In a recent interview with Variety,
out actor Kristen Stewart discussed her thoughts on straight actors
playing LGBT characters.
Stewart stars opposite Mackenzie Davis
in the holiday-themed romantic comedy Happiest Season.
In Happiest Season, Abby's
(played by Stewart) plan to propose to her girlfriend Harper (Davis)
at Harper's family's annual Christmas dinner is interrupted when Abby
realizes that Harper has yet to tell her family that she's gay.
Rounding out the cast are Alison Brie,
Aubrey Plaza, Daniel Levy, Mary Holland, Burl Moseley, Victor Garber,
and Mary Steenburgen.
The film is now streaming on Hulu.
Stewart said that she admired the
movie's director, Clea DuVall, for putting out a film that artfully promotes its message of LGBT acceptance.
“I was so pleased to have been
invited onto something that was, for lack of a better term, hiding
the vegetables,” she said. “Because I don't think we're hiding
shit; it's pretty clear what we're saying.”
When asked about straight actors
playing gay roles, Stewart, who is out, called the topic “a gray
“I think about this all the time,”
said. “Being somebody who has had so much access to work, I’ve
just lived with such a creative abundance. You know, a young white
girl who was straight and only really was gay later and is, like,
skinny – do you know what I’m saying? I so acknowledge that I’ve
just gotten to work.”
“I would never want to tell a story
that really should be told by somebody who’s lived that experience.
Having said that, it’s a slippery slope conversation because that
means I could never play another straight character if I’m going to
hold everyone to the letter of this particular law. I think it’s
such a gray area. There are ways for men to tell women’s stories,
or ways for women to tell men’s stories. But we need to have our
finger on the pulse and actually have to care. You kind of know where
you’re allowed. I mean, if you’re telling a story about a
community and they’re not welcoming to you, then f--k off. But if
they are, and you’re becoming an ally and a part of it and there’s
something that drove you there in the first place that makes you
uniquely endowed with a perspective that might be worthwhile, there’s
nothing wrong with learning about each other. And therefore helping
each other tell stories. So I don’t have a sure-shot answer for
about playing gay, Viggo Mortensen answers: You're assuming I'm
“I will say, Mackenzie is not
somebody who identifies as a lesbian. She was the only person in my
mind that could have played this with me. Sometimes, artfully
speaking, you’re just drawn to a certain group of people. I could
defend that, but I’m sure that somebody with a different
perspective could make me feel bad about that — and then make me
renege on everything I’ve just said. I acknowledge the world that
we live in. And I absolutely would never want to traipse on someone
else’s opportunity to do that – I would feel terrible about
“So my answer is fucking think about
what you’re doing! And don’t be an asshole,” she added.