Just like the character she plays in “Seberg,” Kristen Stewart is fearless about voicing her political opinions, and also feels at ease with her celebrity, she said Friday at the film’s Venice presser.
The political thriller, directed by Benedict Andrews, is inspired by the real life of American actress Jean Seberg, the star of Jean-Luc Godard’s “Breathless,” who in the late 1960s was targeted by the FBI through its illegal surveillance program, Cointelpro, in retaliation for her support of the Black Panther Party and her romantic involvement with civil rights activist Hakim Jamal.
“It’s not hard for me to wear my politics,” Stewart said, when asked if political causes still need movie stars today.
“It shows up in the work I do…in [public] conversations that I have…I like that interaction. I’m so lucky to have it!”
Stewart famously came out as bisexual in 2017 while hosting Saturday Night Live. On that occasion, she lashed out against President Trump, who had criticized her in a tweet, saying: “Donald, if you didn’t like me then, you’re really probably not going to like me now, ’cause I’m hosting SNL and I’m like, so gay dude.”
Speaking about her celebrity, Stewart – who burst to worldwide stardom in the “Twilight” saga and has worked in a wide range of movies since, from Olivier Assayas’ “Personal Shopper” to upcoming “Charlie’s Angels” – said that “it kind of frightened me a lot, when I was younger, and a little more unsure.”
But now, “it’s great that I have this position where I can be totally open about communicating with people.”
Stewart said that she’s not “entirely engaged” on social media,”but I feel like I’m not hiding….There’s a difference.”
It’s also a change from how it used to be. For a couple of years, early on in her career, she said she thought: “I have to protect myself. I’m so completely unguarded.” Now, however, “it’s a beautiful feeling, in stark contrast with how I felt [then], when you are initially exposed to something. The onslaught of that type of attention can really put you in a hole.”
While she no longer feels that way, “it’s not like I’m going to start a public Instagram and start yelling at people about what I think,” she said. “But I feel like I kind of do that anyway, in a different way.”
Describing Seberg, Stewart said: “She had this hunger behind her eyes that made her jump off the screen,” and “she was a really compassionate humanitarian at a time when people didn’t want to stomach that.”
Director Andrews noted that Seberg died in Paris 40 years ago Friday, due in part to the trauma of being harassed by the FBI. Police ruled her death a probable suicide
Stewart doesn’t appear worried about how a new wave of celebrity expected from her roles in upcoming blockbusters “Underwater” and “Charlie’s Angels” and her politically outspokenness could impact her life.
“I’m ready for all of it! Yeah!” she said. “I’m so proud of the people that I’ve worked with recently, and I really want other people to see that in an expansive sense. I’m not intimidated by it at all.
“I would really like to reach new heights…But at the same time…I’m not really thinking about it in that way,” she said. “It’s the coolest thing…I’m ready for all the people in the world to see that – as long as it feels natural.”
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