Why Kristen Stewart Says "Twilight" Is Secretly "Such a Gay Movie"
She starred in the massively popular film series based on the equally popular books.
The Twilight books by Stephanie Meyer revolve largely around a love triangle that includes a regular teenage girl, a 100-year-old vampire, and a werewolf, with fans dividing themselves into Team Edward or Team Jacob, depending on who they wanted protagonist Bella Swan to end up with. Kristen Stewart took on the role in the movie adaptations of the series, bringing the heterosexual relationships between Bella and Edward (Robert Pattinson)n and Bella and Jacob (Taylor Lautner) to life. She even ended up in a real-life romance with Pattinson, which made the films even more of a cultural phenomenon. Years after Twilight was released, Stewart came out as part of the LGBTQ+ community and now says that she sees some queer themes in the seemingly heteronormative story. In a new interview with Variety, the 33-year-old argued that Twilight is actually "such a gay movie."
Stewart, who has identified herself as both bisexual and gay, came out publicly during her monologue in a 2017 episode of Saturday Night Live. But she told Variety that she didn't think it would come as a surprise for much of the public. "It wasn't even like I was hiding," she said. "I was so openly out with my girlfriend for years at that point. I'm like, 'I'm a pretty knowable person.'"
In an interview with the outlet, Stewart reflected on some of her past films and how her queer identity played a role—whether that was knowing how to portray the "heteronormative quality" of a character or picking up on how her true self came across even in roles where her sexual orientation wasn't a factor.
Looking back on Twilight, specifically, Stewart said, "I can only see it now. I don't think it necessarily started off that way, but I also think that the fact that I was there at all, it was percolating. It's such a gay movie." She continued, "I mean, Jesus Christ, Taylor and Rob and me, and it's so hidden and not OK. I mean, a Mormon woman wrote this book. It's all about oppression, about wanting what's going to destroy you. That's a very Gothic, gay inclination that I love."
Elsewhere in the interview, Stewart talked about watching Panic Room, the thriller she starred in with Jodie Foster when she was only 11 years old. The actor said she had avoided watching her younger self on screen, but after a group of friends convinced her, she was able to learn more about herself at that time. She recognized why queer people picked up on her not being straight early on. "I was already going like, 'Don't [expletive] with me,'" Stewart said, laughing. "I was gay."
She also said that she has benefited from becoming practiced at playing straight characters, explaining, "I play that role well. It comes from a somewhat real place—it's not fake." She added, though, that she knows she would be treated differently in Hollywood if she couldn't convincingly step into those roles. "[I]t's [expletive] up that if I was gayer, it wouldn't be the case," Stewart said.
And she's not the only Twilight star who's talked about what the movies have meant to LGBTQ+ fans, even though there are no LGBTQ+ characters in the books or the films. Ashley Greene, who plays a member of Edward's vampire family, talked to Insider in 2022 about audiences who've found the films more recently. (They were released between 2008 and 2012.)
"I guess one thing that has changed is a lot of people have said that Alice was their gay awakening," she said. The actor said that she "didn't get that when the films first came out" but that she "can fully recognize how and why now."
The director of the final two Twilight movies, Bill Condon, is gay and told The Daily Beast in 2014, "I do feel there is a gay sensibility in everything I do, including the Twilight movies. We live in a culture that's more suppressed now, still dominated by the straight male point of view that bristles against that gay sensibility when it's too in evidence or when it feels to them inappropriate."
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