Kristen talks about the making of On the Road, her experiences while filming, and going through the process of portraying real people on screen.
Kristen Stewart swears a lot. This instantly makes her a human being rather than the tabloid icon she’s unwillingly become at age 22 thanks to the Twilight saga and its constant media presence.
Stewart’s at the Toronto Film Festival with On The Road, an adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s classic beat novel in which she plays Marylou, the sexually adventurous child bride of the charismatic Dean Moriarty. (Yes, there are nude scenes. No, they aren’t explicit.) She’s been paired with Garrett Hedlund, who plays Moriarty, and the two of them are at their most animated when discussing the freewheeling, improvisational style director Walter Salles encouraged during the rehearsal process.
“I tortured myself in the most amazing, wonderful way for four weeks,” she says, “and then as soon as the four weeks were done it was like, ‘You need to stop thinking, because if you don’t you’re gonna regret this entire experience. You’re gonna look back and say: I fucked up. I thought too much.’”
“It’s always fun to have freedom and have, like, happy accidents where you go, ‘Wow, that’s cool, I didn’t expect that,’” she says. “But when you’re playing somebody who’s [actually] existed, you know.…” And she stops herself, rethinking her position on the fly.
“I don’t want to discredit what it feels like to play a character who’s been written by somebody,” she continues. “You feel just as responsible to the writer and to everyone who’s been affected by that character.”
“I’ve played Joan Jett,” she says, “and because she was on set every day I couldn’t improv. I couldn’t. Everything I said, I spoke to her about it. You know – you can’t put words in their mouths unless you know. Unless you really feel it, and it’s coming from the right place.”