Kristen Stewart claims she was told to hide her sexuality to better her career
On the eve of her Hollywood comeback, Kristen Stewart has opened up about the challenges that come with being a queer woman in film.
As she gears up for the release of Charlie’s Angels – her first blockbuster role since the Twilight series – Stewart recalled being warned off going out in public with her girlfriends.
“I have fully been told, ‘If you just like do yourself a favour, and don’t go out holding your girlfriend’s hand in public, you might get a Marvel movie,'” she told Harper’s Bazaar.
Over the years the actor has faced intense media attention on her sexuality and her relationships with both women and men (she has been linked to Stella Maxwell, St Vincent and, famously, Robert Pattinson).
She said that having initially struggled with the attention, she learned to live with it.
Don’t go out holding your girlfriend’s hand in public, you might get a Marvel movie.
“I think I just wanted to enjoy my life,” she explained.
“And that took precedence over protecting my life, because in protecting it, I was ruining it.”
Kristen Stewart doesn’t label her sexuality.
Though Stewart is often described as bisexual, she prefers not to label herself, something she said took her a while to realise was even possible.
“I was informed by an old school mentality, which is – you want to preserve your career and your success and your productivity, and there are people in the world who don’t like you, and they don’t like that you date girls, and they don’t like that you don’t identify as a quote unquote ‘lesbian’, but you also don’t identify as a quote unquote ‘heterosexual’.
“And people like to know stuff, so what the f*** are you?”
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She now feels comfortable being seen as a trailblazer for sexual fluidity, something she says has, in recent times, come to feel like an asset.
“I just think we’re all kind of getting to a place where – I don’t know, evolution’s a weird thing – we’re all becoming incredibly ambiguous,” she said. “And it’s this really gorgeous thing.”
Having experienced early success as a child actor (she starred in Panic Room opposite Jodie Foster aged 12), Stewart was catapulted into the spotlight by the Twilight films.
After the series concluded in 2012, she began to concentrate on smaller indie films with complex characters and sometimes difficult subject matters.
In 2012 she portrayed the gender fluid artist Savannah Knoop in JT LeRoy, telling the true story of how Knoop spent six years masquerading as their sister-in-law’s nom de plume, the titular LeRoy.