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Arts and Entertainment

Kristen Stewart Calls Hollywood 'Disgustingly Sexist'

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Kristen Stewart is getting candid about her experience as a megastar in the Hollywood firmament—and the ways it parallels the themes of her latest film Clouds of Sils Maria.In an interview with Harper's Bazaar UK, Stewart spoke out about the industry's double standards for women: "Hollywood is disgustingly sexist. It’s crazy. It’s so offensive it’s crazy." She added, "Women inevitably have to work a little bit harder to be heard."

Hollywood actresses are getting increasingly vocal about the sexism they face in the industry. Patricia Arquette stumped for wage equality at the Oscars—which is a problem for leading ladies as well Lilly Ledbetter. She joined Tina Fey, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss and Tina Fey in a scathing skit on Inside Amy Schumer about women's short shelf life in the industry. Susan Sarandon has spoken about her "disgusting" experience with the proverbial "casting couch."

Stewart, who struggled with stardom after her role as a mere mortal lusting after a sparkly vampire in the Twilight series, continues to shrug off fame, calling it "the worst thing in the world." She added, "When people say, 'I want to be famous' — why? You don't do anything."

Stewart says that she's getting better about dealing with the tribulations of stardom but it doesn't come easy for her:

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"Having that much human energy thrust at you and then being critically analysed is obviously disarming,’ she says now, hunched over her coffee. ‘Control issues make me so nervous. It’s not knowing what’s going to happen. So what people were seeing was what happens when you are terrified. My palms sweat, my knees shake, I don’t think I can stand in my heels, I’m breathing heavily, I feel nauseous. I’ll be so nervous and then my body creates something to calm me down and I get so tired I’ll just...’ and she slumps over the table. Stewart clearly needed strength. Some of this came from within: ‘I’ve taken a step back and relinquished a bit of control. Now, I just breeze through, though there are some things I still get very nervous about. I’m still really personally invested. You could sit down with me in a five-minute interview on camera and really rough me up. It’s not hard to get me upset.’ But she also learned to use fashion to her advantage. ‘I started out in situations that were quite foreign to me, photo shoots, famous photographers, having to deal with designers. I felt quite out of place and young. And I remember meeting some of the worst people you could possibly imagine. Just soul-sucking, cut-throat fashion people, the full-on Devil Wears Prada.

And then I also met some others who were so respectful and natural and creative and involving. Everyone I ever met from Chanel was wonderful, and working with them has been amazing.’ So Chanel couture is her armour? ‘Definitely.’

She points out that there were a lot of parallels between her own personal life and the plot of Clouds of Sils Maria. She plays an assistant to a legendary European actress played by Juliette Binoche, who she needs to protect from paparazzi. That gave some of her lines an extra layer of irony: "I was loving the words so much that I was grinning inside."
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