HollywoodChicago.com: I found Kristen Stewart’s performance to be very memorable. What do you think she understood about Mary Lou that audiences would never see if they just know her as Bella Swan?
Salles: I first heard about Kristen about the time she did ‘Into the Wild,’ early 2006, and she was recommended to me for ‘On the Road.’ So we met, and once we started to exchange ideas about the book, not only did she know it inside out, but she also had an in-depth understanding of the Mary Lou character. She realized that Mary Lou was ahead of her time – a free thinker and an independent decision maker, given she was a woman during the 1950s.
Kristen, in her independent film work, drifts towards roles in which women are independent and have a voice. She fought for the role with everything that she could, it was very moving. She got access to hours of interview with the late Luanne Henderson, who was the real life basis for Mary Lou, and that material was truly inspiring for her. She realized how sensitive and how non judgmental her character was, and it freed her to give a three dimensional quality to that character. I find her performance to be moving and generous.
"There's nothing better than seeing somebody you admire, or someone who embodies Julien Macdonald," he said. "I like girls like Beyoncé or Kristen Stewart, they are amazing women. Iconic. They are part of a new generation. When she started wearing my clothes it was amazing!"
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