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Kristen Stewart on Hollywood’s attempts at gender equality: “It feels phony”

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Kristen Stewart has criticised Hollywood’s attempts at promoting gender equality, saying that she thinks “it feels phony”.

Speaking to Porter magazine, she gave her views on the recent efforts to get a higher ratio of female-directed films into production.

“[There’s a] thinking that we can check these little boxes, and then do away with the patriarchy, and how we’re all made of it,” she said. “It’s easy for them to be like, ‘Look what we’re doing. We’re making Maggie Gyllenhaal’s movie! We’re making Margot Robbie’s movie!’ And you’re like, OK, cool. You’ve chosen four.”

Gyllenhall directed her first film in 2021, The Lost Daughter, while Robbie has become a high-profile producer, with credits including Barbie, Promising Young Woman and I, Tonya.

“I’m in awe of those women, I love those women [but] it feels phony,” Stewart continued. “If we’re congratulating each other for broadening perspective, when we haven’t really done enough, then we stop broadening.”

A 2023 study by the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative revealed that only 12.1 per cent of major release films in 2023 were directed by women.

Stewart is currently starring in the romantic thriller Love Lies Bleeding, from Saint Maud director Rose Glass. Produced by A24, it follows the relationship between a gym manager and an ambitious bodybuilder. In a four-star reviewNME wrote: “Rose Glass, who co-wrote the film with Weronika Tofilska, has delivered a brilliant noir packed with those great pulp ingredients: sex, drugs and violence.”

At the Brussels premiere of the film last month, a mass walkout of more than 60 people occurred following a barrage of abusive comments. Screening organisers reported at least three instances of physical violence, with some attendees describing “homophobic heckles and jeers” during the film’s sex scenes, while a scene portraying sexual coercion reportedly “drew applause”.

One attendee, Elina Fischer, described it as “traumatic and horrible”, adding: “We were afraid for our lives, because the kinds of people who say such things during a film screening are the kinds of people who assault us. So we got scared and had to get out.”

Fischer explained the significance of the film and its relation to the incident that unfolded: “This film represents us. It was made for and by our community, so to have our experience ruined by homophobes is terrible.”

At the start of the year, Stewart predicted that the film was “going to shock people” due to its sex scenes.

She also said that she was “turned on” during filming, as it “glorified” the butch qualities that Stewart doesn’t often get to play in roles. “There was something about having the things that I have found attractive be really glorified,” she said. “It was really sexy. And I don’t mean from an outsider’s perspective: I felt turned on by it, and it was cool to have people witness that.”

Stewart has also recently said that she will “most likely never” do a Marvel movie because they are “a fucking nightmare”.

While she clarified she wasn’t opposed to starring in big movies, “because I like people to watch them when I’m in them,” she said the “the system would have to change” for her to be in a Marvel movie.

“You would have to put so much money and so much trust into one person … and it doesn’t happen,” she continued. “And so therefore what ends up happening is this algorithmic, weird experience where you can’t feel personal at all about it. So likely not.”

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NME Original Article

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