How are you finding your post-Twilight career?
KS: The only time I have ever had to answer that question is in an interview. I don’t look for anything. It’s a very odd thing to pretend to be someone else and let people watch you do that. It really takes something special and I never know what that is until I find it. People who put movies into boxes… Into genres… When life is really sad, it’s really funny too and what is that? Is it a dark comedy? Or is it a dramedy? Or is it a drama that’s sometimes funny? I have no desire to…This sounds so pretentious, but I don’t want to be in the entertainment industry, movies can be pretty important if you want them to be, and it’s the only time I feel like it’s worth doing such a ridiculous thing as acting in a film.
How did you prepare to play Mary Lou in ON THE ROAD?
KS: it’s weird because On The Road was my first favourite book and we were allowed to know so much more than what is told in the novel. The version that came out in 1957 compared to the scroll [the original scroll that Kerouac wrote], compared to reality and really who these people were… You can only do On The Road once, so I think it’s really cool that all of those three stories are rolled into one. As a character, Mary Lou couldn’t be further from me. Everything she does is outward, she is one of the most generous, absolutely open faced people and in reality… It’s hard to play that on one note. In the book, she’s fun and she’s sexy and she’s progressive because of the time and the bold things that she’s doing, but you do sort of go ‘Gosh’ as a more sensitive girl, you do go ‘Wow, I don’t know if I could do that, I don’t know if I could keep up’. That is what I love about the book because I want to be able to keep up with those people. Figuring out who Luanne actually was, she was a bottomless pit, no one could waste her, she had everything to give and she expected just as much in return. It was really really lucky that we had the tapes and the access to the biographers and basically just to humanise these characters. It is not about Mary Lou, the book is not about her, she is a peripheral character. To play her, it was really nice to be able to understand why she did some of the stuff she did and not just play a fun, sexy character.
Where do you think her vulnerability was?
KS: Unlike anybody else in the whole story and unlike anybody else at this point in this movement, she was able to juggle all of her values that really didn’t coincide, but she did it with such skill. She could compartmentalise her life with great skill, she had very traditional values, she wanted things that are very typical of a young girl that age and also, very very untypical desires and really limitless boundaries. She could do both and that’s why the end of the boy’s stories is so sad because they couldn’t, they didn’t have that ability, and maybe her vulnerability and strength sort of lies in between there. She is not somebody who can’t feel, everything definitely affects her, she’s not someone who’s above jealousy… She is so accepting and very very aware of all the beauty in people, even if they are buried really deep and she doesn’t need everything she wants from one place, she can get it from many many different places. Sure, she was totally ahead of her time and she totally carved the way, and she is absolutely a pioneer for us ladies, but she had no idea of what she was doing. I think she would be just as special and just as unique now. I think she would impress people just as much.
Why do you consider it a vulnerability that she can understand people?
KS: Just because you understand something, doesn’t mean that it doesn’t touch you. She could overcome things that hurt, but she still was hurt, but she could understand the hurt and love it as well and learn from it. She never really took anything as malicious, it was just who they were, they couldn’t help themselves and she couldn’t help herself some of the time. She had a very acute understanding of that and she was so evolved. I am much more sensitive and possibly more vulnerable than her. She’s a girl…
Continue reading Kristen Talks ‘On The Road’ & ‘Twilight’ With Movies.IE.