Kristen Stewart loves Twilight because “it’s such a gay movie”

Lucy-Jo Finnighan
Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson lay side by side in Twilight

Kristen Stewart’s career was certainly impacted by the Twilight franchise, and recently she’s discussed how “gay” it is, in the best way.

It’s been over a decade since Twilight ended, but it’s still hard not to see star Kristen Stewart as integral to the franchise.

The films – as well as Stewart’s character, Bella Swan – have always been contentious topics among both fans and haters of the franchise, but over time the themes of these discussions have somewhat changed.

And in a recent interview, Stewart has addressed a certain discussion topic, that being how much Twilight can be read through a LGBTQ+ lens.

Twilight has always been called a “gay movie”

When looking at Kristen Stewart’s work in cinema, there’s a lot of LGBTQ+ projects that can be found. There’s the sapphic rom-com Happiest Season that she starred in in 2020, and she is also set to play queer feminist writer Susan Sontag in an upcoming biopic.

But ironically, what may also come to mind is arguably her most heterosexual role, that being Bella Swan in 2008’s Twilight. And turns out, Stewart agrees, as she states in an interview with Variety:

“It’s such a gay movie. I mean, Jesus Christ, Taylor [Lautner] and Rob and me, and it’s so hidden and not OK. I mean, a Mormon woman wrote this book. It’s all about oppression, about wanting what’s going to destroy you. That’s a very Gothic, gay inclination that I love.”

Twilight and the word “gay” certainly have a history. When the movies first came out in the late 2000s, the sheer hatred that the general public had for the series – for its overt romantic appeal to teenage girls, to the perhaps less than stellar messaging for that same teen audience – led to the franchise often being referred to as “Queer” or “Gay” in very much the derogatory sense.

But in the decade since the franchise ended, while criticism hasn’t disappeared, the general view of Twilight has softened, with some members of the cinema-going public now growing a sense of nostalgic fondness. One need only look at TwilightTok to note that the fanbase remains strong, and a new Twilight series is even in the works.

Stewart, alongside co-star Robert Pattinson, has managed to maintain commercially and critically acclaimed careers as well, despite being mocked copiously during Twilight’s heyday. Pattinson is of course our newest Batman, and Stewart earned a Golden Globe nod in 2021 for her portrayal of the late Princess Diana in Spencer.

In light of all of this, alongside the rise of queer representation in mainstream media, as shown by fellow bloodsucking projects like What we do in the Shadows and Interview with The Vampire, queer readings of Twilight could be seen as inevitable.

And clearly Stewart is far from discouraging that, though she did admit that she “can only see it now. I don’t think it necessarily started off that way, but I also think that the fact that I was there at all, it was percolating.”

Stewart has long since become a queer icon, and embraces this publicly, including when she brought her girlfriend, screenwriter Dylan Meyer, to the Oscars in 2022. “It’s not that I wasn’t scared,” Stewart admitted. “It was just that there was no other way to live.” And when asked if she was aware of her position as a role model for those in the LGBTQ+ community, she laughed and said, “Oh, you have no idea.

“Every single woman that I’ve ever met in my whole life who ever kissed a girl in college is like, ‘Yeah, I mean, me too.’ I’m constantly joking with my girlfriend. I’ll be sitting there and be like, ‘She’s gay too. Everyone’s gay.'”

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