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Kristen Stewart on Working With Nicholas Hoult in ‘Equals’: ‘It Was About Breaking Down Barriers’

Drake Doremus’ sci-fi romance “Equals,” which follows two forbidden lovers on their journey to find freedom in a futuristic society that prides itself on having eradicated emotions, had its emotional L.A. premiere at ArcLight Hollywood on Thursday night.

The film, which stars Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Hoult, along with Jacki Weaver, Aurora Perrineau and Tom Stokes, bowed at the Venice International Film Festival last year.

“I was never really a sci-fi nerd, but I was always fascinated with the genre,” Doremus said. “I thought it was an interesting landscape to set a love story and try to doing something warm. Most sci-fi films to me are very cold and very distant and I wanted to make something that was the opposite of that.”

Stewart and Hoult complimented Doremus on his unique approach to helping spark chemistry between the onscreen lovers during rehearsals. “It wasn’t about learning lines,” Stewart said. “It was about breaking down barriers and getting to know each other.”

Hoult still found many complexities in playing a character that “isn’t meant to feel” and “understanding how that changes throughout the movie.” “It’s kind of like these characters have been alive and know how to do everything a human knows how to do, but they don’t feel,” he said. “So, it’s like a baby feeling emotions for the first time, but not knowing how to process them.”

A24 and DirecTV acquired U.S. rights to “Equals,” which is set for a July 15 theatrical release.

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