Kristen’s Interview with Weiner Zeitung (Austria)

In Walter Salles new road movie, “On the Road” (in cinemas Oct. 5th), the adaption of Kerouac‘s novel, she‘s part of a group of young people that depart on a journey through sex, drugs and jazz.

Wiener Zeitung: 2008, before the very first Twilight premiere, hardly anyone knew you. Today you‘re fair game for all the tabloids out there. How do you deal with that?

KS: I don‘t like it but I learned from it. When I first went on promo tour for Twilight – with 17 – I didn‘t know yet where to draw the line when it came to my relationship with the press and what was relevant for the interview and what I should rather keep to myself. Today I know exactly what I can and can‘t say.

WZ: Was there ever a time after Twilight where you maybe felt the danger that the whole thing could get out of hand for you and you would end like one of those „Hollywood Girlies“?

KS: I think it‘s unbelievably embarassing if you think of yourself as a big seller. That‘s exactly what those girls do. There‘s this moment where everyone in a bar is suddenly staring at you and you think that maybe you‘re worth being stared at: I refuse to be that person because I don‘t wanna be an object of utility. You also have to know in this job: If you give certain parts of yourself up for the public, you don‘t ever get them back.

WZ: Hollywood requires though that you partake in the circus and to run from one talk show to the other.

KS: I know colleagues that constantly play these formed, well educated people because they‘re great actors. Just look at the talk shows. I always ask myself: How do they do that? How can they be so perfect? But in the end you realize: You‘re nothing. You‘re nobody. Because you‘ve always tried to please so many people, to play a part for them all.

WZ: Let‘s talk about „On the Road“: Did you read the book?

KS: Yes. This book really shaped the way I approach people. I got to know those characters while reading and thought: Oh god, that‘s the kind of people I need in my real life. People that challenge me.

WZ: Director Walter Salles is known for not restricting his actors – in contrast to big studio films like Twilight.

KS: With this movie we completely wanted to lose control over ourselves. That‘s in itself a contradiction to the way movies are shot: Script, set, everything is predetermined. The difference to Twilight was that with that I was obsessed with getting the dialogues right because I loved them. On the Road on the other hand was a project where the audience was supposed to be presented something to discover instead of getting a made, perfect sounding product.

Walter Salles gave us a lot of time to internalize the characters. For that we also had to get to know each other as actors. That‘s what led to the fact that nothing seemed posed when we were shooting. We just let go. And of course we forgot some text here and there but we found them again later on, through ourselves, because we knew these characters and that‘s why we knew when they‘d have to use that lost text.

WZ: That sounds like an enjoyable work. Do you feel the corset of profit-oriented Hollywood in real life?

KS: I feel very free in my decisions. For outsiders it might look as if someone like me had no freedom whatsoever because of all the hype. But that‘s not true. Nowadays I have access to so many possibilities and I have so much ahead of me. I think you shouldn‘t make compromises in life. That‘s something so fundamental but it‘s true. I don‘t deny myself anything in life. And I don‘t allow others to deny me anything.

WZ: Do you feel like through On the Road you will be perceived as an established actress?

KS: I‘m lucky that I‘m being offered so many parts. So I think: Yes, I‘m established. For me it‘s not about the results of my work but more about the experience that I go through. And the security to know today that I can do my job many more times. Or at least that I know I can do it one more time before everyone thinks I suck ass.