"I would never cheapen my relationships by talking about them," Stewart, 20, tells Elle for its June issue. "People say, 'Just say who you're dating. Then people will stop being so ravenous about it.' It's like, No they won't! They'll ask for specifics."
So, whether those specifics include Twilight costar Robert Pattinson, she's still not saying publicly – all part of a strategy to give herself some space in a world that won't leave her alone.
"Somebody knocked on my hotel room door and asked for a light, then said that they were a big fan," she recalls. "I was like, 'Do you really need me to light your cigarette? How do you know what room I'm in?' I can't be by myself and I like being by myself."
If she looks miserable in the public eye – on red carpets, for instance – it's because of this trapped feeling in the unpleasant heat of the spotlight. "It's not that I'm miserable, it's just that somebody's yelling at me," she says. "I literally, sometimes, have to keep myself from crying. … It's a physical reaction to the energy that's thrown at you."
And don't even get her started on the paparazzi. "It's insane!" she says. "Once somebody finds out, you have to get the hell out of wherever you are. People freak out. And the photographers, they're vicious. They're mean. They're like thugs. I don't event want to drive around by myself anymore. It's [expletive] dangerous."