AceShowbiz - Kristen Stewart has weighed in on the long debate of whether straight performers should steer clear of gay roles. The actress revealed her stance in the issue during an interview with Variety to discuss her upcoming film "Happiest Season", in which she portrays a young lesbian who celebrates the holidays at her girlfriend's parents' home.
When asked if she agrees that gay characters should only be portrayed by gay actors, the 30-year-old prefaced her answer by saying, "I think about this all the time." Stewart, who has taken roles in indies as well as mainstream movies, admitted, "Being somebody who has had so much access to work, I've just lived with such a creative abundance."
Stewart rose to fame for portraying Bella Swan in the "Twilight Saga" film series before she began publicly dating women and confirmed she's bisexual in 2017. "You know, a young white girl who was straight and only really was gay later and is, like, skinny - do you know what I'm saying? I so acknowledge that I've just gotten to work," she continued.
While she agrees that "I would never want to tell a story that really should be told by somebody who's lived that experience," the "Panic Room" star pointed out there's "a gray area" in the notion. She explained, "It's a slippery slope conversation because that means I could never play another straight character if I'm going to hold everyone to the letter of this particular law."
"There are ways for men to tell women's stories, or ways for women to tell men's stories," she argued, before adding the condition, "But we need to have our finger on the pulse and actually have to care. You kind of know where you're allowed."
Stressing the importance of approval from the community represented by a certain character, the BAFTA Award-winning actress added, "I mean, if you're telling a story about a community and they're not welcoming to you, then f**k off. But if they are, and you're becoming an ally and a part of it and there's something that drove you there in the first place that makes you uniquely endowed with a perspective that might be worthwhile."
"There's nothing wrong with learning about each other. And therefore helping each other tell stories," she stressed, before concluding her opinion on the matter, "So I don't have a sure-shot answer for that."
Citing her "Happiest Season" co-star Mackenzie Davis as an example, Stewart said how having a straight actor in a gay role can be justified. "I will say, Mackenzie is not somebody who identifies as a lesbian. She was the only person in my mind that could have played this with me," she explained.
Noting that her opinion could be biased, she added, "Sometimes, artfully speaking, you're just drawn to a certain group of people. I could defend that, but I'm sure that somebody with a different perspective could make me feel bad about that - and then make me renege on everything I've just said. I acknowledge the world that we live in. And I absolutely would never want to traipse on someone else's opportunity to do that - I would feel terrible about that."