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Kristen Stewart on playing Princess Diana: 'It's hard not to feel protective of her'

By Heather Cichowski

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Kristen Stewart is set to play Princess Diana in Chilean filmmaker Pablo Larraín's forthcoming film, Spencer.

Portraying the People's Princess is no easy task, and as she delves into the role, the actress has opened up about some of the challenges of getting into character, including the accent.

During a recent interview on Jimmy Kimmel Live, Kristen talked about how she's become emotionally connected with the character, saying she feels "protective" about Diana.

Jimmy Kimmel asked the 30-year-old what it must be like to take on a part of a real person who is so admired and so well-known from photographs.

Kristen Stewart on Cooking in Quarantine, Playing Princess Diana & New Movie Happiest Season

"It makes me stand at attention in the best way," she replied.

When Diana tragically passed away just 36 years old in 1997, Kristen was very young. She said she didn't fully realizing the magnitude of that tragic event, along with Diana's importance in general. But she said she remembered seeing all of the flowers from people in mourning, which were piled up in droves outside Kensington Palace.

"It’s hard not to feel protective of her," she continued. "She was so young."

The former Twilight star also shed some light on the movie's plot. It's been reported the film will delve into the breakdown of Diana's marriage to Prince Charles and focus on a three-day period in the early '90s during one of the princess's final Christmas holidays at Sandringham.

Kristen confirmed Spencer does look at a three-day period and it's a "poetic, internal imagining of what that might have felt like rather than give new information."

Do you see the resemblance? Photos: © Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic and Jayne Fincher/Princess Diana Archive/Getty Images

The actress also revealed she goes to sleep listening to Diana's voice to help master it. She also imagines she will "have help" creating Diana's iconic hairstyles because she doesn't think it would be possible to create the shapes with her own hair.

MORE: Emma Corrin on the pressure of playing Princess Diana on 'The Crown'

Kristen was on the late night talk show to chat about her new holiday film, Happiest Season, which also stars Dan Levy, Mackenzie Davis, Alison Brie, Aubrey Plaza, Victor Garber and Mary Steenburgen.

The holiday rom-com is directed and co-written by Clea DuVall. It stars Kristen as Abby. Her character is planning to propose to her girlfriend Harper (Mackenzie) over the holidays, but Abby discovers her love has not come out to her family and they don't know about their relationship.

Kristen said Happiest Season was shot in January before COVID-19 lockdown.

"I feel so lucky that we had such a nice group-oriented movie before we all went inside," she said about the coronavirus pandemic, "because I think in the moment I was totally taking it for granted."

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