Kristen, playing Marylou, who’s based on LuAnne Henderson, how was that research experience like for you to build the character?
Kirsten Stewart: It was amazing. I spent a day sitting on a porch with LuAnne’s daughter. It wasn’t so much about finding out things about this woman that people don’t know to sort of “unlock” her, it was so there. It was very emotionally stimulating, it connected me to her as a real person. Obviously I loved Marylou, the character is so vivid, and she jumps right off the page and slaps you in the face – with her tongue, not in a bad way (laughs). She never sold herself, that was one thing about her that was really very different about her to everyone involved in that movement. She wasn’t rebelling against anything, she was just being herself. It wasn’t her priority to be a part of something that was moving other people, it was just about the people that she loved. She was so completely human. She never made herself a commodity. If I have to choose one character who really, truly embodied the spirit of this book, it was her. I had these tapes as well, hours and hours of tapes of her. She was so infectious. With the tapes I genuinely felt like I could look up and feel her. I would have never had that without her daughter and the tapes. She really is this amazing link between the two boys. It’s a grand statement to make but it might not have happened without her. Also, the transcription of the tapes we had is now a book, Gerald Nicosia put it together and Anne Marie Santos also wrote a little bit in the end. It’s called ‘One and Only,’ and it is so important, I can’t believe it exists now after we were able to rediscover those tapes. The book is absolutely amazing.
Kristen, I felt like Marylou is a lot stronger in the film compared to book….
Kristen Stewart: I think it’s a lot to do with realising who she was in reality. There was this really great story that she‘d always tell when she first read the book. And Jack Kerouac was so worried about all the details, LuAnne was like, “I’m just happy to be in it!” I think that says everything about her. I think we were privy to so much untapped information about LuAnne that to ignore it….it somehow had to find its way in. I mean, I think we stay very true to the scroll, but all of the history, all of the truths of who she really was and why she did what she did, we don’t know from reading the book. But because we knew, I think it found its way in somehow.