Tag: kristen stewart

Kristen Stewart and Laura Dern Star in JT LeRoy Biopic!

JT LeRoy is making headlines again, but this time it’s because the film of the same name based on this literary debacle has finally gained distribution after its breakout premiere at the 2018 Toronto Film Festival.

 

JT LeRoy
IMAGE VIA YOUTUBE

 

Let’s back up. In 2000 came Sarah, a fictional novel that was written and based on the life of JT LeRoy. The next years came a collection of linked stories, The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things. According to Vanity Fair, “[t]he books were mostly well reviewed, and even critics who didn’t care for the prose, or found the disturbing subject matter overwrought as art, paid obeisance to the horrible contours of the life”. Who can blame them?

JT LeRoy purported to be the son of a drug addict mother, who had his first sexual experience as early as five. He was raped, beaten, addicted to heroin, and homeless by the time he was thirteen. “He was H.I.V.-positive. He cut himself. He burned himself. He associated love with brutality and exploitation, could only feel human connection through physical pain,” Vanity Fair writes.

 

JT LeRoy

Image Via Decider

While the books were fiction, the trauma certainly wasn’t. The public wanted to see this person who wrote down his pain and soon enough they did. At least, it seemed that way.

JT LeRoy came on the literary scene with his red fedora, big sunglasses and a blond wig. The Guardian recalls how “Everybody on stage seemed to be in awe of LeRoy. He was chronically shy, it was explained, hence the disguise. When a question was addressed to him, he answered in a nervous mumble, barely audible or decipherable. He would then whisper into the ear of Argento or Emily Frasier, and they would speak for him: “JT says …'”

 

JT LeRoy on stage
IMAGE VIA THE GUARDIAN

 

He became a sensation, riding the line between mainstream and cult status. The Guardian also noted how “[s]oon he had amassed an impressive following: Debbie Harry, Lou Reed, Nancy Sinatra, Matthew Modine, Gus Van Sant, Rufus Wainwright, Shirley Manson, Jeremy Renner, Rosario Dawson, John Waters, Michael Stipe, Carrie Fisher, Winona Ryder, Courtney Love, Billy Corgan, Tom Waits. LeRoy achieved what many artists dream of: cult status combined with mainstream celebrity.”

With friends in high places and a face that everyone couldn’t get enough of it, a film was put into the works. Asia Argento adapted The Heart Is Deceitful Above All Things into a film. It starred Argento himself as well as Peter Fonda, Marlyn Manson, Michael Pitt, and Dylan and Cole Sprouse.

 

LeRoy and Albert
IMAGE VIA THE GUARDIAN

Here’s the problem: Jeremiah Terminator LeRoy is a pseudonym for Laura Albert. The JT LeRoy who had been walking around? That’s Savannah Knoop, Albert’s boyfriend’s half-sister.

This reveal came as a shock. Certainly Albert didn’t intend for it to go this far, author’s use pseudonyms all the time (Looking at your Richard Bachman, or should I say… Stephen King!), but contracts were written with JT LeRoy’s name and that meant legal trouble for Ms. Albert.

So that was that, until it wasn’t.

 

Kristen Stewart on set

Image Via Vanity Fair

 

In 2008 came Savannah Knoop’s memoir Girl Boy Girl: How I Became JT Leroy in which she recounted her story about the whole debacle. Come 2016, the Hollywood Reporter wrote that, “Kristen Stewart, James Franco and Helena Bonham Carter are circling the biopic JT Leroy, a Hollywood-set transgender story.”

Well, Kristen Stewart won out.

In 2018 Vanity Fair reported that the film would be a “….coming-of-age love story, as Savannah—while in disguise as JT—falls for an actress named Eva Avalon (Diane Kruger). Boundaries are blurred on different levels as the two have a fling, and Savannah finds herself pulled between her affection for Eva—who does not know her true identity—and a boyfriend in San Francisco, who does.”

 

Kristen Stewart as JT LeRoy
IMAGE VIA W MAGAZINE

 

That sounds might interesting! So interesting it got Kristen Stewart to join the project. For those unaware, Kristen Stewart, fresh from her Twilight days, has been focusing on getting indie projects off the ground. This got her attention, and she ended up in a staring role “as Savannah Knoop, the artist who helped author Laura Albert (played in the movie by Laura Dern) dupe the public into believing the myth of JT LeRoy.”

 

JT Leroy as Kristen Stewart

Image Via W Magazine

The film was a highlight at the 2018 Toronto Film Festival, and has been duly awarded distribution. Deadline broke the news, saying, “Universal Pictures Home Entertainment Content Group is near to closing a U.S. rights to the Justin Kelly-directed drama. UPHE Content Group will set a U.S. theatrical release for the film and also gets in the deal some international rights that include Benelux, Scandinavia, Eastern Europe, Latin America and South Africa.”

Will you check this film out when it comes to a theater near you?

 

 

Featured Image Via The Guardian

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Kristen Stewart Talks about Sexual Ambiguity in Her Upcoming Memoir-Based Movie

If you are loyal Bookstrs, you must have already known that our Twilight-girl Kristen Stewart is currently working on her directional debut The Chronology of Water which is based on American writer Lidia Yuknavitch’s same name memoir. Recently, in her interview for Mastermind Magazine, Stewart honestly shared her thoughts about sexual ambiguity and her favorite line from the screenplay writing. 

 

 

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Image Via Portland Mercury

 

The Chronology of Water is Stewart’s first try in directing a long movie after her directing music video “Down Side of Me” and short film Come Swim. Lidia Yuknavitch’s The Chronology of Water tells a her personal story of being a sports girl exploring her ambiguity in sex, gender, and sexuality with both men and women after she is kicked off the Olympic swimming team because of her alcohol addiction. She’s a writer and teacher in college now, and she thinks that the wild journey of her young, chaotic, and powerful explosion of sexuality makes her alive. After reading the book, Kristen Stewart once claimed that:

 

 

She [Yuknavitch]’s in my blood and I knew that before I met her. As soon as I met her it was like we started this race without any sense of competition. The Chronology of Water is the story of a lifelong swimmer-turned-artist, and explores the issues of sexuality, grief, and addiction. If that doesn’t sound like a perfect fit for Kristen Stewart, then we don’t know what is. I’m making the movie this summer but other than that, my only goal is just to finish the screenplay and hire a really spectacular actor: I’m going to write the best fucking female role. I’m going to write a role that I want so badly but that I’m not going to play.

 

 

As a high-profile LGBTQ Hollywood actress, this twenty-eight-year-old celebrity has led a controversial personal life, Stewart herself is also exploring her sexuality on the road, fearlessly and wildly. So far, she had dated a male actor and a male director, female artists, and since 2016 she has been in the relationship with New Zealand model Stella Maxwell. In 2017 her hosting Saturday Night LiveStewart said “I’m like, so gay, dude;” and in 2017 interview with Guardian, she claimed that “you’re not confused if you’re bisexual. It’s not confusing at all. For me, it’s quite the opposite.” According to People, in her recent shooting/interview with Mastermind Magazine, she keeps saying that:

 

 

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Images via celebmafia

 

 

Yeah, ambiguity is my favorite thing ever. In terms of sexuality? For sure. And also in making films, if you perfectly answer every question, you don’t allow for people to have their own experience and really indulge a thought. I feel the same way about how we f**k each other. You don’t want to know everything all the time.

 

 

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Image via celebmafia

 

 

As a director now, Stewart especially cares about the perspective of female and the female body exploration:

 

Right now, I’m so aware of the fact that we’ve watched, cinematically, men and their way into their bodies and do physical things that feel fundamental to this male perspective. In every coming of age story we see about a young girl, even if it’s the truest, most sincere thing, what’s lacking is the physical honesty of actual female experience and the way we discover our bodies. It’s like we’re scared of using certain words.

 

In the magazine, she also shared her screenplay writing for the film:

 

My favorite line in this movie I’m currently writing is, ‘I thought about Sienna Torres and her shoving her hand into my wide-open c*nt about as wide as a mouth saying motherf*cker.’ That’s not something people would be comfortable hearing, up until right now, but I think it’s the perfect time. There’s nothing dirty about it, but I’m definitely going to be vulgar, and I’m definitely going to be completely unabashedly open about the fact that we’re entirely sexual beings.

 

 

Though some people think that she is reckless and vulgar, Stewart keeps camping the issue of gender fluidity/ambiguity up-in this case, for a certain point, I’m totally a big fan of her. American queer theorist Judith Halberstam once in her book The Queer Art of Failure argued that ‘a sense of failure can become a subversive power against the prevailing mainstream of normality, fabricating a queer aesthetic that is not based on normal identification.’ In other words, maybe for some traditional feminists, Kristen Stewart is not a good gender-equality advocate; yet it is Stewart’s assertion that she’s “definitely going to be vulgar” that somehow gives a fierce punch on the face to steady patriarchy.

 

 

I’m ready to read Lidia Yuknavitch’s memoir, and I’m looking forward to Kristen Stewart’s film adaptation.

 

 

 

Featured Image via celebmafia

Speak

‘Speak’ Author Is Releasing a Memoir About Sexual Assault

In 1999, author Laurie Halse Anderson released a young adult novel entitled Speak that would result in widespread conversation and a shift in the way we view and talk about sexual assault.

 

 

Speak

Image Via Amazon

 

 

The novel spread quickly and rooted itself deep, still being something that is read and taught in classrooms across the globe today, even resulting in a movie adaptation starring Kristen Stewart.

 

 

 

 

**Speak Spoilers Ahead**

 

 

 

 

Speak is written through the perspective of high school freshman Melinda Sordino as she struggles with finding her place after being completely ostracized and isolated by her peers for calling the police during a party. Melinda begins shutting down more and more, solely expressing herself through art projects; she hardly verbalizes anything aloud at all. What her classmates and friends fail to understand is that Melinda was raped by popular senior Andy Evans at the party and, in a moment of panic and disembodiment, called the police. By the time the police arrived, Melinda found herself in a state of dissociation, unable to say what had occured. She buries the assault deep inside of her, confiding in no one.

 

 

Speak is brutal, honest, and so, heartbreakingly real in the way it describes sexual assault it sparked a fire of conversation revolving around a side of sexual assault and rape culture that hadn’t yet been seen in the media. I remember first reading the book when I was about eleven years-old and the impact and mark it imprinted on me; it’s a novel I’ve never been able to forget.

 

 

Laurie Halse Anderson was inspired by her own sexual assault to write the novel, hoping to incite some sort of change. Now twenty years later and frustrated with the fact that, although the conversation regarding rape culture has changed, the culture itself is still very much problematic, Anderson has penned a new memoir centered around the subject.

 

 

The memoir is called Shout and is a free-verse work of nonfiction detailed Anderson’s own rape, her fight to overcome the emotional aftermath, and her journey into finding some sort of healing. Anderson recently spoke out about the upcoming memoir, saying:

 

 

I lost my voice for a very long time after I was raped. I lost myself, too. Shout is a poetry tapestry that shares the darkness of my silent years and shows how writing helped me speak up. Shout is a declaration of war against rape culture and a celebration of survival.

 

 

And, in a time of sexual assault being so prevalent it seems like there’s a new case appearing in the media daily, this memoir can’t come soon enough.The way we speak about rape and assault has shifted and progressed so much that it can be easy to feel like society, as a whole, has finally progressed past it. But believing that would be ignoring that disgusting-but-real truth that one woman is assaulted in America every 98 seconds. Just because sexual assault is being talked about widely and predators like Harvey Weinstein have been brought down, doesn’t mean we can grow complacent.

 

 

According to RAINN 1 out of every six American women will be the victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime (this statistic increases to 1 out of four women while attending college in the United States). And 94% of sexual assault victims will suffer from PTSD.

 

 

 

RAINN Statistic

Image Via RAINN

 

Sexual assault is so prevalent within our society I don’t think I, personally, know any women who haven’t been sexually assaulted or raped. It’s vital that we keep speaking up about it and that we listen when others rise to share their stories. It’s so weighing for women to be living in a constant state of fear, of never walking home alone at night, of “please stop following me”, of “text me when you get home safe” because we all know the reality of danger constantly hanging over our heads.

 

 

There can no longer be a stigma surrounding this because our well-being, and the well-being of our sisters, is always at risk. Laura Halse Anderson is doing such brave, powerful, revolutionary work (work that she’s been doing for the past two decades). You can’t miss out on this book. Share it with your family and friends. Keep standing up and speaking out.

 

 

And if you’re one of the many of us who’ve been victims of sexual violence, understand that it is no way your fault. You are not alone because you are standing alongside all of us, arm in arm.

 

 

And if you need to speak to someone, don’t be afraid to call the 24 Hour National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673

 

 

Shout is set to release March, 2019.

 

 

 

Featured Image Via Feminist Guide to Hollywood

Kristen Stewart

Kristen Stewart to Tackle Addiction, Abuse, and Bisexuality in Directorial Debut Adaptation

Kristen Stewart announced her upcoming directorial debut yesterday at the Cannes Film Festival. She is set to direct an adaptation of the award-winning memoir The Chronology of Water by Lidia Yuknavitch. Yuknavitch’s memoir is a deeply personal tale of her journey with alcohol and drug addiction, sexual abuse, and bisexuality. In an interview, Stewart revealed the connection she feels with Yuknavitch, “She’s in my blood and I knew that before I met her. As soon as I met her it was like we started this race without any sense of competition.” 

 

Lidia Yuknavitch

Image via Lit Up Podcast

 

Plans for the book’s adaptation were first revealed by Yuknavitch’s spouse, producer Andy Mingo, in 2016. At the time, Mingo stated that the film “may need a female director to bring in that perspective [it] needs.” As far as female directors go, Steward may be the perfect fit. Her passion for the project was evident in her interview, in which she promised, “I’m going to write the best fucking female role.” 

 

 

Featured Image Via Fortune