At first it seemed like being the leading lady of a number one franchise would be too much for Kristen Stewart to handle. On her first round of press for Twilight, she appeared intensely nervous. She was photographed smoking a bong and later incurred the wrath of Twihards with some poor choice of words.

Two movies and a year of press later, Stewart seems a much mellower, well adjusted lady. Maybe it's her Joan Jett hair that projects a more carefree attitude, but her body language is definitely more comfortable, and she speaks with decisive confidence. At least she did in her press conference for the second film's release.

New Moon is the second film in the Twilight saga. This is the one where Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) breaks up with Bella Swan (Stewart) for her own good. Out of her inconsolable depression comes a relationship with Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner). This sets up the Team Edward/Team Jacob conflict for the rest of the series.

A year ago when we talked to you seemed to be a shy, sensitive young actor. How has this past year been for you in terms of this nonstop thing on New Moon?

Kristen Stewart: I think I've gotten a lot more comfortable with talking about myself and knowing that what you say people are really going to take into consideration. That always intimidated me so much that I minced every word that came out of my mouth. I couldn't finish a sentence because I was so concerned about how it was going to sound. I didn't want to come across insincere about something that I really love to do. So I realized that instead of refraining from saying, "I've put my heart and soul into this thing and I love it." That's what I should've said instead of, like the really logical, over analytical reason why I love it. You just do. I've gotten more comfortable with it.

Taylor Lautner is emerging from this movie as a huge star. If you could wipe the slate clean and made a decision, do you really think that she wouldn't have gone with fine, old Jacob?

I know, trust me. I feel you completely.

How do you think Taylor did in the face of controversy going into the movie?

I think that controversy has probably been like made bigger than it was. We needed to be sure that whoever played Jacob was going to be Jacob in New Moon. He's such a different person. He becomes a man. It's not just a physical transformation. He really becomes an adult. I mean I always knew that Taylor could do that but we just needed to make sure because it was so important. So once he actually proved himself which wasn't hard to do, even seeing him walk around on set was like a different experience. He's literally become a different person. He's just grown up. He's so confident and the nicest guy that I've ever met. I know that I'm using this grammatically incorrect but he's the funnest guy I've ever hung out with. So he's great. I'm so proud of him.

These films have come out so fast, one after the other. Can you talk about the intensity of that and also if you think you'll remember all of it in five years?

There's already a lot of stuff that I have to say, "Okay, Kristen, be here. Experience it. Make sure that this isn't another fleeting situation that you're going to barely remember." You have to force yourself to sort of be present but I feel like the fact that I have the opportunity to pick and choose moments that I want to remember and I have to focus on remembering cool moments, that only tells you that I literally have an influx of them. I've had the coolest two years and I'm so lucky.

What's it like to work in Vancouver since you've been there for a while now? Do you have a home, favorite hang outs, what do you like to do there?

I love Vancouver. When we're doing the Twilight series there I don't get to go out as much as I'd like to. I'm also sort of a boring person. I really don't go out to bars and stuff a whole lot unless it's an event. It's a beautiful place to be. I just like being outside there. I don't have favorite spots. The climate is so different from what I'm used to. I don't really have any favorite spots. I really don't.

Did you actually get to ride the motorcycle and if so were you into it and how do you feel about the bike?

I'm definitely never going to be a biker. The idea of riding, I mean I'm scared of cars so the idea of riding a motorcycle is just never going to be something that I'm into. I was towed ridiculously. I was on the back of this truck and I probably looked funny doing it. Taylor rode motorcycles really well. There's this one part that's sort of undeniably him. He rides up and skids. I left that to him. I wasn't about to do that. I don't even think that they would let me necessarily. They would have more faith in Taylor to do that kind of stuff.

Would you ride on the back with a guy though?

Yeah. I did that. I did that and I didn't like it. It's so precarious. I don't know if you've been on one but it literally feels like you're going to fly off of it. I'm not into that.

What's the craziest thing that you've had happen to you with the fans since starting this?

The funniest thing in the world just happened to me in Brazil. I've had a lot of really varying experiences. Some absolutely touching and overwhelming and daunting. Some just like crazy. Then sometimes they're really funny. I was in Brazil and me and Taylor went to Latin America this time and Rob was in Japan. That's just how it goes sometimes. We're sent all over and it means nothing who we're with. This guy was chasing after us. There was a huge crowd anyway but this one very persistent fella was like, "Where is Hobert! Where is Hobert!" I couldn't stop laughing and I felt really bad because he was distraught and emotional and I was like, "It's just Robert." It was really funny. I found that funny. Sometimes you get letters that are sort of reassuring when everybody is saying one thing about you. It's funny when you can actually relate to the fans on a human level and it happens all the time. People assume that's impossible. So when that happens it's the coolest thing.

Has anything scary happened?

Scary? No. I'm scared of crowds but individually no, of course not. Just personally I'm sort of intimidated by a lot of people.

How do you handle all the rumors that you're really dating Robert Pattinson?

It's just sort of the way our world is going. People are obsessed. There's an incredibly large group of people that spend most of their time considering other people's lives. It's strange to me. I can't have anything to do with it or else I step in and mess it up for myself and I can't even do it in a way that is complete. I just let it sort of fall by the wayside and it doesn't really affect me.

Image © PR Photos

You've talked about living in the moment, enjoying it. Is there a memory from the set that you'll always take with you?

The one moment that really [stands out], throughout the filming of New Moon, we wrapped in Italy. The last thing that I did I was running through a square through a bunch of people just around this corner. It was just one little part of that montage where I'm running through. There were so many people around and there was so much energy. You could feel everyone was expecting the done date, that we're almost finished. I can't turn off, I need to fully and completely on up until that very last moment. I remember the second that we wrapped. I said at ComiCon that my favorite moment of New Moon was when we wrapped and people took that the wrong way. It wasn't like I was so glad to be done. It was the most memorable moment for me because I literally fell apart. I literally went [heaves a sigh]. I almost couldn't handle it. It was the coolest experience that I've had on a movie. One of the coolest experiences I've had on a movie so far. Chris [Weitz] was there and it was something that we had together really. I just felt really good and that's the most memorable experience.

Weitz was new to the second film. What has it been like with David Slade on the third film, Eclipse?

It was cool. I've always gotten to do things for really short periods of time. To follow a character this long surprises me every time. I can't wait to do the fourth one because I'm sure that I'm going to come in next year and say that everything I said this time was wrong, that I actually know Bella more now, blah blah blah. And actually we have such established dynamics. The way that I know Bella deals with Edward, you sort of can't mess with that. I know how she deals with him. I know how she deals with Jacob. I know how she deals with Charlie, her dad, and to have people come in and help out that process out is only cooler. You always get a different perspective. So working with David [Slade] was like, "Okay, lets see what you've got to…" because he came up with a lot of stuff that I would've never thought of and he's quite good at the whole technical aspect of movie making which is so completely over my head. So I got to feel safe that he had that handled and me and Rob and Taylor just sort of did our thing.

How do you relate to the idea of being immortal?

I can only relate to that as Bella can because she is still human. I think that's an interesting question for any one of the vampires because they actually [deal with that]. The way that I consider immortality from both my perspective as Kristen and my perspective as Bella is that it's so completely unknown but that given the right motivating factor I'd be willing to explore it. She's very willing to acknowledge that she doesn't know but that she's willing to give it a chance because of Edward, because she's willing to sacrifice anything for him basically. A big thing for Bella is change. She's so terrified of change because she's been thrust into this world. It's not a necessarily very healthy way of looking at things because nothing is going away. I should be at work right now talking to Chris. This is ridiculous. Basically if you're facing something that is completely unknown but you're willing to take everything that is hard about it because of what you might get, that's hope. That's people. That's why we get up everyday. Immortality is almost more scary in our story than mortality. To live forever seems on the surface like a really cool thing but in our story it's terrifying and in our story that means taking your soul or at least to Edward. Like the lines of personal belief and literally theology like your faith, what you think is going to happen after you die, these are things that we think about incessantly in the movie and things that Edward and Bella even argue about. I know that was really everywhere but there you go.

Story/Interview by Fred Topel

Starpulse contributing writer

(Starpulse in Hollywood): Every week, Hollywood's biggest stars are meeting in the hot spots and Starpulse is there.