In Clea DuVall’s “Happiest Season”, Kristen Stewart played Abby, an art history Ph.D. The student whose girlfriend, Harper (McKenzie Davis), invites her to his home for Christmas. Although she is reluctant at first to leave, Abby then decides that she will actually propose to Harper, believing that it is good to meet the family – but Harper tells Abby that she is not yet there for her parents Has come, and both of them have to pretend to be straight. It is a romance with a queer twist, and a traditional Christmas comedy radicalized by focusing the story on only one gay couple.
Since her “twilight” years, Stewart has made lofty career decisions that have fare to the more mainstream, like the “Charlies Angels” reboot of 2019 from indies like “Clouds of Sils Maria” and “Seaberg” – but He was never particularly involved in the comedy comedy. Still writer-director DuVall wanted an actor who could do both comedy and drama, and so while he was putting together the “Happiest Season”, he flew to Germany to meet Charlie’s “Charlies Angels” . “I already wanted that before,” Dual told Variety about the initial conversation with Stewart. “But after meeting with him, I couldn’t imagine making a film with anyone else.”
“Happiest Season” was supported by Sony’s Tri-Star Pictures from the beginning, and was set to be the first LGBTQ film from a major Hollywood studio to be produced as a mass commercial vehicle. But with the theatrical business in its current almost non-existent state, Sony had to succumb to the realities of the coronovirus epidemic and sell the “Huliest season” to Hulu – where it would premiere on November 26 in a streaming service. In a recent 25. Interview, Stewart talked about having an Abby-Harper relationship with Davis and Duvall, how working with Daniel Levy made him step up his game and only prick gay actors to play gay characters. Questioned.
I found “Happiness Season” to be a joy. How did it come to you
Klee sent it to see if I wanted to partner with him to find the rest of the cast, and to start early in terms of defining the character and creating something between the two of us. I thought it was a really generous offer because when I read the script, it felt completely personal – like a story she had been waiting to tell for a long time.
We met early, and I knew right away that we were going into this together, and it was going to be something that represented both of us. And I’ve always loved him – I was kind of surprised that he’s so good at comedy, writing something funny. I’ve taken him seriously all my life, you know what I mean? The script made me really curious about him.
Have you made Abbi’s character together?
AB is completely cli. Apparently, she understands both these characters well. But the abbey is exactly hers, like all of her idiosuppresses. Every time I need to find Abby again, and just stop playing myself – which in this case was easy to do – is a practicality and a straightforward earnest for Cleya who is not like me , That I really loved dragging on this person’s repertoire. Whatever a queued female couple is to the public, who are not necessarily accustomed to living in their homes for Christmas, I really wanted these people to feel fully and self-realized. Even though the story is coming in the context of someone’s identity, I think in a vacuum these girls know themselves disorganized. And they are not confused – it is other people who are having a hard time accepting.
I wanted these people to run away completely before it started because the film starts so soon. This would be a kind of amalgamation between myself and Cleya, and both of our experiences would be associated with coming out and having a relationship and being a romantic idealist. And then also that there are weird weird kind of people, and not very good in a new family scenario – to highlight the comedy in that.
And so basically, to make a very simple answer too complicated, that pretty much that character, and I was allowed to bring aspects of myself. I certainly drew a lot of inspiration from his tonal qualities – he expresses himself very directly. She would like, “Hello, how are you?” I was thinking about you. “I am one more side of the communicator.
I wanted to be proud of the couple. I love these people the way I wanted to be. Do you know?
I do! Have you ever played someone bumbling and engaging before? I could not even think of it the second time.
No, I dont think so. I mean, maybe in my real life – like, bubbling for sure. Attractive, always trying. But not. Not in any film.
What kind of relationship should Klee and McKenzie Davis have?
We found McKenzie to have such an ace up her sleeve. I couldn’t really imagine anyone that I wouldn’t be like halfway through the movie, “Well, I’m f – king outta here!” He has this open, extremely kind, aware, delightful nature. I can’t be mad at that person! Like, I really, really like her.
She introduced me to the beginning of the film as someone who feels like my encouragement. And then suddenly he becomes the one who really lacks that assurance and isn’t really honest, and it doesn’t even remotely reflect that Abby thought she was in the beginning. It manifests such nervousness. Sure, viewers should be afraid they can’t get together, but this is a romcom – they’re gonna get back together!
My point is, I never wanted to lose affection for her. I never wanted people to be like, “Honestly, he needs to get together soon – like, f– him!” I was constantly saying to Clia, “Don’t you think I’ll end and be like, ‘Hey, beautiful, are you okay?’ ‘And she was like, “No! You are angry at him! “We went through being really solid so carefully and with a lot of consideration of the relationship that it could actually cope with something this painful. Because if you boil down the story that’s really about it, it’s a full-grown woman, like a 31-year-old woman, coming for her family. I mean, generously speaking, that’s remarkable. And it is very strange how much growth has accelerated – we did not have a film like this a few years ago. And now, if you were to tell someone who is 10 years younger than me, we are making a film about a girl, when she was approaching her parents at the age of 30, they would like what? this is madness.”
That these people always felt like they were in a real relationship, and that they were earning back together – it just felt about it being more important.
You and Dan Levy together – pure gold. How did you set up that dynamic?
Salutations to Klee for seeing the potential of that dynamic, and then Dan’s energy is also something that is easy to uplift. I have a tendency to speak slow, emotionally. I don’t know if it’s because I’m nervous – or who knows f – k – but I’ll sometimes cut things a little. In a comedy, it’s just not good. And I couldn’t do that to him! I just felt like I wanted to keep up.
The moment he looks at me and describes his upcoming story and encourages me to see how hard it can be from a different point of view – it feels historical. I like, we are in a film, but also the film F! We’re in 2020, and watching him say that scene just feels so different and cool. I think she is lucky around her. In that moment, it’s like a rare opportunity to feel – crap, we definitely flag a little there.
Completely. It is such a smart film, because it is very traditional in terms of being romantic comedy and holiday comedy. But its just a fact that being a gay holiday film, it becomes political and important. Are you filming it, does it make sense?
Absolutely. I really admire Clay for not being flawed, and not being reactive to the world – and doing something that’s welcoming. I was overjoyed for the lack of a better word, hiding the vegetables. Because I don’t think we’re hiding the dirt; It is clear what we are saying.
At the same time, it is just presented in a way that is very different from something that feels fear or anger. It feels forward and open. I mean, there is no such overgrowth to politicize it!
It seems so true, and in the very moment. I love the slightest disregard and anger, and the real passionate raw risk. But in this case – the fact that you met on the phone and say it was a “pleasure”, I’m very happy to hear that. Because that was the goal.
There are many people who feel that gay actors play gay characters, even after so many years. What is your stand on that?
I think about it all the time. As someone who has so much access to work, I just live with such creative abundance. You know, a young white girl who was straight and only really gay later and, like, skinny – do you know what I’m saying? I admit I’ve just got to work.
I would never want to tell a story that really needs to be told by someone who is living that experience. Having said that, it is a slippery slope conversation because it means that I can never play a more straightforward character if I am going to put everyone in the letter of this particular law. I think this is such a gray area. There are ways for men to tell women’s stories, or for women to tell men’s stories. But we have to keep our finger on the pulse and really care. You know where you are allowed. I mean, if you are telling a story about a community and they are not welcoming you, then f – k off but if they are, and you are becoming a collaborator and a part of it and something like that There is nothing wrong in learning about each other that has taken you there in the first place, which makes you endowed with a specific perspective that can be meaningful. And therefore help in telling stories to each other. So I don’t have a sure shot answer for this.
I would say, McKenzie is not someone who identifies as gay. In my mind he was the only person who could play this with me. Sometimes, artistically speaking, you are drawn to a certain group of people. I could have defended it, but I’m sure someone with a different perspective can make me feel bad about it – and then re-raise everything I’ve said. I accept the world in which we live. And I would never wish that someone else had the opportunity to do so – I would feel terrible about that.
So my answer is f – Raja think what are you doing! And don’t be an asshole.
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