If you can believe it, only two years have elapsed since Kristen Stewart debuted in the first "Twilight" film and instantly became one of the most famous starlets in the world -- the kind of person rabid fans aged 14 and 34 alike scream for when they're not busy begging Taylor Lautner to take off his shirt.
As such, we've watched Kristen's awkward attempts to cope with -- and shrug off -- the heat of this spotlight, with varying degrees of success. At long last, during the pre-"Eclipse" junkets and appearances, she finally seems to be putting it all together.
Here's our list of five things Kristen Stewart is doing right this time:
At past premieres, Kristen's go-to stance was hand-on-hip impatience, coupled with a wry scowl and a dark look in her eyes that appeared to say, "As soon as I get back to my room, I'm introducing my Bella Swan voodoo doll to some very sharp knives."
We sympathize with not knowing what to do with your body, but as an actress, Kristen should at the very least know what to do with her face. Finally, she seems to have learned, deploying an array of either genuine or at least convincing grins that still bear a hint of her trademark bashfulness, but without the accompanying gloom. It makes a huge difference.2) Bathing
We know Kristen's 2009 raven mullet was for her role as Joan Jett in "The Runaways," but that's no excuse for showing up at events looking like she styled it with Crisco and beer. (And is it just us, or did that take a long time to grow out?) In recent months, though, Kristen seems to have gotten the message that dirty isn't all that flattering, and that a layer of polish adds sophistication to her edgy fashion choices.
Kristen didn't help herself much during previous junkets, like when she first appeared on David Letterman's show and came off very flat in an interview that Dave openly mocked. Fast-forward to the other night: Kristen showed up to "The Late Show" armed with anecdotes about travel and personal photos, willing to share of herself. While you could see he still makes her nervous, she tried so hard, and it's not her fault Dave wouldn't meet her halfway.
The kid gets points for making an effort. (And Letterman gets dinged for not playing along. The guy's cordial on the regular to Paris Hilton, for Pete's sake. At least K. Stew has a job.)
4) Working It
It's a sign of Kristen's increased public confidence that she's fallen into the habit of appearing in a series of serious minis -- not so micro as to be unhygienic, mind you, but micro enough to show off her legs (see above). There's no sin in tastefully flaunting it while you've got it. In fact, we're pretty sure it's one of the prerequisites of being a movie star.
5) Admitting the Romance
The last few press tours were shrouded in romantic rumors about Kristen and co-star Robert Pattinson. Everybody asked about it, the world gawked, and the paparazzi stalked them for intimate shots either with each other or anybody else -- to the point that it clearly weirded out Kristen, Rob and the rest of the cast.
But now the twosome has gone public, finally, and the stress of hiding -- and coming up with new coy denials and vague non-answers -- has lifted. The question is answered, and we think it's a big part of why Kristen can relax and try to enjoy herself instead of waiting for a bullet to dodge. Also: What's up with the denials in the first place? He's Cedric Diggory, child. BRAG.