Back to IndieWire

Kristen Stewart Thinks a ‘Future That’s in Ruins’ Is ‘Not Far Off’

Stewart also said the unsettled Cannes applause for "Crimes of the Future" felt like "the fucking Will Smith moment where everyone was like, 'Yes? No? No. OK, actually no!'

Kristen Stewart Academy Awards 2022

Kristen Stewart


Kristen Stewart thinks David Cronenberg can see the future, or at least the inevitable ruin leading to it on a global scale.

The “Crimes of the Future” star recalled her surprise at learning the script for Cronenberg’s new dystopian body horror drama was over two decades in the making. The film premieres June 3 in theaters.

“I had a lot of questions about where it came from and why right now, because it seemed so completely urgent and vital,” Stewart told Vulture after the film’s premiere at Cannes. “He was like, ‘I wrote it in 1996, actually.’ I was like, ‘Oh, cool, cool, so you’re a fucking oracle.'”

The Oscar nominee added, “Not to say we haven’t been on this path for a very long time, towards a quite certain destruction. Not to sound too dark, but it is true. The movie takes place in a future that’s in ruins and we’re not far off.”

Stewart plays a National Organ Registry investigator who becomes fascinated with a performance artist (Viggo Mortensen) who is growing new organs and surgically removing them onstage. In the film, the government believes the organ harvesting process will lead to the next phase of human evolution.

“The coolest part of making a movie is that you figure out why you’re doing it either on the film or after,” Stewart shared, after telling Cannes press members that she didn’t know what the film was truly about until its premiere. “The way humans have gotten here is just such a mind fuck. So I thought, ‘This movie is about basically everything you’ve ever considered.’ How did we get here? Are we capable of change? Is there any way to come together? It was really fun to let my freak flag fully fly. I’m very rarely asked to play weird little characters like that. It’s usually like, ‘Come play the strong woman facing adversity.’ And I’m like, ‘Fuck that!'”

And although writer-director Cronenberg was correct in predicting that the film premiere would be met with walkouts, “Crimes of the Future” also landed a seven-minute standing ovation from the audience members that stayed.

“Before the credits lifted, it was dead silent. I was like, ‘Ooh, people don’t know how to feel. They don’t know if they should clap or not,'” Stewart explained. “I felt like it was the fucking Will Smith moment where everyone was like, ‘Yes? No? No. Okay, actually no!’ Like, do people have to look to their left and right to see if people like it before they clap? It’s a lot to take on at first, I guess.”

But any applause doesn’t stifle the surefire message of the film: “We’re barreling towards certain death for sure,” Stewart summed up. “But there’s a delicacy to the movie that even in the gory stuff, I was really bewitched by it. Everyone talking about walking out and how intense it was. I was like, ‘It’s not intense! It’s really beautiful.'”

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: Film and tagged , ,

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox