Kristen Stewart Says Only ‘5 Men’ Could Get the Budget for ‘Panic Room’ Today, Bemoans Her Directorial Debut’s Financing

Kristen Stewart took a walk down memory lane on the “Smartless” podcast Monday, recounting the expansive measures taken to create the central brownstone and titular space of David Fincher’s “Panic Room” in 2002.

Recounting her time working with Jodie Foster on the blockbuster thriller, Stewart said that Fincher is probably only “one of five men” capable of getting the budget to build such an impressive, “fully functional” set today.

Then later in the same interview, she bemoaned — not for the first time — the difficulty of getting funding for her own directorial debut, a passion-project adaptation of “The Chronology of Water.”

“It’s so hard to get monies for small movies,” she said.

The “Love Lies Bleeding” star joined hosts Sean Hayes, Jason Bateman and Will Arnett on Monday’s episode for an interview apparently recorded in February ahead of the Neon feature’s March 8 release. While Bateman and Stewart bonded about their experience growing up in the Valley as child actors, Hayes was the first to bring up the “Panic Room” brownstone.

“I love that movie, I’ve seen it 10 times,” he gushed. “Of course, I’m so gay, when the thing was over, I tried to Google, ‘Where did they film that?’ I loved that beautiful house. What brownstone was that? It was a set, right?”

“It was, like, a fully functional brownstone built on a soundstage in Manhattan Beach,” Stewart revealed. “Every outlet worked, it was mind-blowing. It was in a time where, like — well, I guess people do this. You just have to be, like, one of five men who are allowed to do it. But Fincher is one of those people, and he just built.”

She added that “you could live in it” if you wanted to, joking, “We should honestly see where the pieces are.”

“We had different panic rooms that were detached from the whole house and then there was one embedded in the actual house that was totally practical,” the actress continued. “It was just the most elaborate playground for me.”

As impressive as that feat of production design was and is, Stewart later highlighted the differences in access for those who are “one of five” male directors like Fincher and a first-time female director like her, an Oscar nominee and movie star in her own right.

Still, she remained optimistic for “Chronology of Water,” a project that she’s previously threatened to quit acting over until she gets the funding.

“It’s not the first time I’ve mentioned that I’ve been sending out this siren song about wanting to make this movie based on one of my favorite books, and I’m pretty sure at some point in the next week or two it’s going to be something that I can say, ‘I am doing this and we are going to make this now,'” Stewart said towards the end of her hour-long interview. “We have monies to do so. But it’s so hard to get monies for small movies.”

Listen to Stewart’s full “Smartless” interview here.

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