New Picture + Interview of Kristen and Garrett with LA Weekly

There's traffic from Silver Lake. That's why Kristen Stewart and Garrett Hedlund, the stars of On the Road, are late to the Benedict Room of the Four Seasons Hotel in Beverly Hills. We're as psychically far from Jack Kerouac's Beat gospel as you can get: fidgeting under crystal chandeliers in a $400-per-night hotel, with guests in comfy white robes riding gilded elevators and maids pushing breakfast trays of eggs Hollandaise and medicine ball–sized avocados.

The journey from scroll to screen has been an equally strange odyssey.

Since Kerouac published his sex-, drugs- and satori-searching novel in 1957, false starts and "unfilmable" rumors have lengthened its odds of adaptation.

The author once sought Marlon Brando to play Dean Moriarty, the book's infamous thief/wildman and Kerouac's trim-hipped "Western Kinsman of the Sun" (Kerouac assured he could handle the narrator/protagonist Sal Paradise, based on himself).

Two decades later, Francis Ford Coppola acquired the rights and famously struggled to bring the book to life, with actors Colin Farrell, Ethan Hawke, Brad Pitt and Billy Crudup variously attached as male leads. We were one German investment group away from On the Road as proto-slacker parable.

A decade later, aided by several European and Latin American co-financiers and Walter Salles, director of The Motorcycle Diaries, the $25 million adaptation premiered to mixed reviews at May's Cannes Film Festival.

The local unveiling occurred during November's AFI Fest at Grauman's Chinese Theatre with an afterparty at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. There was an electro-funk mash-up DJ, a shadow light projection for Shellback Caribbean Rum and the dull iridescence of a thousand iPhones and bald agent scalps. No whiskey was served.

It's two days after that Hollywood night on a weatherless Southern California Monday morning. Early November. 9:17 a.m.

With silver eyes and wine-dark hair, Kristen Stewart is sitting in front of me and we're not talking because Hedlund still hasn't shown up and what small talk can you make with the 22-year-old, tabloid-tormented star of Twilight. In person, she's pretty but severe, as though her face is all elbows.

When her co-star finally arrives, Stewart offers a sisterly hug with a sense of relief that suggests she's acutely aware of how awkward it is to be interviewed by people who know every uncomfortable (and possibly spurious) facet of your existence.

Hedlund is her opposite. If Stewart is shy and pallid, and balsamic salad-thin, Hedlund is broad-shouldered, farmer-tanned and blond.

The 28-year-old Midwesterner has the loquacious confidence and aw-shucks ambition of a young congressional chief of staff.

As a movie star, he is in the Armie Hammer–as-Winklevii mold. She is an L.A.-born goth locker pinup for kids who define old-school as before Instagram arrived on Droid phones.

The question before them is: What is On the Road even supposed to mean when you can Google Earth and Yelp your way across the heartland?

"I think [the Internet] gives people the urge to travel to further and more remote locations to get their kicks ... to find lands that are untouched by human hand," Hedlund says, with slang indicative of the time he spent researching the Beat muse Neil Cassady, Kerouac's model for Moriarty.

There was the cast's three-week Beat boot camp, which included Skype tutorials from an old Kerouac colleague about the proper way to break Benzedrine capsules with beer bottles.

In order to get into the spirit of the book, Hedlund estimates that he filled up about 100 notepads on multiple treks across the country's surviving backroads.

Stewart was originally cast at 17 to play Mary Lou, née Luanne Henderson, the sexualized child bride worshipped and scorned by Moriarty and Paradise.

"I'm 100 percent nostalgic for times that I haven't lived in ... when there was less insignificant stimulation," Stewart says, tapping her foot with nervous energy, jangling the copper bangles around her wrists, folding her T-shirt with her hands and mostly looking down.

"If you're not watching a TV show or downloading something, you're bored," she adds. "Back in the day, there was less to do, people had to use their minds."

Stewart speaks infrequently and with caution, cognizant that even her most banal sentences are parsed with vice presidential scrutiny, or at least NBA All-Star. After all, most basketball franchises can't sell merchandise like Team Edward.

Hedlund, whose previous big credit was Tron: Legacy, handles most of the talking — staying true to the dynamic of the film.

"I've always romanticized the late '40s and '50s — the cars, jazz, the open roads and lack of pollution," he says, business-casual in a navy blue dress shirt, the top button unbuttoned; his chest is nearly hairless. "Now there are more vehicles, less hitchhikers, more billboards and power lines and stuff.

"People wrote wonderful long letters that took months to receive, and now everything is email. "

Both reiterate the idea that the book's timelessness is immutable. Even though a contemporary Kerouac could have seen Cassady's conquests on Facebook, the actors point out that young people will always be hypnotized by the amphetamine prose and intoxicating ideas of freedom and rebellion.

"Anybody that wants to walk out that door and leave home for a few months and rely on themselves instead of fate might have some interesting stories to tell," Hedlund says.

"I don't think there's ever going to be a point when there aren't a group of people who have varied expectations of what they want from fate. You gravitate toward those people and you do things you couldn't do alone," Stewart, also a big Henry Miller fan, adds. "That's why the book has never been not popular amongst people pushing and running after something."

We talk for a little while about the characters, their models, jazz, their Beat reading list. Inside the Actors Studio stuff — none of it is very interesting, and neither is entirely unaware of that. Then Stewart's publicist whisks her out and she says "nice to meet you" with more sincerity than she needs to.

Hedlund talks a little more about his road trips and research. But what really stands out isn't one of his own stories but one from Salles, the director, via Hedlund, about a pilgrimage to the Bay Area to meet Beat poet and Kerouac comrade Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

"They were on the streets of 'Frisco and they looked over and there's cars and traffic jams, and all these billboards and signs and advertisements and bright lights," Hedlund says, jabbing at why On the Road's ideas are indelible yet inimitable. "Then Ferlinghetti pointed and said, 'See ... there is no more way."

Source | Via

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19 Responses to New Picture + Interview of Kristen and Garrett with LA Weekly

  1. This is a horrible article or whatever you wanna call it. This person already had their mind made-up about Kristen before they even officially met her. Kristen did say she can tell when someone doesn't really want to interview her & I'm sure she felt it. I hope whoever wrote this has a twitter or a facebook page I have something to say.

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  2. I see a lot of personal judgement from the writer of this interview. I prefer interviews like Tavis Smileys. He let them speak out so that viewers can really get the whole picture.

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  3. I don't like the tone of this interview if I'm honest this interviewer sounds like a pompous dick with his head up his own arse and I should think Kristen probably picked up on it and that's why she didn't bother engaging in any conversation with him while waiting for Garrett. Sorry if my opinion offends anyone, its just my take on what seems to be his attitude to them and what they say. She is not just a 'pin-up for kids' as some of these interviewers mistakingly believe. One day they will realise she actually has quite a broad fan base of girls, boys, men and women of all ages. Rant over. ;-)

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    1. Definitely no offense taken here... I couldn't agree with you more!! This guy is clearly an ASS! :-/ And it seems fairly obvious (to me, at least) that this journalist has quite the MAJOR HARD-ON for the handsome Mr. Hedlund! LOL What an idiot... he has before him one of the most beautiful, sexy, talented, & smart young women on the planet at the moment, & he basically disses her so, instead, he can blabber on *a little bit more* describing Garrett's unbuttoned shirt & nearly hairless chest! Dude, could you be MORE TRANSPARENT... 'cause I'm STILL just not sure how you feel about Garrett Hedlund?!?! *rolls eyes* Good move on Ruth's part in yanking K out of this interview... it was going nowhere fast.

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  4. Thank for posting this interview

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  5. this was a bizarre interview. Kristen is tapping her foot, pretty but severe looking, folding her shirt, kristen is aware of me, looking cautious...... what is wrong with some interviewers?

    I want to touch upon the fact that the interviewer said she looks severe. I really think that is not fair. Maybe that his her normal look, a pensive look when she doesn't smile, that's maybe why people think she is stuck-up, or sad, or angry, not happy. And it doesn't help that she has fierce looking eyes (like those are her normal looking eyes, they just look that way, she can't help that), and people think she is mean or something. Kind of like me, if I don't smile, people think something is wrong with me. I tell them, that's just my normal look, ugghh! I was never aware of it until a close family member of mine told me about it, so whenever I meet new people, I have a fake smile on my face, but you can only do that for so long until your cheeks start to ache.

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    1. The same thing happens to me when i don't smile ppl ask me if im mad or something and i say no i just dont feel like smiling.

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    2. Exactly! Not everyone's 'at rest' face is a huge cheesy grin. You just want to slap those guys who try to talk to you at a bar saying 'smile it might never happen'! Some of us just have a passive face most of the time, it doesn't mean you are unhappy. And in weird social situations where you feel a little uncomfortable or self conscious then maybe it is a little pensive but people can pull you out of this if they are friendly and engage with you. If they are stand-offish it just makes you more uncomfortable!

      'Celebrities' are just more commonly a bit more attention loving than Kristen and interviewers seem to have a very hard time accepting that it is possible for someone to want to act without enjoying the spectator aspect of it.

      She's changed my view on it because I always used to think of acting as the drama kids at school who were in all the plays and were just generally loud and overpowering to a slightly shy kid like me who hated to be looked at. But its learning things about Kristen's personality which remind me so much of myself that draws me to her I think. She just shows that there is always a different perspective.

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  6. This reporter sounds like an a**hole. Like he had a preconceived attitude that he wasn't going to like Kristen no matter what she said.

    Tina

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  7. Obviously, Jeff Weiss had already a preconceived idea about Kristen Stewart. To write a good article, and to get the best out of an interview, is part of being a good journalist. Unfortunately, the article is prejudiced and narrow-minded.But hey, this is a great picture of Garrett and Kristen.

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  8. " If Stewart is shy and pallid, and balsamic salad-thin..."
    bwa-ha ha. that is truly awful. i guess this sophmoric writer ditched "Ridiculous Metaphors 101" to do this piece.

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  9. I dont like the article, but kristen and garret look great, she's so pretty

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  10. I didn't get this interview at all...her face is all elbows?!?! WTF...lol...never heard someone describe a person like that before....

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  11. I can't believe how rude this interviewer is - I am shocked.

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  12. That interviewer was a complete asshole!!!! didn't really want to hear what she had to say. she was not even worth their time. the interview didn't even make sense. ask if the interview your wanted to make it sound cool.

    I understand Kristen because people always tell me I look mad. and I'm just like no I don't want to smile right now. people tell me if you would smile more and not be so serious people would like you more are want to talk to you more.

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  13. That's what you get when you hire unqualify idiots. I think he should have been a paparazzi. Very judgment with an axe to grind. Preconceived notion about a girl he never met. Should be fired.

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  14. This guy was obviously some kind of freak. He commented on Garrett's chest hair. (Probably wants to be Kristen). Forget this interviewer everyone.

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  15. This interviewer is an ass. To say her face is all elbows. This person should be horsewhipped. I really hate media people who forget that they are to stay neutral and do an interview or whatever. What a jerk!

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  16. Ok,i got it ,the interviewer is gay .No problem,let him admire who he wants to,but his writing is moronic is he trying to tell us her face looks like elbows?what is balsamic salad thin?People please donate ,lets collect cash to sponsor writing classes for this journalist(if you can call him that).

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