This Thursday, Sept. 6, 2012 photo released by Starpix shows actress Kristen Stewart at the gala premiere. (Marion Curtis, AP)
(USA TODAY) Kristen Stewart did what most actors in her situation wouldn't: in the midst of personal scandal, she stepped out to promote her small, intimate and very personal film, On the Road.
"Thanks, man. Thanks," says Stewart, when told it was good of her to put herself out there, given the scrutiny she's been under.
Granted, she did her interviews with costar Garrett Hedlund and director Walter Salles. But she put herself out there and for that, I respect her.
The film is based on Jack Kerouac's seminal American novel. Hedlund plays Dean, who has what could be generously described a very unconventional relationship with his teen bride, Mary Lou (Stewart).
Plus, Twihards, she's just a cool chick who's smart and well-read, with On the Road being a favorite. "I was a freshman when I read it. I was projecting to the future a little bit. Is that what's on its way? It was about knowing that I wasn't there yet. I hadn't realized what my ambitions were. It made me less insecure and a little bit more hungry."
She's not kidding."I would have done anything on the movie. I would have been any crew member. I would have followed the crew in the car as a fan just to be around it," said Stewart. "Getting to know the woman behind the character -- she's not the main character and you do wonder what kind of person would live like that?"
"Personality-wise, we're so different. I am just a little bit more locked up and with time, I think that's going to go," says Stewart. "I don't think it's possible to change who you are.
For Hedlund, the book was "something special and changed the way I was writing. Most of the time, I was alone, working in different countries. I had so much downtime and I was writing more and more. The notepad seemed to be Kerouac's friend."
His Dean dumps his pregnant wife. He's a lost man, easily bored, with few boundaries. How did Hedlund get into character? "I was able to take drives alone. There's a lot of obstacles you overcome along the way and wonderful people you meet along the way. You have to be open and accepting and it really created conversations."
Hedlund and Stewart's characters have loosely, effortlessly passionate love scenes in the film. "None of them were events. Professionally, from an actor's standpoint, you do what you have to do. I think it's about feeling safe with who you're with and that you're both there for the right reasons," says Stewart. "The only way to do Mary Lou justice was to feel free and natural doing it. It was always easy. It was done so quickly."
For the actress, the film was a nice break from her blockbusterTwilight series.
"I have been pretty lucky. I've gotten to switch things up. Five years of one thing ... it would asinine," says Stewart.
And the most important question of the day: why is her finger in a splint? She broke it, shrugs Stewart.
Donna Freydkin, USA TODAY