Kristen Stewart isn’t afraid of messing up anymore. In an open and honest interview for InStyle magazine with her “Happiest Season” director, Clea DuVall, the actress with more than 40 films under her belt discusses queer representation, artistic freedom, and how she’s found her own path forward.
On representing what she stands for: “The first couple of times I played queer characters, I was not [openly] queer yet. I’m drawn to stories and people for a reason, and I think, by default, I represent what I stand for. I do think it’s important that we step into different roles and into other people’s shoes in order to really expand ourselves, albeit not ever taking up space for people who should be telling their own stories.”
On the pressure of dating in the public eye: “The first time I ever dated a girl, I was immediately being asked if I was a lesbian. And it’s like, ‘God, I’m 21 years old.’ I felt like maybe there were things that have hurt people I’ve been with. Not because I felt ashamed of being openly gay but because I didn’t like giving myself to the public, in a way. It felt like such thievery. This was a period of time when I was sort of cagey. Even in my previous relationships, which were straight, we did everything we could to not be photographed doing things—things that would become not ours. So I think the added pressure of representing a group of people, of representing queerness, wasn’t something I understood then. Only now can I see it.”
On her new film Happiest Season: “It deals with very poignant things that, for me, are extremely affecting and triggering—even though now the word ‘triggering’ triggers me more than anything in the whole world. [laughs] But the movie is so funny and cute, and I loved the couple. They’re both people I really felt protective of in different ways, because I’ve been on both sides of that dynamic where someone is having a hard time acknowledging who they are and the other person is more self-accepting. I [personally] came into the more complex aspects of myself a little bit later. I never felt an immense shame, but I also don’t feel far away from that story, so I must have it in a latent sense.”
On filming the Twilight franchise so young: “I was a kid. I definitely was never like, “OK, I’ve got this franchise on my back.” If anything, that is an outsider’s perspective, which is one that I can share with you only now. Then, I had no idea.”
On what a typical pandemic day is like: “I walk my dogs and take walks with people. I feel horrible about the state of the world, so I’m donating money—but I’m not marching, and I’m feeling weird about it. I’m a frustrated optimist. I’m always thinking, ‘It can’t be as bad as this.’”
[Photo Credit: Olivia Malone for InStyle Magazine]
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