Kristen Stewart

Marion Curtis, Startraks

How can Kristen Stewart complain about Twlight and keep working?
—Brandi, Greensboro

I assume you're talking about the Nylon magazine interview, in which Stewart calls Twilight fans' enthusiasm "thoughtless"? Or how her dad went even further and implied that Twilight is not a "great movie"?

But it's not just Stewart slinging buzzkill. Remember how Katherine Heigl spat on Grey's Anatomy's writers, moaning that her $225,000-an-episode lips weren't getting enough scenery to chew? Or teenage Jessica Biel, who whined about the limitations of her role in 7th Heaven?

All of them are still being pelted with money, thanks. And the main reason is that in Hollywood, what sounds like a complaint is actually a secret code that means something completely different.

So what's the message?

How about "I want more money," or "I want out of my contract," or "Hey, casting directors, I'm not just a pretty ass, I'm, like, a serious actress, so go ahead and consider me for that role as a peasant girl suffering from rickets"?

As for exactly what Stewart said, she told Nylon, ""Anywhere we'd go for Twilight was a psychotic situation. The sound was deafening, and it's thoughtless, as well…You get a slew of all these bullshit questions like, 'What's it like to kiss a vampire?' and 'How much do you love Robert?' Then you'll get one that's actually real, but you're like, 'No, I can't right now, I can't even consider [it]."

Sure, casting director Bonnie Gillespie tells me, some studio publicist may give the whining actress a "hand-slapping" after seeing a quote like that, but most Hollywood players know that when the talent complains, it's really more about business. And more often than not, the producers hear the call and give the actors something, like, say, dollars, to shut them up. And then everyone goes back to their emerald palaces or wherever it is that they live.

In fact, it's not impossible that an actress' complaints come at the prodding of some personal publicist eager to reposition a client.

"It wouldn't surprise me if a publicist were saying, ‘It might be wise to drop a subtle complaint'," says Gillespie, who runs the casting and production company Cricket Feet.

And those complaints? They work. Thanks to her complaints—plus a nearly-nude shoot at age 17 in Gear magazine—Biel got out of her contract with 7th Heaven.

"It's never that an actor actually has a complaint about a project they're working on," Gillespie insists. "It has everything to do with politics."

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