Roadtrip to 'La Croisette' Kristen Stewart Interview
From the land of fairytales directly on to Cannes: In Walter Salles’ long-awaited screen-adaption from Jack Kerouac’s novel “On the Road”, Kristen Stewart smoothly displays her talent and in our SKIP-interview she shows that she is capable of many more than just two different facial expressions.
SKIP: Very soon the irrevocably last part of the Twilight Saga will be released, you already finished shooting it a while ago – how exactly are you planning your future? What kind of movies would you like to make?
Kristen: Weirdly enough, I only ask myself that question during interviews (laughs). And no, I don’t plan anything, I just let things happen organically. I think in this business, it is really hard to work towards anything specific. I mean, it is a very strange occupation, to act as if you were someone else, while you are being watched by as many people as possible. It’s difficult to make any sort of plans – I always look for very special projects that really speak to me.
SKIP: And “On the Road” did speak to you apparently – even though, as you’ve stated in another interview, some people advised you against it, because the role wasn’t big enough.
Kristen: I have loved the book since I was 14, and I was sure, that Walter Salles was absolutely the right man to be directing the movie. I was sure of that from the first time I met him. Every now and then you meet people, and you know right from the beginning that you’re on the same wavelength – and that was the way with Walter and me. Even though I couldn’t really picture myself portraying Marylou – she is very, very different from me. But I had to learn to completely let go for this part. That’s something which is very difficult for me, because I hate losing control of anything. I’m an incredible control freak. I always want to know exactly who or what I am in every moment.
SKIP: How did you prepare for the role?
Kristen: Well, physically basically just by breathing, regular breathing (laughs). But seriously: I did know the book very, very well but for the movie I read a lot of secondary literature. Marylou is based on an actual person. And I found it incredibly exciting to find out who that person was.
SKIP: Walter told us that he sent his actors to a so-called “Beatnik Bootcamp”, to make them understand the unique atmosphere, in which the story takes place.
Kristen: Yes, that was fun. We all read ‘I celebrate myself’ together, the most awesome book about Allen Ginsberg. And then I learned to dance wildly, listen to the right kind of music all the while smoking too many cigarettes on the balcony. Things like that. Luckily we really did all fall in love with each other (giggles). People always say that about movies, that everybody became “one big happy family” – but I do believe no other experience can compare to all of us on “On the Road”. I have never experienced that kind of sincere closeness on a set.
SKIP: How was it for you to dive into the Beatnik-atmosphere as a young, modern woman? It is after all a world that was quite male focused.
Kristen: I don’t see it like that at all. Reading the book, one might get that impression, cause the women are only side characters. But it does represent that very special time, in which young people, women and men alike, were able to go out and find themselves, find their own family in a way and not just grow up in the surroundings they were born into. And this also means finding people that force you to challenge yourself. For me, this really was a defining idea: I told myself, I need to find people like this, people that push me like in “On the Road”. Everybody knows this: Some relationships are very comfortable. But you end up becoming lazy. I want my friends to fire me up and challenge me.
Out of the Twilight. Robert Pattinson interview
Not at all afraid of the daylight. Robert Pattinson now plays in a new league: In David Cronenberg’s “Cosmopolis” he doesn’t show his teeth anymore, but much more naked skin and an interesting personality. A SKIP-talk about festivals and the financial crisis.
SKIP: You were a vampire in “Twilight” and an animal trainer in “Water for elephants”, but the stock speculator in “Cosmopolis” is definitely your strangest part so far. What will your fans think?
Robert: Of course, “Cosmopolis” is quite unusual, but if just one out of a hundred gets something out of it, I’m happy. To me, cinema is more than just entertainment.
SKIP: You’ve recently said, you didn’t want to make any movies for teenagers anymore.
Robert: I was misunderstood. I mean, the biggest percentage of people going to the movies, are young people – it would be insane to say I didn’t want to make movies for them anymore. Sometimes it’s just difficult to make movies that are restricted by the American MPAA-rating. Everything involving sex is being censored right away, while violence is much more accepted – that’s completely crazy! I don’t think there is anything particularly bad in “Cosmopolis”. I wouldn’t have been shocked by any of it at age thirteen – and if you think about, that nowadays every teenager is probably watching some hardcore porn on the internet anyway, it really puts it into perspective.
SKIP: Maybe it’s more the fact that there’s a lot of dialogue in “Cosmopolis” that could scare young people…
Robert: Exactly (laughs)! And the parents are gonna complain: “Hey! I don’t want my kids to be confronted with so many words at the same time!”
SKIP: What was your favorite moment in this past year?
Robert: To be invited to Cannes with “Cosmopolis”. I had been dreaming about being invited for ten years or so, to be in competition here. All those years during “Twilight” I always got asked: “Are you scared of being typecast as the teenage vampire? Are you scared you’ll never get another job?” And now my first job after “Twilight” leads me to Cannes.
SKIP: Eric Packer, whom you play in “Cosmopolis”, is a very strange character.
Robert: Yes, but right in the beginning I found something to connect to him. It’s funny, everybody keeps saying how this is a movie about the financial crisis. But I was more fascinated by the weird kind of humor, and that it’s almost lyrical. I liked the structure of the sentences, they almost sound instinctively right.
SKIP: Which is your favorite line?
Robert: “What you are smelling are my peanuts” (laughs). But there is more which I’d better not quote right now (grins). It’s so strange to see how people don’t really know whether they should laugh at certain scenes or not. “Cosmopolis” is one of those movies, where you could feel completely out of the loop, if you’re not paying attention from the beginning. I personally think the movie is hilariously funny. Some of the things Paul Giamatti says, are really brilliant: “I am currently experiencing my Korean panic attack” or “I believe my sexual organ is retreating into my body right now.” (laughs)
SKIP: So you laughed a lot on set?
Robert: Yes, all the time! For instance during the scene, in which I cry and say “my prostate is asymmetrical” – that’s so absurd! That something like this becomes part of a movie, is ridiculously brilliant.
SKIP: Has your approach to looking for parts changed now?
Robert: Sure, I’m older and more confident. I was always afraid that I would never get offered any roles like this one. And to be invited to Cannes on top of it all, you suddenly begin to really see yourself as an actor. I mean Wow, I can really do cool movies as well (laughs)! I have very recently signed on to a couple of projects which, at this time last year, I wouldn’t have thought I’d be able to do. In one of them I’ll play a soldier who was present when they arrested Saddam Hussein. To prepare I’ve spent some time with the guy and of course it’s very important for him that we get it right. That’s quite a lot of pressure – but I like it that way!