Twilight actress Kristen Stewart seemed to suggest in an interview that U.S. soldiers are simple and terrorists are misunderstood.
Stewart is promoting her new movie Camp X-Ray, in which she portrays a U.S. Army private assigned to guard detainees at the Guantanamo Bay detention center. Her character in the film becomes disillusioned withe mission after befriending one of the detainees.
Entertainers sometimes get in over their head when trying to address political or sociological issues. That being said, in The Daily Beast interview, Stewart, 24, admitted that she wasn’t attempting to make a political statement by starring in the movie. Indeed, it was the interviewer who drove the conversation toward politics with loaded statements such as Gitmo is a “bizarre blight on America” and “The mistake we make is not viewing these detainees down there as people, too.”
The detention center holds some of the most dangerous enemy combatants picked up on the battlefield, which included the the five Taliban senior commanders that President Obama released in the swap for Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl.
In the exchange with the reporter, KStew claimed that “everyone wanted to close down the prison,” but according to a recent Gallup poll, 66 percent of the American public favor keeping the prison open. Moreover, Obama has been unable to fulfill a campaign promise to shutter the facility because of opposition from both Democrats and Republicans in Congress.
Further into the interview, Kirsten Stewart noted that the film only alludes to alleged prisoner mistreatment, and deemed her character as simple and socially inadequate and who joined up to serve her country after 9/11:
Yes, it was cool to be in a Gitmo movie, it was cool to play a soldier, and it was cool remind people that this still exists, but I also thought it was cool to play a simple, American girl who wanted to find her line and aspire to something bigger than her—only to find that things aren’t so simple. Most people in every state think, ‘Well, of course it’s a great thing to sign up for the Army,’ and there’s no question asked beyond that—ever.
She’s simple, not very smart, and really socially inadequate—but a good person. So, if you can sign up, put a uniform on, and erase yourself, you don’t have to consider yourself anymore. You can take the individual out of it and say, ‘Well, this dignifies me. I’m good because of this.’ And when that doesn’t end up being true, you actually have to contend with who you are. All she wants is to think, ‘They did 9/11, they’re bad, f**k that, I’m going to do my job and I’m going to do it well.’ But then she gets down there and just can’t accept it; she can’t conform to that.”
Responding to the interviewer’s contention that America is mistaken in failing to view detainees as human beings and people too, Stewart seemed to agree that judging them is unfair:
That is essentially so f*****g evil, it’s crazy. It’s a ridiculous idea for you to think that you know anything for sure in life–other than to take care of your fellow people. Where the f**k do you get off thinking otherwise? These two people couldn’t be from more different worlds and perspectives, and probably disagree fundamentally on most things, but there’s a through-line for all of us—and that’s what people forget, and that’s what makes people capable of doing terrible things to each other. What makes you different from any other person that walks the earth?”
Do you think Kristen Stewart is slamming the U.S. military while being an apologist for suspected terrorists? Read the interview in its full context and draw your own conclusions.