Bella Comes Back

An Unbowed Kristen Stewart Returns for ‘On the Road’ Screening

‘Twilight’ star hits the red carpet for her new film in Toronto, looking radiant while facing press and paparazzi for the first time since her cheating scandal broke.

09.07.12 5:25 PM ET

On Thursday night, Kristen Stewart stepped out onto the red carpet of Toronto’s Ryerson Theatre in support of her Toronto International Film Festival dramatic entry, On the Road—and into the full glare of the world press corps for the first time since her cheating scandal broke with blunderbuss force this summer.

In a sheer, form-hugging dress designed Zuhair Murad, and with her hair uncharacteristically swept away from her face, Stewart looked resplendent if somewhat sullen, yet clearly unbowed by her recent controversy. To read between the hemlines, the actress’s message was implicit: “You guys already think that I’m hot to trot, so here you go.”

Even in the face of Twi-hard wrath for cheating on boyfriend Robert Pattinson with Rupert Sanders, the director of Stewart’s summer hit Snow White and the Huntsman, she remained relatively unguarded.

“Kristen, you little bitch!” one Pattinson fan yelled at Stewart, according to the Toronto Sun. (It was unclear if she heard the comment.)

She stayed on-scene to sign autographs for dozens of fans and posed for photos with On the Road co-star Garrett Hedlund, answering a few questions from TV news crews on the carpet. One question: what compelled Stewart to accept a role for which she strips naked, smokes joints, appears in numerous sex scenes, and engages in a threesome for this adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s seminal Beat novel?

In reply, K-Stew managed an oblique joke about her tabloid predicament. “The book laid the groundwork for doing things that seemingly aren’t OK. It’s still OK to be yourself,” she said Thursday, adding with a half-smirk: “I can’t even begin to tell you.”