop star romantically involved with Mira's former lover, Eamonn, who's also in Paris to shoot a Hollywood blockbuster. The singer pops by on a break from her world tour after the couple suffers a miscarriage.
"I think that was always what Olivier had in mind," Vikander says of Assayas bringing Stewart aboard, even briefly, as the Twilight performer's own career and personal life reportedly inspired elements of the character of Mira. "He knew it was a small part and they know each other very well, but it was more about writing it though he didn't know if she'd say yes to come and join us."
All episodes of Irma Vep are now streaming on HBO Max. Read EW's full breakdown of the final episode with Vikander.
Hear more on all of today's must-see picks on EW's What to Watch podcast, hosted by Gerrad Hall.
Alicia Vikander stars as an international movie star navigating trippy supernatural happenings and real-life drama while filming a French TV show in Olivier Assayas' remake of his 1996 film.
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