Happy Birthday, Kristen Stewart, But You Still Can’t Work Here

Kristen Stewart lead

by Vanessa Tottle

Three years ago, Kristen Stewart had an affair with Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders. Personally, I’d have chosen co-star Chris Hemsworth, but there’s no accounting for taste. Since then, Stewart has been blackballed, too risky to touch because she bruised actor Robert Pattinson’s feelings. He’s forgiven her, whatever, that’s TMZ’s business.

At the time, Stewart was 21. Sanders was 40. Stewart was in a relationship with Pattinson. Sanders was married to the shockingly beautiful model Liberty Ross, who played Stewart’s mum in the film and with whom Sanders has two children. You know, those squirmy things you’re supposed to take care of with your wife instead of banging 21 year olds.

Stewart has since been blacklisted from the industry. She’s too risky to touch.

Sanders got offered a $200 million film, the live-action remake of Ghost in the Shell.

Let me tell you a thing. Stewart holds a record for a 24 year old: Movies in which she’s starred have made $4.2 billion worldwide. Take away the Twilight series (please, someone take it away) and she’s still made $873 million. She launched two major franchises. She launched several horror movies at the beginning of her career.

Stewart Runaways midsec

Liberty Ross divorced Sanders, who (may I remind you) was twice Stewart’s age, married, and had two children. He’s a one-time director who got handed three bonafide movie stars in one film (Stewart, Hemsworth, and Charlize Theron) and managed to make it a moderate success.

Recap: Hollywood won’t touch her record-setting $4.2 billion career. Him? Come on in, the water’s fine, here’s a major summer release.

You may have noticed we post a lot about women on this blog. Women writers, women directors, women critics. We post about women because the problem of equal representation isn’t close to solved yet. Wednesday Collective‘s Article of the Week is a statistical analysis by FiveThirtyEight about movies’ profitability when women are more of a focus. It uses the Bechdel Test as its measurement, a test that only asks you if your film had two women who spoke to each other about something other than a man.

Don’t just look at that article and nod in agreement with its findings that films with women – surprise! – make money. Look at it and shake your head that 47% of the movies we’re making can’t even pass the most basic test of equal representation imaginable.

If that’s the measure we’re still trying to surpass, then something’s very wrong in the world of film. So we’re going to keep on writing about women. And music videos, and movies, and stuntwork, and dance choreography, and giant monster movies, and neat Chinese art direction.

But also women, because where there is unfairness, we are not telling stories that teach us how to move our culture forward. Where there is unfairness, we are telling stories about how to repeat our failures.

So happy birthday, Kristen Stewart. Over here, we’re all fans.

You can watch the downright scary trailer for Liberty Ross’s short film “The Spirit Game” here.

You can watch Kristen Stewart talk about her new independent film Camp X-Ray here.

You can watch Rupert Sanders somewhere else.

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4 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, Kristen Stewart, But You Still Can’t Work Here”

  1. LOL the fact that she has absolutely no talent whatsoever doesn’t enter into the equation, does it. It’s all about sexism — which I admit is a HUGE issue still. But let’s face it, the girl has one expression (open mouthed) to display many emotions. She can’t act. Period.

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    1. If you’re only basing that on her “Twilight” performances, I’d recommend seeing some of her other films. (The only actor to get out of “Twilight” alive was Anna Kendrick.) Stewart was pretty good in Into the Wild, Adventureland, On the Road, and especially The Runaways and Welcome to the Rileys.

      And talent isn’t so much the argument for me. If acting talent was all that mattered, Arnold Schwarzenegger wouldn’t have come close to making 50 movies. I can’t speak for Vanessa (she wrote the article, I only hosted it) – but as she says, Stewart’s $4.2 billion total box office haul is a record for any actor at her age.

      Any actor without her precise romantic history but with her record box office at age 24 would have no problem continuing to work in the studio system. Enough people in production positions think of her the same way people online do. Look on YouTube, or any major entertainment site, and you’ll see a number of user comments referring to her as a “whore” and a “slut,” many going on at length and in detail. Yet no one blames Rupert Sanders or calls him a cheat or a pig. Similarly, that same studio system that punishes her and her box office records rewards him, despite the fact he has zero real track record.

      From a talent standpoint, you could make the argument it’s appropriate and I could make the argument it’s selling her short. She certainly has enough fans and detractors to field a pitched battle on both sides of that fight. But from a financial standpoint, it’s just insane. Purely insane, and I have yet to hear a single commentator or producer make a financial argument against her.

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