Luckily for Salles, he was able to hang onto key components of his cast, including the skyrocketing Stewart.
“I think she brought an immense passion but also an intelligence to her role,” Salles said. “She knew it really well before we even met, just after I saw Sean Penn’s Into the Wild. This was before the Twilight Saga had started.”
“I said, ‘I really liked Penn’s film and you were wonderful in it. I’m considering the possibility of doing On the Road.’ And she said, ‘It’s one of the books I prefer; it’s on my bedside table. I would love to play Marylou one day.’ I said, ‘This is exactly what I’m talking about.’”
Stewart reveals a more carefree side of herself in the film, even appearing topless as she plunges into a racy sex scene with playful abandon. It was all par for the course, according to Salles.
“There was not a day where she didn’t ask me to try something different and go beyond the page. It was a great experience. And the fact that we were shooting Montreal helped a lot. We were not invaded by paparazzi or other things that are now very present in Kristen’s life.”