In Australia on Sept 27
How are you feeling now?
Much better than I felt before.
Did you read the book prior to filming?
It was my first favorite book! I was 14 or 15 when I read it, and it represents this stage of life where you are allowed to choose who your friends are. I was like, 'Wow, I have got to meet people like this, or I'm not going to be as cook as I could be, I'm not going to be as smart as I could be, or I'm not going to be as challenged.' It also makes it OK to have different values and priorities than most people.
Did you do anything after you read the book that challenged your life?
I literally slept on the road on my dashboard when I got my license. It's funny, maybe I would be the same person if I hadn't read it, maybe I wouldn't - I don't know. I want to surround myself with people that I want to run after, people that kind of shock me, and know that you don't have to share the same ambitions.
Have you found these 'shocking' people?
Yeah, all of my friends. I don't have lazy, complacent friends. The coolest thing about Marylou is that she does seem quite used - she is a bottomless pit, and you can't waste her, and she expects just as much in return. We were really lucky to get to know the people behind the characters, because I wouldn't have ever understood that, as a woman, you would have been like, 'What are you doing to yourself?' It's like she was really able to take it and loved it. They love to love, but not everyone is like that. She's very ahead of her time but, at the same time, if she lived now, she would still be so special and so unique.
Do you feel the same spirit that's in the book is now on the screen?
I think we accomplished that. I've never felt the way I felt on that set. I'm not that person. Not to say that you change who you are, I just think that certain qualities are buried very deep and it takes a certain something to provoke you to be able to find them and bring them out. I'm not an outward person - I keep things to myself more than her - so when we were making the movie, I couldn't have felt more perfectly our of control.
Thanks to Twilight, you're a big star - does it frighten you how people follow your career so closely now?
No. The reason I love doing this is because there's this really addictive energy that passes through people when you love something together. If you are sitting alone in your bedroom, and you find something funny, you can kind of giggle at it, but if there is someone else in the room, you can be rolling; laughing. It's less intimate with the public than it is with a director or an actor, but to be able to share that with so many people touches and affects you. Also, from the outside, it looks like it's a lot crazier than it is.
You have to protect certain elements of your private life, has this impacted on you?
I feel so at liberty to do whatever the f--- I want. I protect myself, I suppose, but I don't feel like I'm deprived of anything. I think it took me a long time to find my boundaries, and I kind of did this weird line jump. My line was here, and I couldn't just stand on it - I was jutting back and forth, and it was like finding a way to make this reasonable... I know exactly what I want to talk about. I do find this crazy when people suddenly think they are so interesting to the public' people really do become full-on commodities, and they formulate these personalities to sell to the public. I can't believe people believe it. I will never do that.
Have you ever done a road trip like the one in On the Road?
Yeah. I went with two girls, so it was a bit of a different dynamic - the car smelled really bad! [Laughs] I started in LA, as that's where I was born and raised, and we got as far as Ohio [3670km away]. That's pretty far!
Were there any hairy situations on that trip? Did you drive too fast perhaps?
No. I actually refuse to get pulled over, so no way! [Laughs] I love to drive and I hate being in the backseat - I'm kind of a control freak, and I'm not the most relaxed person. What was really enlightening about the trip for me was that I was a little afraid the whole time. I felt a little bit displaced to be honest. I wanted to know where we were going to end up, but I also didn't - it was a bit of a challenge for me not knowing how everything was going to go; not knowing how I was going to feel in an hour; whether I was going to be OK, and if my friends were going to be OK.
When did you start considering getting into the movie business? When I first started, I really just wanted to have a job. I looked up to my parents and totally glorified movies [both her parents worked in film and television]. I wanted the adults to talk to me - I would go to set and I would be really bored.
What do you feel when you consider that the next Twilight movie will be the end of the franchise? Are you sad or happy about it?
Both. I don't want to distance myself from it. I really love looking back on it and the fact that I got to live there for so long. I am very satisfied walking away.