Queer icon and soon-to-be Charlie's Angel Kristen Stewart was reportedly told to hide her sexuality so she could score bigger film roles, the actor told Harper’s Bazaar in a new cover story.
"I have fully been told, 'If you just like do yourself a [favor,] and don’t go out holding your girlfriend’s hand in public, you might get a Marvel movie,'" Stewart revealed.
Stewart's comment highlights the homophobia still prevalent in Hollywood. After all, Stewart wasn't just supposed to hide a romance, but specifically one with a woman — in this case, her 2015 relationship with Alicia Cargile. Meanwhile, Stewart's relationship with ex Robert Pattinson was a boost for her public image: As co-stars in the Twilight franchise, the two provided constant tabloid fodder, despite being generally private people.
"People wanted me and Rob to be together so badly that our relationship was made into a product," Stewart told T Magazine in 2016. "It wasn’t real life anymore. And that was gross to me. It’s not that I want to hide who I am or hide anything I’m doing in my life."
Stewart began dating producer Cargile in 2015, the first woman she dated publicly. However, after years dating Pattinson openly, she was angered by the fact that she had to hide her romance with Cargile to appease a status quo.
"I think I just wanted to enjoy my life. And that took precedence over protecting my life, because in protecting it, I was ruining it," Stewart told Harper's Bazaar. "You want to preserve your career and your success and your productivity, and there are people in the world who don’t like you, and they don’t like that you date girls, and they don’t like that you don’t identify as a quote unquote ‘lesbian,’ but you also don’t identify as a quote unquote 'heterosexual.' And people like to know stuff, so what the fuck are you?'"
Interestingly, the MCU is now making a push for diversity. Many fans wanted Captain Marvel (played by Brie Larson) to be an openly gay character. Queer actress Tessa Thompson claims that her character Valkyrie in canonically bisexual, but that no mention of her sexuality was present in Thor: Ragnarok after edits. Currently, rumors swirl that Marvel's new film The Eternals could have an openly gay lead.
All of this is to say that Stewart needs that Marvel movie right this minute — and if her character holds hands with her fellow superheroine girlfriend in it, all the better.