Kristen Stewart premiered her short film debut “Come Swim” at Sundance and Cannes last year, and now the award-winning actress is getting plans together for her feature directorial debut. Stewart confirms in an interview with the Cannes Film Festival that her first feature-length directorial effort will be an adaptation of Lidia Yuknavitch 2011 memoir “The Chronology of Water.” The actress said she plans to write and direct the film.
“Lidia Yuknavitch is from Portland. I love her novels but her memoires, it’s deeply personal to her,” Stewart said. “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. 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.”
According to Amazon, “The Chronology of Water” traces the effect of “extreme grief on a young woman’s developing sexuality that some define as untraditional because of her attraction to both men and women.” The book finds Yuknavitch reliving her of addiction, self-destruction, and “ultimately survival that finally comes in the shape of love and motherhood.” With Stewart planning to kick off production on “Water” this summer, it shouldn’t be too long before she announces the actress who will play Yuknavitch on screen.
Another topic Stewart discusses in her Cannes interview is how freeing it was to play an androgynous character in the Olivier Assayas drama “Personal Shopper.” Because her character in the movie is grieving the loss of her twin brother, Stewart felt the script called for her to blend both of the siblings’ personalities together and embrace the ambiguities of that final result. When asked by Cannes if she would play a male character, Stewart didn’t hesitate to answer.
“Totally,” Stewart said about playing male. “Gender is a bit of a myth if you ask me. Everyone’s individual relationship with gender is totally theirs to define. But I really think because of the flexibility inherent to gender, there’s room for all types of approach.
Stewart is currently on the Cannes competition jury with Ava DuVernay, Lea Seydoux, Denis Villeneuve, and Cate Blanchett, among others. The group will announce this year’s Cannes award winners during a gala this Saturday, May 17. You can watch her short film “Come Swim” on YouTube.