There’s no denying that Kristen Stewart was turned into a pop culture sensation thanks to The Twilight Saga, but before and after playing Bella Swan she was an actress who seemed to enjoy more than anything the idea of playing a wide variety of roles — sometimes the odder, the better.

Before Twilight, she guest starred in a number of TV shows, but then started appearing in films like The Safety of Objects, Jodie Foster’s Panic Room, Catch That Kid, Fierce People, Zathura, In the Land of Women, The Messengers, and Into the Wild.

“Success is always something completely different to people,” says Kristin. “I feel like I’ve succeeded, if I’m doing something that makes me happy and I’m not lying to anybody. I’m not doing that now, so I feel really good about myself. I really, specifically, love acting, and I think it’s a really cool thing to be really indulgent and follow that. I have a lot of ambitions in life, but for the next few years, I just want to be an actor. That’s a lucky opportunity, and that drives me to want to be good at that. There are a lot of things that I don’t care to do, because they wouldn’t do anything for me. You get really excited, but it’s rare when it comes along. The only time I can be confident in something and feel like they shouldn’t be picking somebody else is when there’s a character written and it doesn’t exist yet, and you get that feeling like you need to bring that person to life. That’s when I feel I should do it.”

And while the box office success of a film isn’t the thing she’s most concerned with, she does agree that the success of The Twilight Saga paved the way for a lot of what was to follow in terms of her career.

“It made it so much easier for me to not be gutted every time that a movie I’m in love with is never getting off the ground,” Kristen explains. “I never again have to sit around and wait for a movie to get financing and then get too old for the role or just uninterested and move on from it. I don’t think that’s going to happen anymore and I’m really thankful for that.”

In regards to acting in general, however, she points out that in a lot of ways it’s a bizarre choice for a career: “Other people become their jobs, like a banker, but if someone says, ‘You’re not a very good banker,’ they don’t go home and cry about it. What we do as actors is so wrapped up in who we are as people. It’s not a normal thing to have to get confidence to show you that I’m really insecure. It’s just a strange thing. To say that you don’t read reviews and that you’re not affected and it’s just your job and people can take it for what it is — it’s sort of saying that you don’t care about what you do. And I definitely care about what I do.”

Check out this guide to her different films and you’ll see she’s telling the truth.