Kristen Stewart Is Playing Queer Astronaut Sally Ride

Kristen Stewart Is Playing Queer Astronaut Sally Ride
Image: Image: Kristen Stewart / Sally Ride / Creative Commons

Kristen Stewart has signed up to play LGBTQI+ icon Sally Ride – the first American woman to go into space.

The Love Lies Bleeding star has signed on to star as Ride in upcoming limited series The Challenger.

Deadline also reports that Stewart will not just be starring in the series, she will also be executive producer, alongside Steven Spielberg’s production company Amblin Partners and actress Kyra Sedgwick.

Kyra Sedgwick has been producing the series since 2017, and told Deadline that Stewart became involved simply because she was extremely passionate about Sally Ride’s story.

“[Kristen] has never done television, but when she read [The Challenger] 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,” Sedgwick told Deadline.

“Who better to play Sally Ride than one of the great actors of her generation? As they say in Hollywood, passion wins the day.”

Stewart spoke out earlier this year about the importance of queer films, and the importance ‘going beyond just recognising identities and instead focusing on appreciating the stories themselves’.

At present The Challenger is still on the market, but Amazon MGM is reportedly close to acquiring the rights.

In addition to starring in The Challenger, Deadline reports that Stewart will also executive produce the series alongside actress Kyra Sedgwick and iconic director Steven Spielberg’s production company, Amblin Partners. According to the outlet, Amazon MGM is close to acquiring the rights for the show, although it is officially still on the market.

Who was Sally Ride?

Sally Ride was one of the main participants in the US’ Space Shuttle program.

She was the first American woman to go into space, and third woman overall (Russian cosmonauts Valentina Tereshkova took the title of ‘first woman in space’ in 1963). Ride was also the youngest American astronaut to have flown in space – she first headed into space at the tender age of 32.

Ride was an extremely private person, and kept her sexuality hidden for many years. Her sexuality only became public knowledge after Ride’s death in 2012, and her obituary named her partner of 27 years, Tam O’Shaughnessy.


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