Kristen Stewart says the era of queer films only being about queerness is ‘done’

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)

Love Lies Bleeding star Kristen Stewart has emphasised that it’s no longer enough for queer stories and films to focus solely on their queerness, and that LGBTQ+ media shouldn’t just be about racking up ‘brownie points’.

The film, which has been previewed to rave reviews by critics and is directed by Rose Glass, features Kristen Stewart as Lou – a bodybuilding coach who falls in love with one of her ambitious weightlifters, Jackie (Katy O’Brian).

Speaking at the Berlin Film Festival on Sunday (18 February), Stewart said:

“We can’t keep doing that thing where we tell everyone how to feel and where we sort of pat each other on the back and receive brownie points for providing space for marginalized voices, and only in the capacity that they are allowed to speak about that alone,” as reported by NBCNews.

She then added: “The era of queer films being so pointedly only that is done.”

The official full plot synopsis of Love Lies Bleeding – the first screenings of which caused “visceral” reactions – is as follows: “In the 1980s, a reclusive gym manager Lou falls hard for Jackie, an ambitious bodybuilder headed through town to Las Vegas in pursuit of her dream. But their love ignites violence, pulling them deep into the web of Lou’s criminal family.”

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Speaking about the film, the Twilight actor said that Lou’s story is so magnetic to viewers specifically because the character is usually far from the spotlight.

“The person who we normally don’t listen to, the person that we normally don’t look at, like she’s up front and centre in her (Glass’) movie,” she said during a panel at the same event.

“I’m really kind of into the idea of unearthing sidelined perspectives, and not making it all about the reasons that they’re sidelined, but (about) their actual experience.”

Stewart’s publicity trail for Love Lies Bleeding has already sent sapphics into a tailspin, including a jockstrap-clad cover shoot for Rolling Stone magazine.

As is custom, she was then forced to hit back at right-wing trolls, saying:

“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,” as reported by The Hollywood Reporter.

“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.”

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

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