It’s difficult to throw a rock without hitting a famous person who’s appeared in a Marvel movie, but there are a handful of beloved actors who have yet to join the mega-franchise—like Kristen Stewart. Even her former Twilight co-star Robert Pattinson is suiting up to become our next Batman, but Stewart has (thus far) managed to abstain from starring in a big superhero blockbuster. In a lengthy chat with Harper’s Bazaar, Stewart—who also graces the cover of the latest issue—reveals that there might actually be a different reason why she’s never appeared in a Marvel movie. The actor says she was given some rather unsavory advice (to say the least) regarding her romantic relationships:
I’ve fully been told, ‘If you just like do yourself a favor and don’t go out holding your girlfriend’s hand in public, you might get a Marvel movie.’ I don’t want to work with people like that.
Stewart’s personal relationships became fodder for the tabloids when she dated Pattinson, and that attention has only increased in the years since—particularly as she’s become more transparent about her queer identity and dating women. The actor says she’s grown more comfortable in recent years with broaching the topic of her personal life in interviews, though given that nasty bit of advice, it would seem not everyone feels as comfortable as she does:
I think I just wanted to enjoy my life. And that took precedence over protecting my life, because in protecting it, I was ruining it. Like what, you can’t go outside with who you’re with? You can’t talk about it in an interview? I was informed by an old school mentality, which is – you want to preserve your career and your success and your productivity, and there are people in the world who don’t like you, and they don’t like that you date girls, and they don’t like that you don’t identify as a quote unquote ‘lesbian,’ but you also don’t identify as a quote unquote ‘heterosexual.’
Marvel hasn’t exactly been the most progressive studio when it comes to representation: The studio made over 20 movies before developing a standalone film led by a female superhero, and they’ve yet to feature an openly gay character in a prominent role (something studio head Kevin Feige claims will happen with The Eternals). Meanwhile, Stewart has no shortage of offers to star in big budget films: She appears opposite Naomi Scott and Ella Balinska in this fall’s Charlie’s Angels reboot, directed by Elizabeth Banks.