LOS ANGELES – With the film “Alien” as her reference point, actress Kristen Stewart was the perfect candidate to star in “Underwater,” which hits Spanish theaters on Friday and combines horror and science fiction to highlight the threat in the oceans that the “ecosystem” can become “dangerous” if we don’t take care of it.
In an interview with EFE, aside from discussing the movie’s ecologist message, Stewart said that the sci-fi film exchanges outer space for the ocean depths, with the film coming for her at a time when women are playing roles that “they want to emulate” but never had the “chance to do” before.
She made note of “the things that women are representing just now” and compared them to the “sort of archetypal roles ... we want to emulate, as women, who felt like we never had a chance to do those things.”
Stewart talked about the changes in the film industry in Los Angeles during a chat after her return to Hollywood, where she burst into stardom with the “Twilight” vampire saga, which also starred Robert Pattinson. At one time she was the best-paid actress in the world, but she forsook Hollywood for a time to work with European stars such as Juliette Binoche, and she became the first US actress to win a Cesar Award, the national film award of France.
At all times, however, she has openly supported incorporating new types of characters into the entertainment industry, and in earlier interviews she said she would be ready to play a lesbian superheroine and complained that she was advised to hide her sexual orientation - Stewart has identified herself as bisexual - if she wanted to obtain work on movie franchises such as the Marvel superhero films.
“I’m definitely not the one making those movies. And so I would love to see that, for sure,” she said, responding to a question about whether she hopes that big film companies include new characters where women take on leadership roles as is the case in “Underwater.”
On “Underwater,” produced by Fox Studios, Stewart plays the head of an expedition to the ocean bottom, where due to a technical problem she and her team lose contact with the surface and have to find a way to survive as nature turns against them.
“I definitely love the idea that we don’t have to be scared of this woman taking some blows. You know what I mean? You know, women can ... also be that last-ditch effort, they can be that last thing that comes through for you, whereas usually that has definitely been encompassed by a more male archetype,” she said.
In many respects, the film’s plot recalls “Alien” - starring Sigourney Weaver - which 40 years ago merged sci-fi with horror into a new genre in which a female character played a strong and very different role from what everyone was accustomed to seeing.
The production team of “Underwater” has mentioned the 1979 film as a reference point, with the difference that the threat to the characters comes from our own planet in the form of deep-sea creatures and underwater forces that humans are unfamiliar with.
“There’s an unbelievable amount that we don’t know about our planet. There’s also ... so many ... elements and aspects to being alive on this planet that we traipse over like it’s nothing, which is what the movie speaks to a little bit,” namely that “when you go places ... where you really shouldn’t be, and just try and take things that aren’t yours, there are repercussions, there are mysteries that will ... come for you,” Stewart said.
“If you start scratching it, you start taking things that don’t belong to you, you start diminishing resources and things that ... that only preserve your existence ... they’re gonna come for you. ... The movie’s definitely about a sort of ... a base survival instinct and questioning why we do certain things ... It’s a little ironic,” she said.