01/18/2014 02:00 pm ET Updated Jan 25, 2014

Kristen Stewart's 'Camp X-Ray' Role Was Originally Intended For A Man

Danny Moloshok/Invision/AP

Kristen Stewart is earning praise for her turn as a newly hired guard at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp's U.S. prison in the Sundance movie "Camp X-Ray," but it turns out the part was originally intended to be a male role.

During a Q&A session after the movie's premiere on Friday (Jan. 17), writer/director Peter Sattler -- whose past work includes art-department credits on "Walk the Line" and "Star Trek" -- revealed that he rewrote the part to be a female character after his wife became pregnant with a girl, Vanity Fair reports. He began to contemplate gender roles and was inspired to explore a story of female growth through the lens of Guantanamo Bay.

It looks like Sattler's switcheroo paid off. Following Friday's premiere, Stewart has garnered acclaim for her performance, which the festival's attendees note is a marked departure from fare like "Snow White and the Huntsman" and the "Twilight" series. HuffPost Entertainment senior writer Mike Ryan was at the premiere and called Stewart's role a "good career choice," while The Hollywood Reporter's David Ronney labeled her performance "perhaps her best screen work to date."

The film centers largely on Stewart's character's developing friendship with a detainee played by "A Separation" actor Payman Maadi. Stewart revealed during the Q&A that the cast prepared by watching "multiple documentaries" and spending time with a Marine.



Sundance Film Festival 2014