Kristen Stewart Says ‘Charlie’s Angels’ Was ‘A Good Idea at the Time,’ but ‘I Hated Making That Movie’

Kristen Stewart Says ‘Charlie’s Angels’ Was ‘A Good Idea at the Time,’ but ‘I Hated Making That Movie’

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Kristen Stewart is Variety’s Sundance cover star and said during a game of “Know Your Lines” that she “hated” making “Charlie’s Angels,” the Elizabeth Banks-directed action-comedy that flopped at the box office in fall 2019. Stewart was joined in the film by Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska. While reviews were mixed, Stewart’s performance as the rebellious Sabina earned widespread acclaim. Variety film critic Owen Gleiberman’s praised her “flashing-eyed magnetism,” for instance.

During “Know Your Lines,” Stewart got a prompt that included dialogue from the opening scene of her “Charlie’s Angels” reboot: “Did you know that it takes men an additional seven seconds to perceive a woman as a threat compared to a man?”

“This was a mouthful at the time,” Stewart said. “I remember saying that. That was from a little film called ‘Charlie’s Angels.’ We wanted a strong opener, you know? We wanted to really like broadcast what the movie was about. It was a good idea at the time. I hated making that movie. I don’t know what else to say to you. Honestly, the three…you can’t touch [that]. Cameron, Lucy and Drew…I love that movie. I love that movie! If that says anything.”

Stewart was referencing the 2000 version of “Charlie’s Angels,” which featured the iconic trio of Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore and Lucy Liu. The actors reprised their characters in the 2003 sequel “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle.” Both of their films earned over $250 million at the worldwide box office, while Stewart’s 2019 reboot fizzled out with just $73 million.

Banks told The New York Times in 2022 that she wished the film’s marketing “had not been presented as just for girls,” which is one reason she believed the movie flopped. She elaborated on the topic last year by telling Rolling Stone that the “gendered agenda” was the only topic the media was interested in covering.

“So much of the story that the media wanted to tell about ‘Charlie’s Angels’ was that it was some feminist manifesto,” Banks said. “People kept saying, ‘You’re the first female director of ‘Charlie’s Angels!’ And I was like, ‘They’ve only done a TV show and McG’s movies…what are you talking about? There’s not this long legacy.’ I just loved the franchise. There was not this gendered agenda from me. That was very much laid on top of the work, and it was a little bit of a bummer. It felt like it pigeonholed me and the audience for the movie.”

“To lose control of the narrative like that was a real bummer,” Banks added. “You realize how the media can frame something regardless of how you’ve framed it. I happen to be a woman who directed a ‘Charlie’s Angels’ movie that happened to star three incredible women. You can’t control the media saying, ‘You’re a lady director, and that’s special!’ — which it is, but it’s not the only thing.”

Banks also recalled having to ask for the film to be promoted to men and not just women.

“I remember having a conversation with someone who was like, ‘You guys are going to have a partnership with Drybar’ — which is, like, a hair-blowing thing,” Banks told Rolling Stone. “And I was like, ‘Alright… but could we have an ad during the baseball playoffs? It’s not only this one thing.’ It was interesting to see how the industry sees things that star women. It was a real lesson for me.”

“Charlie’s Angels” was notable for Stewart as she had rarely made a big Hollywood studio movie since “The Twilight Saga” ended in 2012. She’ll be firmly back in her indie comfort zone at the Sundance Film Festival with two world premieres: the A24 lesbian crime thriller “Love Lies Bleeding” and the post-apocalyptic romance “Love Me,” co-starring Steven Yeun.

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