Kristen Stewart on Love Lies Bleeding’s sapphic sex scenes: ‘Without that dynamic, nobody would have c*m’

Kristen Stewart (right) has spoken about intimate scenes in Love Lies Bleeding (A24)

Kristen Stewart has opened up about the sapphic sex scenes in her new film Love Lies Bleeding, explaining that the raw sexual subtext was essential for believable on-screen intimacy. 

The bodybuilder romance thriller has already received rave reviews following its world premiere at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival on Friday 20 January. Critics praised the lead actors’ “cracking chemistry”, dubbing the movie a “hallucinatory trip down the darkest byways of Americana”. 

Directed by Rose Glass of Saint Maud fame, Love Lies Bleeding’s tagline describes it as a “romance fuelled by ego, desire and the American Dream”. 

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

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

Now, the Spencer star has opened up about fostering on-screen intimacy with co-star O’Brian, explaining that there’s more to the sapphic sexual moments between Lou and Jackie than “physical manoeuvring”. 

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“It’s not about [showing] simulated sex on film,” she told Them Magazine. “I’m so embarrassed by that. I’m so sick of watching it. I’m so sick of doing it.”

“The ways that you let the person you’re with either take over or be consumed, those were choices, and they were very articulate, yet nonverbal decisions that we made together,” she said of the sex scenes with O’Brian.

“And without that dynamic, nobody would have cum. Literally, you could almost take the body out of it. You could tell me the right thing, and that’s what’s going to get me there. Tell me I am something to you. Tell me I can be taller than you, even though I’m 5’5”, and you’re f**king 5’10”, and I’m there.”

Love Lies Bleeding is out now in cinemas in the US and Australia. It is set to hit cinemas in the UK on 3 May 2024.