Kristen Stewart encouraged director Olivier Assayas to take risks

Olivier Assayas is more inspired to push boundaries since working with his muse Kristen Stewart.

Director Olivier Assayas is more confident about taking risks since working with Kristen Stewart.

The filmmaker has teamed up with the 26-year-old twice in recent years, first with 2014 drama Clouds of Sils Maria followed by their new thriller Personal Shopper. After revealing Stewart inspired the writing of his latest tale, about a woman in Paris who can connect with spirits after losing her twin brother, Assayas’ praise for the actress doesn’t stop there.

“I've wanted to make that extra step for a long time, but I suppose that I was intimidated or scared,” he told Slant magazine of moving into the fantastical realm for the thriller. “And I suspect that this leap has to do with meeting Kristen. Working with Kristen has given me confidence to take this kind of risk and try things that I haven't tried before.

"I'm encouraging her to do stuff that she's never done and to show a side of her that people weren't completely aware of," he explained. "But I think she also helps me do things that I wouldn't have done without her.”

Assayas, whose filmography includes French language flicks Summer Hours and Something in the Air, trusts Stewart so much he isn’t afraid to tackle “invisible, abstract emotions” as he believes his American muse can bring them to life. Describing her as “grounded” and “authentic”, the admiring filmmaker and writer notes he can rely on the actress to appeal to audiences through her roles.

Surprisingly, when discussing his approach to shooting features, Assayas revealed he never rehearses with his cast.

“I give the actors a very basic notion of what we're going to do, more or less where the shot begins and where it ends... I give the actors as much space as I can," he smiled.

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