HQ THR magazine scans with thanks via @KStewDevotee
Marlon Brando turned it down, Mexican drug wars nearly derailed it, and Francis Ford Coppola never got to direct it -- but the "Twilight" superstar trimmed her fee to less than $200K for director Walter Salles, and Jack Kerouac's beat-generation novel finally made it to the screen.
For the role of Sal and Dean's free-spirited companion, Marylou, Salles had found little-known actress Kristen Stewart through Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu.
"'Look no further,' " Salles remembers the Babel director telling him. "'I've just seen the first cut of Sean Penn's Into the Wild, and there's this 16-year-old girl you'll fall in love with.'" But once she became a star of the blockbuster Twilight franchise, much maneuvering was required to accommodate her schedule. It was critical that filming on Road end before October 2010, when shooting needed to start on Breaking Dawn -- Parts 1 and 2. To Salles' relief, Stewart remained committed to the role for which she received about one-hundredth of her $20 million salary for Breaking Dawn -- Part 2.
"There is something scary and unpredictable and animalistic about Marylou," she explains about her attraction to the character.
When On the Road debuts in May at Cannes, audiences will see whether the film warrants these years of effort. They also will see whether Stewart, 22 (whose Twilight co-star Robert Pattinson is in Cannes, too, with Cosmopolis), has the chops to create a post-vampire career. And they will see whether Salles, 56, can repeat the success of his most recent Cannes triumph, Motorcycle Diaries.
After his forced haitus, Salles decided to put the cast -- which grew to include Amy Adams, Kirsten Dunst, Viggo Mortensen, Elisabeth Moss and Steve Buscemi -- through an intensive four-week "beatnik boot camp," which got under way before production proper began in Montreal, where some of the New York scenes were shot.
"Neal Cassady's son, John, came to talk, and so did LuAnne Henderson's daughter," explains Salles. (LuAnne is the inspiration for Marylou.) He also screened favorite films including Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless and John Cassavetes' Shadows to give an idea of the freewheeling feature he envisioned and even had Riley learn to type, "which was difficult because I am dyslexic," says the actor.
Stewart's fame also required special care. "Wherever Kristen went, the blogosphere lit up with the specifics of her movements," adds Yeldham. Her topless scenes with Riley were shot on a closely guarded set to avoid paparazzi and fans.
The pressure of doing the scenes made Riley "sick with anxiety" -- but not Stewart. "I was so shocked at being able to do it," she says. "I didn't feel naked."
For Hedlund, one of the toughest moments came when Salles flew a skeletal team to Argentina to capture a real-life blizzard, and he had to drive while sticking his head out the window. "It was freezing, and I couldn't see a thing," says the actor.
Adds Stewart: "We never stopped shooting. They could have made a 20-hour movie."
The final version is a little more than two hours. In reducing its length, Salles had to lose several darlings, including scenes with the migrant Terry and a sequence where the protagonists stumble on wandering Jesuit hitchhikers.
Read the full amazing article at ontheroadfilm :)
Tweet by Charles Gillibert, 'On the Road' producer in reaction to this article:
@charlegillibert I love this one from H.R : If I may, I would like to disagree with you. It was in fact her accomplished body of indie work that got her noticed by the right people (directors and producers) and she got cast in Twilight. Because of the money she got paid for Twilight, she could afford to lower her salary for On the Road. In doing so, On the Road got a green light, a lot of people got paychecks and fans of the book get to see the movie. So in a way, one could almost say that this On the Road movie is a gift from the Twilight generation to the Beat generation.