Kristen Stewart hits back at right-wing trolls triggered by jockstrap shoot

PARK CITY, UTAH - JANUARY 20: Kristen Stewart attends the "Love Lies Bleeding" Premiere during the 2024 Sundance Film Festival at Eccles Center Theatre on January 20, 2024 in Park City, Utah. (Photo by Matt Winkelmeyer/Getty Images)

Kristen Stewart has hit back at right-wing trolls whining about her recent Rolling Stone cover shoot with a cutting assessment of why they find it so triggering.

On Sunday (18 February), at the Berlin Film Festival, where her new film Love Lies Bleeding screened, who Twilight star Stewart took a moment to defend the shoot.

The arrestingly queer photos were a hit among the queer community, with shots of Stewart in a jockstrap sending sapphics into a tailspin. 

But, of course, the images sent right-wing bigots into a frenzy, as they accused both Rolling Stone and Stewart of pushing “queer and non-binary ideology,” as reported by the publication.

At the festival, Stewart expertly dissected why the images might make some small-minded uncomfortable, in lines picked up by The Hollywood Reporter.

“The existence of a female body thrusting any type of sexuality at you that’s not designed for exclusively straight males is something people are not super comfy with and so I’m really happy with it,” she said.

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“It’s okay to take different pictures and mix them up in a way that people aren’t used to and want to go and that’s okay, too.”

Reacting to conservative outrage, Stewart defended queer self-expression, stating: “In fact, it’s pervasive and it’s everywhere and it’s being denied and it’s crazy that there aren’t more pictures like that. I loved the opportunity.”

Stewart’s next role is in queer romantic thriller Love Lies Bleeding, which has already been receiving rave reviews.

Set in the late 1980s, the film follows reclusive gym manager Lou (Stewart) who meets – and falls hard for – ambitious bodybuilder Jackie (Katy O’Brian) who has just rolls into Lou’s sleepy Nevada town on her way to a bodybuilding competition in Las Vegas. 

The film’s synopsis notes that was the pair’s passionate relationship heats up “their love ignites violence, pulling them deep into the web of Lou’s criminal family”.

Love Lies Bleeding arrives in UK cinemas on 19 April 2024.