Kristen Stewart, Mackenzie Davis and Clea Duvall “The Advocate” December 2020

How Clea DuVall and Happiest Season‘s Cast Queered Christmas he Advocate‘s cover stars

Clea DuVall, Kristen Stewart, and Mackenzie Davis discuss what queering the holiday rom-com means to them. Holiday and movie magic converge on a below-freezing February evening in a Pittsburgh suburb. Film crew members bustle on the grounds of the Fox Chapel Golf Club, where earlier that day, they’d made snow to emulate a white Christmas. Meanwhile, in a moment of pure serendipity, Mother Nature lays down a few inches of the actual wintry stuff.Inside the venue’s storied clubhouse, extras playing party guests mingle in fine holiday threads. The hall is decked with twinkling lights, and the decorations are punctuated by a magnificent Christmas tree. It’s day 18 of a 29-day shoot for Clea DuVall’s second feature film as a writer-director, Happiest Season, the first-ever studio-backed holiday rom-com that’s centered around a queer love story. Although it’s late in the day and the cast and crew have been at it for hours, the room buzzes with energy. Courtsey Photographed by Art Streiber

Happiest Season stars Kristen Stewart and Mackenzie Davis as a couple who hit a rough patch in their relationship when Davis’s Christmas-loving Harper insists on taking Stewart’s Abby home to her parents for the holidays. The hitch? While Harper is adventurous and free in her Pittsburgh life with Abby, she’s not out to her overachieving WASP parents, Ted (Victor Garber) and Tipper (Mary Steenburgen). Initially, she introduces Abby as her straight roommate, and that’s where the trouble begins. For anyone who’s ever come out, the notion of going back in is pretty much a deal-breaker. But the women are in love, and the radical beauty of Happiest Season is that it’s a rom-com. Unlike with so many queer-themed love stories that came before it that ended in tragedy, the audience knows going in to DuVall’s film that a happy ending is around the corner. Courtsey Photographed by Art Streiber

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