Charlie’s Angels Director Elizabeth Banks Explains Why She Cast Kristen Stewart

Kristen Stewart with gun American ultra

It’s been a few months since director Elizabeth Banks found her leading ladies for the Charlie’s Angels reboot. Kristen Stewart was the biggest name cast, while the movie will be fleshed out by The Athena’s Ella Balisnka and Aladdin’s Naomi Scott. But how did the movie decide on its three leads? If you ask Banks, she knew who she wanted from the get-go.

I’m somebody who believes that 90% of the job is casting. I mean, I’m an actor so of course I believe that [laughs]. But I really do believe that is key. I want to see from Robert Downey Jr. play Tony Stark; I don’t want to see anyone else do it. I want to see Kristen Stewart be a Charlie’s Angel and I didn’t want to see [anyone else do it.]

Speaking at a CinemaCon luncheon with Rocketman director Dexter Fletcher, Booksmart director Olivia Wilde and Avengers: Endgame directors Joe and Anthony Russo, Elizabeth Banks revealed that her acting background has made her particular about who she casts in her movies. In the case of Charlie’s Angels, she saw Kristen Stewart in the role and then worked to pursue her until she said “yes” to the gig.

It’s interesting, because I don’t automatically associate Kristen Stewart with “action heroine” even though she has taken roles in action films before, including Twilight, Snow White and the Huntsman and the upcoming Underwater (a.k.a. the movie Kristen Stewart shaved her head for). But Banks had it in her head that Stewart was/is an Angel and got what she wanted in the end.

In terms of how Ella Balinska and Naomi Scott were cast, Elizabeth Banks also said at CinemaCon that she wanted women Kristen Stewart would bounce off of in incredible ways, noting,

I wanted her to surprise people and be on a journey. I wanted to give her other Angels that were not anything like her so that she could pull energy from and bounce off of and work off of. Because it’s the dynamism in the scenes that makes her really fun.

The director may not have landed 100% of the hopefuls she wanted, however. Early on before Charlie’s Angels went into production, it was reported Lupita Nyong’o was circling the project and that ultimately did not pan out. At the time, Stewart was also mentioned as a hopeful and that casting did end up coming together.

Elizabeth Banks has previously talked about how this time around Charlie’s Angels will go beyond the three badass women at the head of the project, noting:

It's not just three. Women across the entire globe are connected and helping each other.

So, we’ll have to see how the story plays out on the big screen and whether or not K-Stew was the right fit. Ultimately, though, it looks as if Elizabeth Banks ended up exactly with the cast she wanted. We’ve already nabbed a first look at that cast so take a look if you haven't already.

Charlie’s Angels will officially fight its way into theaters on November 1. Take a look at what else is hitting theaters sooner with our full movies schedule.

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.