Google translated from the Yo Dona article online. Were you aware of this twisted and fascinating story?
No. When I received the script, the first thing that came to my head was: "Wait, did this really happen?" And I thought maybe they had taken some liberties to make the movie more interesting. Come now, people could not believe it for so long!
What convinced you then so that you agreed to star in the film?
This story can be understood as a huge and strange artistic experiment, which combined installation and performance. I love the character, but also the human being. Savannah is a generous, intelligent and warm, genuine person. It strikes me that a girl so young, immersed in this torrential media phenomenon, managed to stay true to herself and forge an identity.
By posing as JT Leroy, Savannah discovered things about herself. What have you learned?
I have discovered that I am very happy to be older. Two years ago I was in a vital moment in which I felt overwhelmed, to the point of not knowing who I was or with whom I wanted to share my time. It happened to me like Savannah: I was not sure if it fit, with what aspect I wanted to present myself to the world...
In fact, the film raises the contrast between the public and the private person, so I imagine that you have felt identified.
And so much that internal struggle, that continuous exposure ... I know what you experience when the way you present yourself in public does not necessarily align with how you feel inside.
What has been the most difficult aspect of fame to face?
When I was young, other comrades told me: "Come, relax, give the public and the press what they want. But I can not. And it is terrifying. You are sitting in a room in which everyone considers you the freak and the real freak is the one next to you, giving the impression of being the coolest. I know a lot of people who nail the appearance of being charming. They are so predictable ... They say what is expected of them at every moment. Everyone loves them. And it's ironic, because often what they show and what they say is not true.
Have you overcome this stage of confusion and feel greater are the reasons why you have decided to direct your first film?
Why am I older? (Laughter) No, I've always felt that roar inside me. Making a film is a precarious and delicate process, where many hands are needed. And getting to the end of that experience is like juggling precious content. It is the best feeling I have ever experienced. Since childhood I have been stimulated by that community of people who share an idea to the point of doing anything to carry it out. And I want to lead that community, because it has excited me in the past, it has made me who I am. I feel so lucky that I want to share it.
Laura Dern, who in Jeremiah Terminator Leroy plays Laura Albert, corroborates the talent of Kristen Stewart as a filmmaker: "There are few actors that transmit that quality, but in this film, in which we have had to support each other, I have seen how everything looked with the eyes of a director".
Her first film is a bisexual drama entitled 'The Chronology of Water', based on the homonymous autobiography of the American writer and teacher Lydia Yuknavitch. Kristen, who in her sentimental life has alternated couples of both sexes, is plethoric with the complexity of the projects she leads.
"It's not just that my journey of personal self-discovery has led me to interpret characters with gender fluency, they are creating more, it's a triumph, and I feel happy defending and telling those stories," she said to 'IndieWire'. Among the range of films that are ready to reach the big screen is the period thriller 'Lizzie', where he gives life to the lover of his co-star Chloë Sevigny, and the romantic comedy 'Happiest Season', in which he discovers that his girlfriend has not yet come out of the closet.
There is also room for the biopic: in 'Against All Enemies' plays the actress Jean Seberg. And it does not disgust the action - in 'Underwater' it leads a team of underwater researchers facing an earthquake - or pure entertainment, with the remake in a feminist key of 'Charlie's Angels', a film about which it says: " It was a shoot in which women supported each other, we did not just kick ass. The only reason to make a new version was to link it to these times of awareness.
Have you talked to Savannah about the frustration of being labeled by your sexual preference?
Yes, I love talking to her about that. We put labels because we want to call things so we can understand them. It happens to me too. But it is because of the lack of references. As time goes by I realize that there are many outstanding stories. When I watch a period movie, I wonder where the homosexuals are. They are not telling their lives. That is why we have not yet developed the right vocabulary for these times, but everything will come.
What changes do you see in the new generations when it comes to the acceptance of sexuality?
They do not give it the greatest importance. I grew up surrounded by kids who called each other socially inept and used fucked all the time before saying any words, but the new generation has changed a lot. I do not believe in great distinctions, in reducing everything to man and woman, because we have so much in our interior...And they assume it naturally.
Speaking of reductionism, what do you think about going to write my impression on you after 20 minutes of conversation?
Everyone has a perception of things according to their own experience, so you are in your right to write what you honestly think. If you try to dominate things, you can go crazy and not focus on what matters. Before, it made me nervous and I was an obsessed with control, but now, honestly, I like to have conversations about things that concern me, so do what you consider.