Newly untethered from the Twilight franchise, Kristen Stewart shows a new side of herself in Walter Salles’s movie adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s On The Road. As Marylou, the free-spirited companion to Sal Paradise and Dean Moriarty, she sheds clothes and inhibitions in equal measure. She spoke to Kyle Buchanan.
Marylou is obviously very different than Bella from Twilight. But is she also different from you?
You wouldn’t be attracted to a project if you had to fake it. I don’t feel like I’m stepping outside of myself when I’m playing parts, and even if it’s really different from the apparent version of who I am , I’m always somewhere deep in there.
Are you less reserved after making a movie like this, where you really have to bare yourself in every way?
It’s funny: By putting up walls, you think you’re protecting yourself, but you get to live less. If you’re hiding behind a wall, then you can’t see over it. You’re depriving yourself of so much if you’re trying to be too aware of what you’re putting out there. If you feel someone breaking those walls down, let them. Those are the people that you need to find in life, rather than people that you’re just comfortable with.
At this point, are you more attracted to indie movies than blockbusters?
I don’t mind making big movies, because you get to bitch and complain with the others. It’s about what’s keeping you from being able to really feel it. But then, at the end of the day, you could be in a white room-the whole thing about being an actor is you have to have an imagination.
Patti Smith recently suggested you to play her in the movie version of Just Kids, and I know you loved the book.
It had a very similar effect on me as On The Road did. I will never be the type of person like Patti Smith who has that compulsion to be constantly creating, but you feel diminished somehow [after reading it!] You’re like, “God, I gotta build myself back up again! I need to actually use every second! Why am I sitting around, ever?”