Day 8 – On The Road with Kristen Stewart

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Oh my, you never know which film at the Cannes Film Festival is going to get the most journalists to crawl out of their beds early in the morning to queue up for the 8.30 am screening…until it happens. And then you wish you’d crawled out of your’s an hour earlier.

This morning’s ON THE ROAD was like that. The queues were stupendous. And when we finally did get ushered into the Palais…it was just to be moved out the side door and into a separate theatre called the Salle du Soixantième because the main theatre was overflowing.

On The Road image
On The Road starring Sam Riley, Kristen Stewart and Garrett Hedlund

The movie’s magnificent in my opinion. (I think I’m in a really good mood this Festival because I’ve been loving a LOT of the films.) It does justice to Jack Kerouac’s book whilst breathing new life into it, making it accessible and inspirational for a new generation of youngsters who are rejecting the conservative ideals and values of today. It’s been 30 years in the making…but it’s timing couldn’t be better.

Kristen Stewart at today's press conference
Kristen Stewart at today's press conference

It’s what you’d expect from Walter Salles…director of ‘The Motorcycle Diaries’ and ‘Paris, Je T’aime’. And it’s brought to life by a fantastic cast including a hot and steamy Garrett Hedlund, soulful Sam Riley as the character Sal Paradise (who Jack Kerouac based on himself), Kristen Stewart, Kirsten Dunst and Viggo Mortensen.

It doesn’t shy away from the darker side – the drugs, the sex; nor gloss over the blander bits. Like Garrett’s character (iconic beat poet Neal Cassady) it never stops moving.

The entire cast is talented…but of course at the Press Conference afterwards, it’s Twilight’s Kristen Stewart that everyone wants to talk to. Specifically, about the sex scenes. She says she could tell us how the director made her feel safe and put her in a comfortable position…but that’s not what she wanted. “I love pushing,” she says. “I love scaring myself. I love to watch genuine behaviour on screen…I wanted to do it!”

Kristen Stewart, Garrett Hedlund, Kirsten Dunst and Sam Riley at today's On The Road press conference at Cannes 2012
Kristen Stewart, Garrett Hedlund, Kirsten Dunst and Sam Riley at today's On The Road press conference at Cannes 2012

She surprised me. You read how she’s sullen…and she seems so young. But wow, she’s wise. When she was introduced in the room, she closed her eyes and looked down. So uncomfortable. But when she gets talking, sentences stream out of her like lines in a novel. She’s so eloquent. And she’s passionate about her work, and about honesty.

I have so much more to tell you…but must rush! Movies to watch!