Kristen Stewart Nabs Small Part In Olivier Assayas' Irma Vep Series For HBO

Kristen Stewart and Olivier Assayas: together again. Stewart, who appeared in the Assayas films "Clouds of Sils Maria" and "Personal Shopper," will reunite with the filmmaker in the upcoming "Irma Vep" TV adaptation. We don't know who Stewart is playing, and her role is reportedly "small," so don't expect anything too elaborate. Still, news of Stewart and Assayas getting together again is worth reporting. The series, which is coming from A24 and HBO, is based on Assayas' 1996 film of the same name, which starred Maggie Cheung as a fictionalized version of herself. This new take on the material will star Alicia Vikander. The story concerns an actress who comes to France to star in a remake of the French silent film "Les Vampires." 

Irma Vep: The TV Series

Olivier Assayas directed Kristen Stewart in two of her best performances – personal assistant Val in "Clouds of Sils Maria," and personal shopper/ghost hunter Maureen in "Personal Shopper" – so the prospect of director and actress working together again is exciting. A new profile on Stewart in The New Yorker has revealed that she'll have "a small part" in the upcoming TV adaptation of "Irma Vep." And that's really all the info we have! Will it be a cameo? Will Stewart be playing a character or a fictionalized version of herself? Who knows! We'll see!

The TV adaptation is being written and directed by Assayas, who also helmed the film of the same name in 1996. This new take stars Alicia Vikander, Adria Arjona, Carrie Brownstein, Jerrod Carmichael, Fala Chen, Devon Ross, Byron Bowers, and Tom Sturridge, and has the following synopsis: 

Irma Vep will revolve around Mira (Vikander) an American movie star disillusioned by her career and a recent breakup, who comes to France to star as "Irma Vep" in a remake of the French silent film classic, Les Vampires. Set against the backdrop of a lurid crime thriller, Mira struggles as the distinctions between herself and the character she plays begin to blur and merge. Irma Vep reveals to us the uncertain ground that lies at the border of fiction and reality, artifice and authenticity, art and life.

What Is Irma Vep?

Released in 1996, "Irma Vep" features international star Maggie Cheung as herself as she heads to France to star in a remake of Louis Feuillade's silent film serial "Les Vampires." This set-up is used to drop us into the dysfunctional world of the film's production. Here's the official synopsis: 

Washed-up French director René Vidal (Jean-Pierre Léaud) hopes to turn his career around with an update of "Les Vampires," a silent-era masterpiece about a notorious ring of thieves, led by crafty female crook Irma Vep. René brings in Chinese star Maggie Cheung (Maggie Cheung) to play Vep, but unexpected roadblocks arise on the set. Maggie doesn't know French, she's pursued by obsessive lesbian crew member Zoe (Nathalie Richard) and her character's criminal ways begin to rub off on her.

I'm not entirely sure we need to transfer this story to TV, but the fact that Olivier Assayas is writing and directing the TV remake gives me hope. In any case, if you've never seen "Irma Vep," I urge you to check it out. It's currently streaming on both The Criterion Channel and HBO Max.