Kristen Stewart is re-emerging. Slowly but surely returning to public life after an over-analysed and over-invested-in scandal that has consumed the attentions and conjectures of countless outlets, industry observers, social media users, fans and even a T-shirt retailer.
Always a polarizing actress, never were the latent feelings of so many expressed so vociferously after U.S Weekly’s publication of those photographs.
The extraordinary heat they generated, now somewhat lessened, will likely reignite when Stewart walks the red carpet at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival on September 6 in support of her film — the Walter Salles directed On The Road.
Adapted from Jack Kerouac’s classic beat novel, when On The Road was screened at the Cannes Film Festival, Stewart’s portrayal of the free-spirited ‘Marylou’ was hailed a standout performance.
In a pre-debacle interview with Little White Lie magazine, the actress revealed her intense connection to the role:
“Oh my god, I f*g love it [acting] so much. I’m not Marylou; I’m Sal,” said Stewart.
“Right now, I feel so full. I’m, like, bursting. I should be working. I don’t want to take a break. It’s funny, on set, I don’t have to go to the bathroom, I don’t have anything wrong, I’m perfectly fine, so through-and-through. I’m not hungry. I’m literally not even in my own body. They wrap and they send me back to my trailer and I f*g fall to pieces.”
Currently gracing the front cover of British Vogue’s October issue, in another pre-July 24 interview the 22-year-old shared her thoughts about On the Road, fame and what she believes in.
On maintaining an image:
“I know that if you haven’t thought about how you want to present a very packaged idea of yourself then it can seem like you lack ambition. But, dude, honestly? I can’t,” Stewart says.
On feeling awkward in public:
“People expect it to be easy because there you are, out there, doing the thing that you want and making lots of money out of it. But, you know, I’m not that smooth. I can get clumsy around certain people,” the actress says.
“Like if I were to sit down and think, ‘OK, I’m really famous, how am I going to conduct myself in public?’ I wouldn’t know who that person would be! It would be a lot easier if I could, but I can’t.”
On her role as ‘Marylou’ in On The Road:
“There is always going to be that seam of people who want things differently to the standardized version. It’s not necessarily a rebellious thing, it’s just who they are. That world back then, it just seems freer to me than anything I could ever touch, and I’m fully nostalgic for it, even though I wasn’t even alive then.”
“It’s the loyalty aspect of it all. I love being on the periphery with a group of people who have the same values that I do. People who don’t get off on fame, who just like the process of making movies and thrive.”
Also starring Sam Riley, Garrett Hedlund, Kirsten Dunst, Viggo Mortensen and Tom Sturridge to name a few, On The Road’s backstory is a potent one.
A semi-autobiographical beat generation road odyssey with three core characters at its heart. Young writer, Sal Paradise (Sam Riley, in a role based on Jack Kerouac’s experiences on the road), Dean Moriarty (Garrett Hedlund) and Marylou (Kristen Stewart). Bound by a desire for freedom and a search for experience itself, the trio travel across 1950’s America, meeting various colorful characters along the way.
Reports that Stewart may join her assumed-to-be-estranged-and-possibly-broken-up ex-partner Robert Pattinson — who is confirmed with Taylor Lautner to appear — at MTV’s Video Music Awards via video link are currently swirling the interwebs. That remains to be seen.
But as renowned critic Betsy Sharkey recently observed is it not time to:
“Let Stewart get on with the business of being who she is meant to be: an exceedingly nuanced young actress who has earned her way, every step of it.”
One of the most anticipated star showings at TIFF, On The Road has been re-cut and re-jigged. Likewise, on September 6, a hopefully regrouped Stewart will return to a career she loves, in support of a film she has every right to be proud of.