Kristen Stewart to make TV debut playing lesbian astronaut


Kristen Stewart in 2020 thriller Underwater
Kristen Stewart in 2020's Underwater. Image: Supplied

Kristen Stewart is set to make her TV lead role debut in a new limited series in which she’ll play trailblazing lesbian astronaut Sally Ride.

The new series The Challenger is in the works at Amazon MGM Studios, Deadline reported.

In the series, Kristen Stewart will play the role of real-life trailblazing astronaut and physicist Sally Ride.

The Challenger is based on The New Guys, a book written by Meredith E Bagby. The book traces the history of NASA’s 1978 class, the first to include women and people of colour.

In 1983, Sally became the first American woman and first LGBTQIA+ person to fly on the space shuttle, making her an instant celebrity at the time.

However three years later, on January 28, 1986, the space shuttle Challenger exploded just seconds into its ascent. The explosion killed all seven crew members.

Sally Ride (pictured below) was the only astronaut on the panel of the subsequent Rogers Commission investigating the tragedy.

She died in 2012 at age 61 after a battle with cancer.

NASA astronaut Sally Ride
Image: NASA

Kristen Stewart ‘one of the great actors of her generation’

Actress and producer Kyra Sedgwick’s company is developing the project. She told Deadline she wanted Kristen Stewart for the role after seeing her 2024 lesbian bodybuilder crime thriller Love Lies Bleeding.

“She has never done television,” Kyra said.

“But when she read this she became obsessed with telling the story of Sally Ride from her own unique perspective that I won’t even try to paraphrase because she is so eloquent about it.

“She was so stunning in these pitch meetings… She’s so compelling and was so rabid about telling this story about an American hero who had to hide who she was, in that time.

“Who better to play Sally Ride than one of the great actors of her generation?”

Watch Kristen in Love Lies Bleeding

Love Lies Bleeding opened in cinemas earlier this year, and is available to rent or buy now.

The A24-backed flick has Kristen Stewart playing Lou, a reclusive gym manager who falls hard for Jackie (played by Katy M O’Brian). Jackie is an ambitious bodybuilder heading through town to Las Vegas in hot pursuit of her athletic dreams.

However, the queer couple’s “love ignites violence, pulling them deep into the web of Lou’s criminal family,” the synopsis says.

Read more:

Critics are loving Kristen Stewart’s wild new lesbian flick

Kristen and her partner Dylan Meyer are officially engaged

Kristen Stewart is queer af on cover of Rolling Stone

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

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