KeepItCute (myselfdestruct) wrote in ohnotheydidnt,

Alia Shawkat interview discussing bisexuality, femininity and growing up

Alia Shawkat was interviewed about her new film Animals which is based on Emma Jane Unsworth’s novel. The interview also goes into different aspects of Alia's life. I've included some quotes below.

Do you buy into the idea that women have to “grow up”?
Yeah. I wouldn’t call it growing up, but yeah. You have to have a routine. You have to be healthy. I don’t believe that a tortured artist makes the best work. It works for some people, but it wouldn’t last. I’ve been getting in a routine, starting to write again. I have to go to sleep at a certain hour. I have to work out. Eat healthy. It just creates positive work and more energy. And you have all these experiences that might be somewhat debaucherous, or traveling, meeting new people, putting yourself in new environments. But you come back and cleanse yourself and put out what you just saw. It’s the mix of both. You have to have the time to get something out, an idea.

Do you think about the way that women are expected to “behave” and look and act in public?
Definitely. I’ve always been frustrated by it, since I was younger. Now that I’m older, I’m starting to be more comfortable being myself, whatever version that is, and trusting it. I used to have a lot of questions about what it meant to be desirable, to be feminine, to be smart, to be successful. All of those things where women have, more so than men, a cheat sheet: “Well, this is what works for most people.” And you’re like, “Okay, but I don’t fit in this one. This didn’t work out for me.”
Even just realizing I was bisexual was a huge thing for me. I was like, “Wait, I don’t have to dress any certain way to attract a certain type of person.” I just have to be the way that I’m comfortable, and you end up drawing the right soul. It’s an endless amount of rules that just keep going. The state is still trying to control our bodies. It gets really frustrating.

I’m like, “So I’m not in a monogamous relationship, but I am having fun and made to feel satisfied.” But I’m made to feel like something’s wrong with me. We have to really unteach ourselves these things. All of our mothers, too — there’s great ones and bad ones. I’m lucky with my mom, but there’s still lots of rules she was taught with her mom, where I’m like, “That’s not the case with me anymore. I’m not carrying it on.” And you have to set these rules and really practice them for them to feel real again.

It’s interesting to hear you talk about your clothing and its relationship to your sexuality — I think about that a lot, the way fashion can act as a queer indicator.
Totally. I love clothes and expressing myself. It means a lot to my identity. It’s how I feel comfortable and express myself. But it’s evolved so much. It used to feel a lot more like role-play. You put on the clothes for the person you want to be that night. I used to feel a lot more like I’d dress really femme for certain environments, then a teenage boy in others. I didn’t feel bad about it, but I was like, “There is some disconnection here, in sexualizing myself.” And feeling like I had to keep that in a very specific folder. And now I feel sexy and comfortable and a lot more connected. If I want to dress a certain way, it’s because it’s how I feel — not like, “I should dress this way for this group, because then I’ll fit in.”
Especially as an actor, there are these red-carpet events. And nobody means it badly, but everyone’s pushing a certain idea of what they want you to look like. I’m just like, “If I don’t feel comfortable and it doesn’t feel like me, I’m not wearing it.”

Animals premiered at Sundance. The full interview is at source.

Tags: actor / actress, film - drama, lgbtq / rights

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