Kristen Stewart Says David Fincher Is ‘One of Five’ Directors Who Can Still Build Big Practical Sets

Kristen Stewart is calling out the gendered double standard for film budgets when it comes to crafting large practical sets.

During the “SmartLess” podcast, the former child actor and “Love Lies Bleeding” star reflected on working with auteur David Fincher for 2002 thriller “Panic Room” alongside Jodie Foster. Stewart shared that the luxurious brownstone used as the sole location for the home invasion feature was actually entirely built on a soundstage and in fact was not set in New York City but rather Manhattan Beach.

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“It was, like, a fully functional brownstone built on a soundstage in Manhattan Beach,” the Oscar-nominated actress said. “Every outlet worked, it was mind-blowing. It was in a time where, like — well, I guess people do this. You just have to be, like, one of five men who are allowed to do it. But Fincher is one of those people, and he just built. You could live in it.”

Stewart continued that even the titular panic room wasn’t a singular space, with Fincher’s production building multiple panic rooms to accommodate the climatic sequences.

“We had different panic rooms that were detached from the whole house and then there was one embedded in the actual house. It was, like, totally practical,” Stewart said. “It was just the most elaborate playground for me.”

Stewart herself is set to make her own feature directorial debut with the adaptation of Lidia Yuknavitch’s memoir “Chronology of Water.” Stewart has been attached to direct the film since 2018 and co-wrote the script with Andy Mingo. Imogen Poots leads the feature as author Yuknavitch, with Ridley Scott’s Scott Free productions producing.

Yet Stewart lamented the struggle behind finding financing for smaller independent films, especially those helmed by women.

“It’s not the first time I’ve mentioned that I’ve been sending out this siren song about wanting to make this movie based on one of my favorite books, and I’m pretty sure at some point in the next week or two it’s going to be something that I can say, ‘I am doing this and we are going to make this now,’” Stewart said. “We have monies to do so. But it’s so hard to get monies for small movies.”

Stewart also recently told IndieWire’s Anne Thompson that taking on her own directorial project with “The Chronology of Water” has been a “body-ripping” and “overwhelming” experience.

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