Charlie’s Angels is back for a new generation after the original ’70s TV show about gorgeous, chameleon-like undercover agents and the films that Drew Barrymore produced beginning in 2000.
This time out, Elizabeth Banks is at the helm as well as stepping into the role of Bosley. Kristen Stewart stars as the quirky and queer ass-kicker Sabina, Aladdin’s Naomi Scott plays the wide-eyed newcomer and tech genius Jane, and Ella Balinska is Elena, who is as good with a roundhouse kick as she is with a rifle.
The movie, from Sony, introduces the Angels to a new generation, but it also recontextualizes the franchise in terms of its feminism and its visibility for women of color and queer women while remaining infinitely fun and campy.
“She’s the perfect person for it,” Scott tells The Advocate about Banks, who also wrote and produced the movie.
"[Being a woman] is one of the aspects of Liz that makes her right to lead the charge on this movie, but there are so many other reasons, whether it's her comic sensibility and putting that into this movie in the writing process, working with us as actors, and the fact that she is an actress..."
Scott also credits Banks for "being connected to the world and where everything is right now."
In the film, Banks inserts a sociologically relevant plot in which a female informant trades information not for money but for menstrual products and birth control to help Turkish women, in a way that is important and seamless without being preachy.
"There is nothing forceful about her beliefs or our sort of singular mission statement," Stewart tells The Advocate about that story before expounding on other aspects of the movie.
"We need to do what we’re good at as women, which is taking care of each other," Stewart says. "We need to be told that that’s OK and liberated to recognize individuality, not in a way that seems like we’re just sort of teaching other people but just bolstering each other."
Stewart also touches on the fact that she and Banks discussed how to telegraph that her character is queer in a way that's inclusive and natural in what is essentially an action movie about female solidarity.
"I play somebody who is sort of ambiguously identified in terms of sexuality, and you never really know what Sabina’s going to do," Stewart says. "We didn’t need to have this side story of some girl that she falls in love with or something."
"These people feel real and modern. And these people seem like what would matter to them would be making sure that people were provided for and that their identities were recognized, that they were allowed to feel," she adds. "Without bashing people over the heads with topical issues. This movie wears them casually."
Charlie's Angels is out in theaters Friday. Watch The Advocate's interview with Stewart, Scott, and Balinska below. And watch The Advocate's interview with Banks here.