Kristen Stewart returned to the public stage this week at the Toronto International Film Festival to promote her work in On the Road. Metro scored one of the actress’ first interviews, and we even got her to answer a few questions from her fans on Twitter.
Q: Given how Dean (played by Garrett Hedlund) treats the women in his life, the story could seem a little unfair for its female characters. Did you ever get the sense that they maybe get short shrift?
That was not an impression that I got when I was younger. You feel for certain losses and certain strife that people have to go through in the book, but at the same time I never felt like there was an injustice because people — women as well — had put themselves in that position. They took just as much as they gave. Especially considering that they’re not the main characters — they’re semi on the periphery, and you’re not completely with them, you’re not inside their heads, you’re not feeling what they’re feeling.
But from an outsider’s perspective, I just think that that’s a fairly misogynistic way to look at it. It’s like a sweet thing — especially a lot of guys say like, “Oh, I just don’t think they’re treated well.” Yeah, but they could take it, and that’s why they were there.
Q: This role required you to expose a lot of yourself, both emotionally and physically. How much was that a concern?
I want to get as close to the experiences as I possibly can. I don’t want to fake anything, and I felt so responsible to [the characters].
Q: What about the pressure of taking on such a famous book and character (Mary Lou)?
It’s a self-imposed pressure. Everyone wants you to do all of these characters justice, especially people that really, really loved the book and people that have known them over the years. Getting to know the real people, hanging out with her daughter and listening to hours and hours of tapes, it adds pressure but at the same time it makes it OK to be there. So every second that I went, “Oh, I’m feeling a little nervous” or something, there was absolutely no reason to be because everything that we’re doing is coming from the right place, and that’s ultimately all you can be responsible for. Anything past that, you’re just being vain.
We were put in the perfect position to completely lose our minds. And so how can you get nervous about that? You’re not supposed to have the control, so f—ing relax and stop taking yourself so seriously. Do you know what I mean? If you can do that, then you’ll be doing it justice.
Q: Why do you think ‘On The Road’ is more relevant now than back in the 50s? [@PattinsonStew]
I don’t know if it is more relevant. I don’t think it’s ever been irrelevant. I think that’s why people have been wanting to make a movie of it for decades. I think it’s maybe interesting that it happened now because people won’t necessarily focus entirely on the fact that they’re doing drugs and having sex because it’s not as shocking to see, necessarily. Maybe then it took a special kind of person to really feel the spirit and the feelings behind all of the things that may have hidden it for other people. And now it’s just not as veiled. Now you can actually appreciate it for what it is.
Q: Why does Barack Obama follow a Kristen Stewart appreciation account? [@teenstripper]
I didn’t know that. That’s insane. That’s crazy. (laughs)