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Kristen Stewart asks whether only gay actors should play gay characters

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Kristen Stewart has shared her thoughts on whether gay characters should exclusively be played by actors who identify as gay.

The star, currently acting in Clea DuVall’s queer romcom Happiest Season, identified a “gray area” in terms of the decisions artists should make.

  • Read more: LGBTQ+ romcoms are thriving online – so why aren’t the big studios interested?

“I think about this all the time. Being somebody who has had so much access to work, I’ve just lived with such a creative abundance,” Stewart told Variety when asked about the debate. “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: “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 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.

“I think it’s such a gray 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. You kind of know where you’re allowed.”

Regarding her co-star Mackenzie Davis, as the pair play girlfriends Abby and Harper in Happiest Season, Kristen Stewart explained: “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. Sometimes, artfully speaking, you’re just drawn to a certain group of people.

Kristen Stewart
Kristen Stewart (Credit: Getty)

“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.”

She concluded: “So my answer is fucking think about what you’re doing! And don’t be an asshole.”

Happiest Season is out on VOD from tomorrow (November 26) across the UK.

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