‘Happiest Season’: Kristen Stewart Explains Why the Christmas Movie’s ‘Welcoming’ Tone Is So Vital

In 2020, moviegoers really leaned on streaming movies like never before. No wonder then that Hulu found huge success with Happiest Season. The film reportedly landed more viewers than any other original movie on the service. And now star Kristen Stewart has explained why Hulu’s Happiest Season is such a necessary addition to the Christmas movie canon.

Kristen Stewart at an 'Underwater' fan screening
Kristen Stewart at an ‘Underwater’ fan screening | Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic

Kristen Stewart stars in the Hulu holiday comedy ‘Happiest Season’

The movie — directed by Clea DuVall — centers on Abby (Stewart) and Harper (Mackenzie Davis). The pair are madly in love, and just as Abby is prepping to pop the question, Harper surprisingly invites her to celebrate the holidays with her family. The catch, of course, is that Harper’s family doesn’t know she is gay, leaving Abby in an uncomfortable position.

From there, Happiest Season unfolds in many ways like a traditional romantic comedy. DuVall’s film plays at times like a queer Meet the Parents. Fans and critics have mostly reacted positively to the film’s story and performances as well as the inclusion it represents. DuVall even revealed she’s open to making a sequel to the movie, her second directorial effort.

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The actor reveals why the film’s ‘welcoming’ tone is so essential

Alternatively, some critics might see Happiest Season as doing a disservice to the LGBTQ community by making it palatable to mainstream audiences. However, that’s an argument Stewart isn’t buying, she told Variety. In fact, she believes this approach is exactly what makes the movie so successful.

“I really do admire Clea [DuVall] for not being defiant, and not being reactive to the world and doing something that is welcoming. I was so pleased to have been invited onto something that was, for lack of a better term, hiding the vegetables. Because I don’t think we’re hiding s**t; it’s pretty clear what we’re saying. 

At the same time, it’s just presented in a way that is very conversely different to something that feels afraid or angry. It feels forward and open. I mean, it doesn’t have to be like this overwrought thing in order to be politicized! It feels very true, and very in the moment.”

As Hollywood inches toward more diversity and representation, this argument is certainly going to pop up again. But to Stewart’s point, Happiest Season is already essentially the first of its kind in its depiction of how a lesbian couple deals with the holiday season.

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Kristen Stewart’s career has come a long way over the years

For Stewart, Happiest Season marks another huge step in the evolution of her career. The actor faced harsh criticism because of the Twilight series. But ever since, she has managed to truly explore new facets of herself through a variety of acclaimed roles. Clouds of Sils Maria and Personal Shopper challenged viewers’ perceptions of what Stewart could do

In the past two years alone, she has delivered consistently strong work across all genres, such as 2020’s action horror film Underwater. While the 2019 Charlie’s Angels fell short financially, it uncovered Stewart’s comedic ability. That’s a skill Happiest Season leans into. And it’s likely one the actor will continue to explore as her career continues to defy expectations.