That struggle to have some space is tougher since she became famous, but it's always been a theme of Stewart's life – and it put her on a collision course with classmates at school when she started doing movies as a pre-teen.
"I didn't walk around talking about doing movies," says the Twilight star, 20, "but then someone saw an old movie I was in, [2001's] The Safety of Objects, and realized that the little boy in it [she played a tomboy] had grown up into this girl – me. And then I got a lot of, 'She's such a bitch!' And yet most of these kids had never even spoken to me."
Stewart says she was glad to leave school. She was missing a lot of classes and getting failing grades, and her interactions with her peers didn't improve.
"I couldn't relate to kids my own age," she says. "I have felt that I should have been an adult since I was aged about 5. I remember when I turned 18, everyone asked me if I felt more mature, but I felt the same as I always did. Juggling work and school, and helping my mother; I've always had a lot of responsibility."
And she continues to have a temperamental streak. In the Telegraph interview – which coincides with last week's U.K. release of her Joan Jett biopic The Runaways – Stewart once again relates her exasperation with Hollywood's attempts to package her.
"When I did the first Twilight movie, they were like, 'Now you have to go and do media training,' " she says. "And I was like, 'Screw you! Do you think you are going to wrap up all my little insecurities and throw them out the window? Do you think you are going to put soundbites in my mouth? I'll do your course, but that's not going to happen.' "