Kristen Stewart’s most famous role as romantic lead in the “Twilight” series is unlikely to happen again for her because of Hollywood’s overt discrimination against gay actresses. She comes out as a lesbian in the new issue of Elle UK magazine.
Her announcement was brave, but may have ruined her on-screen credibility as a leading lady, according to Hollywood’s history of dealing with gay actors.
In contrast, Stewart and Robert Pattinson were in a four-year relationship during the “Twilight” series (2008-2012).
Their off-screen romance focused worldwide attention on the movies and made their roles as on-screen lovers all that much more credible.
But in the risk-adverse world of Hollywood moviemaking, it’s unlikely a producer or studio would take the same chance on her now, given her sexual orientation.
While LBGT relationships are more accepted in the United States, studios say overseas markets are still problematic.
Stewart could face the same experience as actresses Anne Heche and Ellen Page. Both have been open about their sexuality, and both have seen their careers tail off after coming out.
In 1997, Heche was an Emmy Award-winning, 28-year-old actress who appeared in four consecutive blockbusters. But when she became sexually involved with Ellen DeGeneres, the roles began to dry up, according to press reports at the time.
The relationship ended in 2000 with Heche on her way to a mental breakdown. She later renounced lesbianism, married a man and had a child. She divorced in 2007, but the relationship did wonders for her career.
Page, won acclaim as lead romantic character, Juno MacGuff, in the hit 2007 indie film, “Juno,” opposite Michael Cera. It was her last as a romantic lead.
She came out publicly in February two years ago, during a speech at the Human Rights Campaign’s conference in Las Vegas.
She confirmed last September that she is in a relationship with artist and surfer Samantha Thomas.
“There’s this narrative that people are attached to: You cannot come out because it’s going to hurt your career, and that’s potentially true,” Page told Variety last year.
“When I made the decision to come out, I wasn’t naive to that,” she added.
In roles since then, Page played a lesbian car mechanic in last year’s drama “Freeheld,” with Julianne Moore as her lover.
This year she is the lead actress in “Tallulah,” a comedy-drama that pairs her with Allison Janney. She plays a “free-spirited woman” who rescues a baby from an irresponsible mother and moves in with her ex-boyfriend’s mother, according to the film’s synopsis.
A Canadian drama, “Into the Forest,” pairs her with Evan Rachel Wood. The play sisters who must survive, living in a deep forest, following a breakdown in society. She produced the film.
Amber Heard may be the exception to the rule. She came out in 2010 as a bi-sexual. She has dated both men and women.
Her 15-month marriage to actor Johnny Depp recently ended in a bitter divorce.
Through it all, Heard, 30, has continued to land roles as a romantic lead, despite coming out.
In her two most recent films, “Equals,” with Nicholas Hoult, and Woody Allen’s “Cafe Society,” with Jessie Eisenberg, Stewart also plays the romantic lead. But those pre-dated her coming out.
She has two films in the works. Neither part could be considered a romantic lead.
Olivier Assayas, who also directed Stewart in two other films, helms her latest picture, “Personal Shopper,” a French psychological thriller.
“Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk,” is a war drama, directed by Ang Lee based on a novel by the same name. Stewart plays the sister of the film’s protagonist Billy Lynn, played by Joe Alwyn.
At this point, it’s hard to say which way Stewart’s career will go.
The 26-year-old actress came out in the new issue of Elle UK.
She’s openly dating personal assistant Alicia Cargile after a string of rumored flings with singer Lyndsey Gunnulfsen, model Stella Maxwell and French singer Stephanie “Soko” Sokolinski.
“Right now, I’m just really in love with my girlfriend,” she told Elle UK. “We’ve broken up a couple of times and gotten back together, and this time I was like, ‘Finally, I can feel again.’”
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