See Kristen Stewart as New Wave Movie Star Jean Seberg

Amazon Studios has unveiled the first look at Seberg starring Kristen Stewart, a historical biopic of iconic Breathless actress Jean Seberg. The film, directed by Benedict Andrews, is set to premiere out of competition at the 2019 Venice Film Festival, and the rest of the cast is stacked with talent–supporting actors include Anthony Mackie, Jack O’Connell, Margaret Qualley, Vince Vaughn, Zazie Beetz, Stephen Root and Yvan Attal. Stewart is really working Seberg’s trademark pixie cut.

Seberg will focus on the actress’s life in the 1960s, when she made waves both for her performances and her politics. Seberg, an Iowa native, was initially discovered by notoriously difficult director Otto Preminger after a talent search in 1957, making her film debut as Joan of Arc in his poorly received epic Saint Joan. But she found her greatest professional success in France. Her career exploded after she starred alongside Jean-Paul Belmondo in Jean-Luc Godard’s essential 1960 new wave film Breathless, and she went on to work with several prominent experimental filmmakers in Europe (her attempts at working in the United States were less successful, though she was praised for her performance in 1964’s Lilith, with Warren Beatty).

Jean Seberg in In The French Style, 1963.

But Seberg wasn’t just an actress. She was passionate about the Civil Rights Movement, and made significant charitable contributions to the NAACP and the Black Panthers. After she struck up a political relationship (and brief affair) with activist Hakim Jamal, a cousin of Malcolm X, she was targeted in wide-ranging FBI sting operation. There are even records of J. Edgar Hoover reporting to President Nixon about the Seberg case.

The Seberg part is yet another entry in a long list of independent, exciting roles Stewart tends to go for. Though she does have a big studio film coming out this year–the new Charlie’s Angels, directed by Elizabeth Banks, this seems a bit more her speed. See the actress as Seberg, below.

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