Friday, October 18, 2019

Kristen's interview with Stellar magazine (Australia)

The scrutiny on you was intense during and directly after you appeared in the Twilight films [2008—2012], which can be really difficult if you don’t like being the centre of attention — which you have confessed to. How do you keep yourself private and public at the same time?

It’s a lot about relinquishing control. The exchange is so worth it — all the energy you put out comes back to you. I feel like there is a way to keep that interaction really honest and when it is, you’re not selling other people’s ideas or selling yourself.

It used to take a lot for me, but I don’t really feel that anymore because I’m really not worried about anything that might happen. The worst thing is that I could fall on my face anywhere, and listen, it’s really not that bad when people fall down. It doesn’t matter.

It’s gotten a lot easier for me to not take it too seriously and not feel, like, immense pressure while talking to people. It’s not scary anymore because I actually see how cool it is that I get to connect with so many people.

In 2002, years before Twilight, you starred with Jodie Foster in Panic Room. Did she give you any advice?

I remember her thinking there wasn’t a chance I’d continue being an actor, that it wasn’t something I would have enjoyed as I got older.

She’s sort of “anti-Hollywood” and not in the way that is remotely disdainful; it’s that her sensibilities are so uniquely creative and singular. She was like, “You’re probably going to direct movies or go back to school.” I really love my job. But I completely understand why she would have thought that about me as a kid.

I love her. If we had to represent the human race to an alien planet, I have a shortlist and it would be Cate Blanchett and Jodie Foster who would need to go up and represent us [laughs].

You’re turning 30 next year. What are you looking forward to?

It gets so much easier getting older. I want to direct this movie I have just finished adapting. I always thought I should have gotten this train moving sooner, so this goal of mine is to get this sh*t in the can before I’m 31. It’s a long jump, but I’ll make it work.

Charlie’s Angels is a much bigger beast than a lot of the films you’ve headlined in the past five or six years. Are you feeling pressure ahead of its release?

I’m so proud of it. I think this is maybe the freshest feeling I’ve had in a long time about a movie and I think Liz [director, producer, screenwriter and co-star Elizabeth Banks] is the perfect person to tell a story about being together, empowering members and the fun we can have while also doing really important sh*t and taking care of each other. It’s a movie about women at work and it’s a rad time to tell that story.

This is a reboot of the 2000 version with Drew Barrymore, Cameron Diaz and Lucy Liu. Drew Barrymore is an executive producer of this new film, so it obviously comes with her blessing. Were you a fan of her version?

I loved those movies. I grew up watching them. The image of Drew falling down that mountain in a sheet and then getting up, and that T-shirt the kids give her... that image is just seared into my brain. I wanted to be friends with [those women]. They looked like people who would lean on each other and really complete each other.

It’s so contagious and I think what we did is expand that group. It’s not just the three of us. There’s a lot of different groups of Angels; it’s a whole connected network across the globe. We take care of each other and it’s very cute and makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

This is all based on the original 1970s television series, which was seen as either a revolutionary show for women or a voyeuristic show for men. What’s your take?

I have no conflicted feelings by saying that I think some of the most beautiful stories are told about women by men. But there is just a distinctly different gaze in Liz’s perspective. It’s really rad that we’re starting to value a diversified perspective because we’ve been missing out on so many incredible stories.

We’ve gotten great ones, but there’s no balance there. Women want to look sexy and want to look sexy to each other. It’s totally independent of sexualising it — you can still run around in your underwear as long as you’re the one owning that. There was something really aspirational watching Cameron Diaz dancing around in her underwear [in 2000’s Charlie’s Angels]. I want the movie to be a lot more than that, but at the same time just repossessing beauty in this way is really only available to us now.

Charlie’s Angels is noted particularly for its emphasis on women being smart and beautiful, but also strong, both mentally and physically. Strength has traditionally been the domain of men, but now that tide is turning. We see strength in Linda Hamilton and Emilia Clarke, our other cover stars for this issue of Stellar. It must be pretty special to be part of this time.

I agree. I’m grateful to be here. It’s a really exciting time to make movies.

You seem very close with your co-stars and fellow Angels Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska, as well as Elizabeth Banks.

I wanted to like [Scott and Balinska] and I got really lucky because we all had this immediate connection. It feels like I’m talking as if I’m an old person, but I think they’re so sweet.

And Liz is like a walking catalyst — she makes things happen. She’s somebody who has been working for a long time as an actor and she’s also a really good boss. She makes you stand on your tippy-toes, like you want to be the best you can.

When the trailer came out, there was the usual flurry of negative reaction online. Is this one of the reasons why you don’t have any social media accounts?

I honestly don’t have a use for it. I’m already so engaged every day with the people around me and with my job and through the press. I’m connected to a baffling amount of people; I don’t need more to connect to.

Having said that, I’m grateful that social media exists. The people that have a harder time finding their clan are now able to. For any queer kid sitting in the middle of the country thinking, “I’m a freak, I’m crazy, there’s something wrong with me,” it’s so obvious now that’s not true, because they can see they’re not alone.

I don’t use it, but yeah, sure, people suck. You’re going to find people that hate everyone, but they’re not your people and thankfully through social media we can find our people.

For the average person, the issues that Hollywood champions can at times look disingenuous. Actors can stand on a stage and give a rousing speech about #MeToo or equal pay and gain the applause of their peers, but what do you actually say to the person working in a supermarket who is struggling to pay the bills?

I think it’s a very pervasive problem, a very systemic issue that finds its roots in every aspect of our society. Yes, we specifically talk about films because that is what we happen to be involved with.

It can feel a little self-serving like, “OK, how can I possibly feel bad for you? I’m not going to feel bad for you when you’re making movies and you’re not struggling.” But the freedom to talk about these issues is contagious. It’s a trickle-down effect — if you see one person and realise they have a voice...

The freedom to speak is a domino effect.

Exactly. That’s the beauty. There’s a circle there. There’s a beautiful circulatory of those words, like “Me Too, Me Too, Me Too, Me Too, Me Too”... That is unstoppable and thank god we’ve gotten there.


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