Kristen Stewart has added her voice to the debate on whether gay characters should be played by straight actors.
The Twilight star spoke to Variety ahead of the release of HappiestSeason, her upcoming queer Christmas rom-com: “I would never want to tell a story that really should be told by somebody who’s lived that experience... having said that, it’s a slippery slope.”
The actor acknowledged that as a “young white girl who was straight” and “skinny”, and has had a lot of success, she thinks about the issue regularly. “I could never play another straight character if I’m going to hold everyone to the letter of this particular law. I think it’s such a grey area.”
“There are ways for men to tell women’s stories, or ways for women to tell men’s stories. But we need to have our finger on the pulse, and actually have to care,” she said, adding: “I mean, if you’re telling a story about a community and they’re not welcoming to you, then fuck off.”
In Happiest Season, Stewart stars alongside Mackenzie Davis, who plays her girlfriend in the film. “Mackenzie is not somebody who identifies as a lesbian,” Stewart says. “She was the only person in my mind that could have played this with me. 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.”
Happiest Season is due to land on streaming service Hulu on November 25. Catch the film’s first trailer below.