Yesterday, the highest paid film actress, Kristen Stewart, — she of Twilight fame — released a very bizarre press release apologizing to her boyfriend and Twilight co-star Robert Pattinson for her indiscretion with her Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Sanders.
It was bizarre for many reasons. First, because it was in an apology that she actually publicly acknowledged for the first time her relationship with Pattinson. Second, the quick response to the potential scandal from a young woman who has a tenuous — at best — relationship with the media. Third, that she felt that she had to respond to it at all.
I am of the camp that this was completely unnecessary. She did not have to fall on her sword in such a public way, so quickly, for something she had always wanted to keep so private. I think the tabloid media is more interested in taking down Kristen Stewart because she has always kept them at a distance and could care less what they write about her.
But in this instance she clearly cares what people write because these pictures of a married man with kids and a young woman not married but in a relationship hurts the man she loves. I'm not going to get into the fact that Sanders was technically her boss on the film as her director and he will be her boss on the sequel. Films don't have the same organizational structures as offices, but if you want to think about it, as the director he's in charge and she works for him. So Rupert Sanders, you are a dick and deserve whatever you have coming to you. Of course you will still get your next gig since you are a dude and sleeping with your star won't hurt your career.
But this indiscretion has wide implications for Stewart aside from the work she has to do to repair her relationship with Pattinson. I am guessing that the swiftness of her response has everything to do with the Twilight fandom and the drumbeat that is already happening as we head towards the release of the saga's final chapter. Women don't usually come out too well in Hollywood when they have affairs. We judge women so harshly — think Meg Ryan — and go from there. And Stewart who hated the media to begin with is going to get some serious shit over this just so people can feel superior.
This is about money and the Twilight fans. While I am no expert on Twilight and the fans, this whole good girl image that she portrays on the screen seems to have sunk it way too deep and people really feel too close to her, this film and all things Twilight. To be honest the whole thing creeps me out a bit. I just watched a video of a Twilight fan crying about what she did at the same time asking people to give the couple their privacy. It's like their fantasy has been shattered and it was done by Kristen Stewart who has wronged the great and seemingly perfect (in their minds) Robert Pattinson.
While I still don't think she had to do it, I actually think that putting out a statement that seems so honest and raw is quite brave. It is clear that she is struggling and it is clear that she is human.