Happiest Season star Kristen Stewart is playing the beloved British Princess Diana (Spencer) in the biopic Spencer from Pablo Larraín, who directed the critically acclaimed 2016 Natalie Portman starrer Jackie. Principal photography has begun and now there is a first look at Stewart's uncanny interpretation of Princess Diana.
"Spencer is a dive inside an emotional imagining of who Diana was at a pivotal turning point in her life," Stewart said in a release from Neon.
The story will follow Larraín’s style of biopic as in Jackie and Neruda (2016), which tends to focus on a point in time rather than a sweeping survey of the subject’s life. While Jackie depicted the first lady as she grappled with her husband’s assassination while dealing with affairs of state, Spencer will examine a short time in Diana’s life over the Christmas holidays when she considers leaving her marriage to Prince Charles.
In 2015, Stewart won the Cesar (the French equivalent of the Oscar) for her work opposite Juliette Binoche in Olivier Assayas’s Clouds of Sils Maria (2014). She also received critical acclaim for her lead role in Assayas’s 2016 modern ghost story Personal Shopper.
Taking on the role of Princess Diana is the third time Stewart has starred in a biopic. She played the queer literary sensation Savannah Knoop opposite Laura Dern in JT Leroy (2018). In Seberg, released last year, Stewart played actress Jean Seberg, whose career took off when she starred in the French New Wave classic Breathless. Later in life, she became a target of the FBI for her work with the Black Panthers.
This past Christmas, Stewart starred in Clea DuVall's queer holiday rom-com Happiest Season along with Mackenzie Davis.
The script for Spencer is penned by Steven Knight, who wrote the screenplays for David Cronenberg’s Eastern Promises and Stephen Frears’s Dirty Pretty Things. Larraín’s director of photography is Claire Mathon, who worked on Celine Sciamma's acclaimed Portrait of a Lady on Fire.
Production for the film that centers on Diana's time at the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk at the time she decides to leave Prince Charles is taking place in Germany and the U.K. It is expected to be released this autumn.