Kristen Stewart Feels ‘Protective’ of Princess Diana as She Prepares to Play Her in Upcoming Film

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Kristen Stewart wants to do Princess Diana’s story justice.

The actress appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Tuesday, where she opened up about her new film, Happiest Season, as well as preparing to play the late Princess of Wales in an upcoming biopic, Spencer.

“It’s hard not to feel protective of her,” she said of Diana. “She was so young.”

Stewart, who was just seven years old when the royal icon died in a car accident in Paris in August 1997, admitted she “didn’t know what was going on” at the time, though she remembers seeing the flowers and mourners that gathered outside Buckingham Palace in the days after Diana’s death.

“I didn’t grow up with her maybe in the same way, I was really young when she passed away,” the actress noted. “I feel sort of the same way about her. It happened really quickly.”

While parts of Diana’s story have been told on film and television several times since her death — most recently in the fourth season ofThe CrownSpencer, from Jackie director Pablo Larraín, will focus on three days of the princess’ short life, as she faces the end of her marriage to Prince Charles while spending Christmas at Queen Elizabeth’s Sandringham estate in the 1990s. (Based on the timeframe, Prince William and Prince Harry would still be young boys in the film.)

“My movie takes place over three days, and it’s this really poetic internal imagining of what that might have felt like rather than giving new information,” Stewart explained. “We kind of don’t have a mark to hit, we just also love her.”

The actress previously admitted that she was finding Diana’s accent “intimidating as all hell” in an interview with InStyle. “People know that voice, and it’s so, so distinct and particular… I’m working on it now and already have my dialect coach.”

She also said she was doing plenty of research for the role, reading multiple biographies and books on the late Princess of Wales.

“It’s one of the saddest stories to exist ever, and I don’t want to just play Diana — I want to know her implicitly,” Stewart said. “I haven’t been this excited about playing a part, by the way, in so long.”

See more on Diana’s on-screen portrayals in the video below.

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