The technology may have changed, but if you’re an actor of note—especially one with opinions or who has grown up in the public eye—trolling has always been a thing.
That was one of the takeaways Kristen Stewart had when playing actress Jean Seberg in director Benedict Andrews’ Seberg, which rolled into the Toronto International Film Festival this week. The movie isn’t a biopic per se, but dramatizes the real-life events in which Seberg was targeted by the FBI because of her political and romantic involvement with a civil rights activist named Hakim Jamal (played in the film by Anthony Mackie) in the 1960s.
It was through that specific lens that Stewart actually found a connection with the actress she says she loved watching onscreen, especially since in real life she didn’t really have much else in common with her.
“We both have absolutely shared this fierce commitment to not trying to overtly control people’s, especially the public’s, perception of you,” Stewart said during a TIFF press conference on Sunday. “That maybe you don’t necessarily agree with someone’s impression of you, but that’s their impression of you. As long as you can stand and vouch for yourself … most experiences, it’s like okay, ‘That was me so what comes of it is fine.'”
It may have taken a while for Stewart to be fine considering how much people have crucified her following her public breakup with Twilight co-star Robert Pattinson, but what’s truly frustrating to her is when people distort the truth. In that case, she says it feels like being “stolen from” and that the issue was probably even harder back in the ’60s when social media wasn’t a thing.
“I’ve [been in that situation] in like the most superficial way compared to Jean, but that was one thing that I was like, ‘Girl I got you. I know that feeling and it was terrible,'” Stewart said. “It’s easier now because we have more control over how we’re communicating. People can go online and say whatever they want. She didn’t have that. She was so subject to whoever was interviewing her. Now we have it in our hands a little bit more.”
Robert Pattinson should not take back Kristen Stewart. She cheated on him like a dog & will do it again–just watch. He can do much better!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 17, 2012
Stewart added that she doesn’t have social media because she doesn’t want to do it, but at least she has the option to hop online if she ever wanted to fire back, set the record straight or control the message in some way. For now though, it seems like she’s just going to stick to laughing about it all. Kind of like how she dealt with those tweets from President Donald Trump. Rather than fire back, she just incorporated it all into her opening monologue when she was asked to host Saturday Night Live.
“That’s like the least of… that was fun to laugh at, you know what I’m saying?” she said. “Because so much is not fun to laugh at. It’s like laughing at a funeral.”
You keep doing you, Kristen. On Twitter or otherwise.
Seberg hits theatres Oct. 7. The 44th Toronto International Film Festival runs September 5-15, 2019.