Kristen Interview with Deadline After ‘OTR’ Cannes Premiere

Hammond had a chance to talk with Kristen today after ‘On the Road’ premiered at the Cannes Film Festival.

Hammond writes:
When I got my chance to chat with Stewart who is here (with her mother too) for her first Cannes ever, she told me she didn’t know what to make of the visible glowing reaction from the Grand Lumiere crowd after the film ended. “It was a very surreal experience for me. I didn’t know what to think. But if they had all roundly booed us I believe everyone in our row would have stood up and said ‘yeah, you go!’,” she said in the counter-cultural spirit of the film’s characters who behave in anything but conventional ways. Stewart has some topless nude scenes in the film which epouses sexual freedom even in the uptight era of the 50′s in which the beatnik story is set. For her playing Marylou (based on Luanne Henderson who at age 15 married Neal Cassady – known in the film as Dean Moriarty) was a challenge and one she was eager to take. Salles had seen her in Into The Wild and cast her in 2007 before Twilight turned her into a pop culture icon. Like most of the cast members she had to hang in there for a while before it finally came to fruition. Her agents urged her to drop out. “They kept saying ‘don’t do it’. It’s not on the page’ but I disagreed and I am so glad we all did it. I do relate to her in some ways but I am nothing like Marylou at all. I internalize everything. She’s the opposite,” she said. It certainly worked out. Stewart delivers here and audiences will see a side of the star they haven’t seen before.

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During our interviews for Snow White and The Huntsman, done during the weekend in Mexico City, we had the opportunity to sit down with Kristen Stewart to talk about On The Road, the movie adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s book that the brazilian Walter Salles directed and will show this Wednesday at the Cannes Festival.

The romance from 1957 tell the story of Sal Paradise (Sam Riley), a normal guy that lives in New Jersey and meets the hallucinating traveler from Denver, Dean Moriarty (Garett Hedlund). The new-comer’s magnetic personality wins over Sal and they leave to travel the United States in a self-discovery journey. Kristen Stewart plays Marylou, Dean’s wife.

The actress started by remembering her first encounter with the filmmaker. “I met Walter when I was 16 or 17. And I’m very happy the movie was not done until I was about 21. I would have never been able to do it.”

For her, who has On The Road as her “first favorite book”, all those involved understand perfectly the pressure and responsibility of adapting the beatnik romance. “And Walter is perfect. The best thing about any director is the ability to motivate, to guide you. But with him is different… I’ve never met a man so capable of reuniting a group of people so perfectly. I know people who would do, literally, anything for him. Would lay on the floor for people to step on them. But he would never do that. He’s an amazing director, dude. I never felt to free to express myself as I feel with him. The sign of a great director is when you feel that you two find something together, even when he, without you noticing, guided you throughout every step of the way in the direction he wanted. When you realize, you already got there and don’t even know how. But he was the one who took you”, tells the actress.

Kristen said she’s extremely proud of the result. “Everything that it’s supposed to make you feel, it does. It’s a very honest version of On the Road, where we learn everything that has to be learned about the book”. The actress explained that the production did a month of “Beatnik training”, with the presence of specialists, biographers and people related to the characters in real life. “Even my character’s daughter was there. And we had hours and hours of recordings, voices, first hand information – that we could absorb and then completely forget so we could, when we got to the set, find all those things is ouselves, naturally. In Twilight we wanted to say line by line of the script, how it was in the book. I wanted that. But with On The Road everything was so spontaneous… everything jumped, moved us, breathed… without guiding us by the hand to a specific place, but leaving us to find that state inside of all that. And I think that’s exactly what the book does. You can interpretate it in so many ways. I already read it a hundred times and it’s never the same. And I think the same will happen to the movie – and that’s all Walter’s doing”, she exalted.

Kirsten Dunst, Steve Buscemi, Amy Adams, Viggo Mortensen and Alice Braga are also in the cast. The screen writer of Motorcycle Diaries, Jose Rivera, adapted the book.

The shootings happened on U.S roads, Canada and Mexico.

The international project has the participation of Salle’s Videofilmes and the American Zoetrope, of Francis Ford Coppola. On the Road is scheduled to premiere in Brasil on July 13.

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