Kristen Stewart was trending yesterday after a new cover profile with Rolling Stone dropped, featuring a sexy, provocative photoshoot in which KStew poses in underwear, a jock strap, and leans hard into butch-bordering-on-androgynous style. 


Of the photoshoot and profile, she said: 

“If I go through the entire Twilight series without ever doing a Rolling Stone cover, it’s because the boys were the sex symbols. […] Now I want to do the gayest f-cking thing you’ve ever seen in your life.”

It’s giving Ripley in Alien, it’s giving “Tomboy”, it’s giving Abercrombie & Fitch circa 1999. Is it the “gayest thing ever”? I don’t know, that feels like a super high bar. For sure, no one would blink twice at a dude posing like this, but people are losing their tiny minds over conventionally pretty Kristen Stewart bringing out her butch for Rolling Stone like it’s nothing. We are 20 years deep into Kristen Stewart alienating the Minivan Majority simply by not agreeing to be a pert, pretty girl next door. 


She talks about this in the interview, describing herself as “very fluid” but drawing the line at “doing this lie […] in order to get jobs”. This is what I brought up about KStew before, and “fluid” is the perfect way to articulate it. She can be this andro-butch gay girl, which we’ve seen in films like The Runaways and the upcoming Love Lies Bleeding, but she can also play the traditionally pretty girl, in films like Personal Shopper and Twilight and Snow White and the Huntsman and Spencer, and she can also play a femininity that lies somewhere in between, such as in films like Happiest Season and Certain Women. She isn’t a chameleonic performer, but there is a sliding scale of how overtly feminine her characters present, and it doesn’t seem to matter to audiences which version we get, they’re all interesting because of her intrinsic vulpine appeal.


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♬ original sound - Rolling Stone

The interview is wide-ranging, ostensibly about Love Lies Bleeding, which opens next month, but it covers her past, present, and future, both her continued effort to finance her feature directorial debut and her pending wedding to her fiancé, Dylan Meyer. I love her comment about still being asked about Robert Pattinson, more than a decade after they broke up:

“Rob and I can’t just keep talking about that sh-t, because it’s fucking weird. […] It’s like if someone kept asking you — I mean for literally decades — ‘But senior year in high school?’ You’re like, ‘F-cking A, man! I don’t know!'” 


They were an iconic couple that defines a specific moment of pop culture, so I get the continued interest, but at the same time, she’s engaged to someone else and he’s expecting his first child with Suki Waterhouse, like, at what point do we just stop bringing it up? Robsten will live forever in the annals of pop culture, but it’s okay to stop asking KStew and RPattz about each other. 

I also love her comment about trying to finance her film, an adaptation of The Chronology of Water: “If I were a man, you would f-cking believe me.” The cross-section of Kristen Stewart and Taylor Swift, frustration at not being taken seriously as businesspeople in their industries because of their gender. The Chronology of Water is “so taboo it’s almost horny”, which might be part of the difficulty in financing it—what studio has the guts to finance a budding actor-director making a movie with no commercial appeal in this economy? Yet James Franco has made plenty of unsellable, unwatchable movies, you can’t convince me anything KStew made would be worse than his worst movie, and he always finds financing. 


In a way, this is the KStew we’ve gotten to know over the last few years—confident, self-assured, more talkative than she used to be, settled in her skin. But she’s also opening up about her struggle with anxiety and those peak years at the center of the pop culture sh-t storm, saying, “I loved to be sad […] I made a complete art project out of it: my whole life.”

I think we all noticed she chilled out considerably once she no longer had to carry a multi-billion-dollar franchise and the expectations of women who wished they were the ones dating RPattz. Now, though, there is an additional confidence and even gregariousness that seems to come simply from knowing who she is, what she wants, and striving to get it, even if the road is frustrating. 

She’s reflecting on her place in queer culture—judging herself somewhere between Jodie Foster and boygenius—and she’s got an impishness in her, a desire to upset the apple cart. Ten years ago, she seemed petrified of doing anything wrong in public yet could never do anything right, now she clearly no longer gives a f-ck. As a long-time fan of hers, I love it because her work has been so interesting. And as an observer of pop culture, it’s always fun to see a famous woman figure out her place and claim it loudly and proudly.

Click here to read the full feature at Rolling Stone. 

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