Los Angeles

Kristen Stewart became the first American actress to win a Cesar at France’s most prominent film awards show Friday. Stewart won best supporting actress for her co-starring role in ‘Cloud of Sils Maria,’ directed by Olivier Assayas and also starring Juliette Binoche and Chloe Grace Moretz. ‘The reasons why people make films here in France are very different from the reasons why people make movies in Hollywood and I prefer it here a little bit,’ Stewart said backstage, talking about the courage of French filmmakers. She also revealed she will star in another French film but declined to reveal any further details. ‘Clouds of Sils Maria,’ in which Binoche plays an actress who agrees to appear in a revival of a play that launched her career 20 years earlier, premiered in Cannes last year and was nominated for six Cesars including lead actress for Binoche, best film and director. Stewart plays Binoche’s assistant in the drama.

Sean Penn was also on hand to receive an honorary Cesar. Watch a video of Stewart’s acceptance speech below. The visibly startled actress gave a little thumbs-up and got a congratulatory hug from Sils co-star Juliette Binoche before making her way to the stage. ‘OK, here we go,’ Stewart began her acceptance speech, nervously unfolding her notes. ‘I can’t even move my hands.’ But then she took a deep breath and even said a few thank-yous in French before proceeding in English, Binoche and director Olivier Assayas smiling broadly at her from the audience.