Will Kristen Stewart be a good Princess Diana? Actress faces ‘unenviable challenge’

Kristen Stewart, 30, is set to play Princess Diana in Chilean film director Pablo Larraín’s new biopic movie about the late royal. The film will launch later this year, but promotional photos of Kristen as Diana have already been released.

Two promotional photos of Kristen playing Diana have been released this year.

In the first one, Kristen wore a red blazer with a black silk pussy-bow blouse and a matching black hat.

The hat had a black netting, covering Kristen’s face, but not enough to miss the actress’ green eyes, which were emphasised with strokes of black eyeliner.

Although Diana had blue eyes, Kristen mimics the princess’ usual make-up look, and her outfit in this first photo is similar to the ensemble Diana wore in Sandringham on Christmas Day in 1993.

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Judi gave her analysis on the photo of Kristen, saying: “It’s relatively easy to do a fancy dress version of Diana.

“With her flicked-up hair and her frilled blouses plus her trait of standing with her chin lowered in the signature ‘Shy Di’ pose the cartoon version of the Princess would always be instantly recognisable, but only as a cliché that would never work in an authentic portrayal in a movie.

“The real essence and impact of Diana came from her model height; her self-effacing humour; her huge, expressive eyes and her ability to run through a complete gamut of extreme but contrasting emotions in a matter of seconds.”

Judi added: “The other powerful quality about Diana was her ability to leap right off the page in photographs and on screen. Looking back at her images her charisma is formidable.”

Judi noted that playing the role of Diana would be a difficult task for any actress, due to the late princess’ “complex” non-verbal body signals.

The body language expert said: “Far from being the ‘Drippy Di’ that imitators will often mimic, the real Diana often looked strong, smart, healthy, full of life, funny and even happy once she had taken control of her life.

“I can’t think of any actresses able to really replicate either the appeal or the complexities of Diana’s non-verbal signals and if they do it by studying her interview with Bashir, they will come a cropper, as that version of Diana was a relative one-off.”

Judi here referred to Princess Diana’s famous BBC Panorama interview with Martin Bashir in 1995.

Judi continued: “Kristen has an unenviable challenge in taking on the role of a woman with such powerful body language.

“Even early footage of Diana, like the ill-fated engagement interview, show her signals range from shy to coy to confident, and even slightly reprimanding (her indignant ‘of course’ when asked if it was a love match), to besotted and in love (such as the look of utter silent tragedy after Charles’ ‘what ever in love means’ crass comment).

“None of her expressions stuck like glue, but they all led us through a constant narrative of what was going on in her mind. They were pretty subtle too. Anyone trying too hard to mimic that incredible range of signals would end up looking like pure comedy.”

Judi commented on the second photo of Kristen as Diana, which showed the actress wearing a tartan jacket, cream silk blouse, and even Diana’s iconic sapphire engagement ring.

The actress’ jacket is similar to the tartan coat-dress by Catherine Walker that Diana often wore.

Judi said: “Kristen is a good actress but with a very modern acting trait of understatement. Her wistful still shot in tartan suggests a version of a passive ‘drippy Di’ that was a myth, and hopefully she will be injecting some of the power and the strength and the humour into her actual performance.

“She doesn’t look much like Diana at all to me in these photos and it will be interesting to see how she will capture the oh-so-telling eye expressions and Diana’s visual skills of communicating and bonding with her fans,” Judi added.

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