Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Review: ‘Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation’ Starring Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Jeremy Renner & More Review: ‘Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation’ Starring Tom Cruise, Rebecca Ferguson, Jeremy Renner & More Relativity Puts 'Jane Got A Gun' And More Up For Sale As They Fight Off Bankruptcy Relativity Puts 'Jane Got A Gun' And More Up For Sale As They Fight Off Bankruptcy Zack Snyder Says Batman Has A "Crisis Of Conscience" In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Plus New Pics Zack Snyder Says Batman Has A "Crisis Of Conscience" In 'Batman v Superman: Dawn Of Justice' Plus New Pics Venice 2015 Line-Up: 'Equals' With Kristen Stewart, 'Beasts Of No Nation,' 'The Danish Girl,' More Venice 2015 Line-Up: 'Equals' With Kristen Stewart, 'Beasts Of No Nation,' 'The Danish Girl,' More Watch: 4-Minute Tribute To Lars von Trier's Masterful Film Work Watch: 4-Minute Tribute To Lars von Trier's Masterful Film Work New 'Deadpool' Images, Ryan Reynolds Distances Himself From 'X-Men: Origins' New 'Deadpool' Images, Ryan Reynolds Distances Himself From 'X-Men: Origins' TIFF Images: Emma Watson In 'Colonia,' Brie Larson In 'Room,' Charlie Kaufman's 'Anomalisa' And More TIFF Images: Emma Watson In 'Colonia,' Brie Larson In 'Room,' Charlie Kaufman's 'Anomalisa' And More Richard Linklater Frontrunner To Direct 'The Rosie Project' Starring Jennifer Lawrence Richard Linklater Frontrunner To Direct 'The Rosie Project' Starring Jennifer Lawrence Watch: Blu-Ray Trailer For 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron' Plus 11 New Clips From The Film Watch: Blu-Ray Trailer For 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron' Plus 11 New Clips From The Film The 10 Best And 5 Worst Tom Cruise Performances The 10 Best And 5 Worst Tom Cruise Performances Watch: New Trailer For 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Blu-ray Release Explores Who Killed The World Watch: New Trailer For 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Blu-ray Release Explores Who Killed The World Just For Laughs: 'The Big Lebowski' Live Read With Michael Fassbender & Jennifer Lawrence Just For Laughs: 'The Big Lebowski' Live Read With Michael Fassbender & Jennifer Lawrence Union Rep Says Safety Was A Concern On 'The Revenant' Shoot Union Rep Says Safety Was A Concern On 'The Revenant' Shoot All The Songs In 'Paper Towns' Including Bon Iver, Wilco, Vampire Weekend, Bob Dylan, And More All The Songs In 'Paper Towns' Including Bon Iver, Wilco, Vampire Weekend, Bob Dylan, And More "A Living Hell": 'The Revenant' Is Reportedly $35 Million Over Budget, A Producer Exited The Movie, And More "A Living Hell": 'The Revenant' Is Reportedly $35 Million Over Budget, A Producer Exited The Movie, And More The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 So Far The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far "It Was A Clusterfuck From Day One": 5 Things About Neill Blomkamp's Failed 'Halo' Movie "It Was A Clusterfuck From Day One": 5 Things About Neill Blomkamp's Failed 'Halo' Movie

Cannes: Kristen Stewart & Garrett Hedlund Talk Making Walter Salles' 'On The Road'

Photo of Oliver Lyttelton By Oliver Lyttelton | The Playlist May 29, 2012 at 10:58AM

If any film at Cannes this year faced the most fevered anticipation, it was Walter Salles' "On The Road." Not just because the project had been over thirty years in the making, and was based on a beloved, groundbreaking novel, but also because it features an exciting young cast lead by "Twilight" star Kristen Stewart, "Tron: Legacy" lead Garrett Hedlund and Sam Riley from "Control," with a strong supporting roster including Kirsten Dunst, Amy Adams, Viggo Mortensen, Terrence Howard, and more.
2

On The Road Riley Hedlund
Garrett Hedlund was cast in the role five year ago, as he was on the verge of quitting the business.  
Having been in the works for decades, five years might not sound like a long time, but if you're an actor who's been cast in one of the most iconic roles in 20th century literature, it must feel endless. That's what happened to Garrett Hedlund, who plays Dean Moriarty. The actor explains that when the script first arrived, he wasn't sure if acting still had a future for him: "I'd gotten the script in November 2006. I went to the farm in Minnesota to help my Dad out, and bought a one-way ticket, because times were slow in L.A. As soon as I landed in Fargo, they said, 'That film you're really interested in? They want to see you on Wednesday.'" In the end, he got his foot in the door with an unusual approach to his audition. "It was kind of nerve-racking with this material, and there was so much of it, that I went 'If i can't prepare all this, I'll capture this moment of me of going to see my father.' So I did this 25 page bit of writing, and at the end of the audition, asked if I could read the writing to them."

It worked, eventually, as Hedlund explains he was cast in the role as long as five years ago. "I met with Walter for the first time in March 2007, and met him again in July of 2007, and he called me in September 2007 to say I had the role. And we didn't start shooting until August 2010, and all that time, me and Walter were in constant communication."

The film in part appealed to Hedlund because he has a similarly restless spirit.
The original novel has inspired many to head off on their own voyages of self-discovery, and Hedlund certainly found a kinship in the part. "I would never be able to do, no offense to anyone, a nine-to-five job. Acting... the more you learn and grow, the possibilities can be endless, and hopefully you can do it until the day you die," he said. "If something were to restrict me from being able to have acting as a possibility, I don't think I'd be able to see a movie for the rest of my life; I'd be so jealous and angry."

Hedlund went on several road trips to research the role, including one with Salles.
As it turns out, the choice of Hedlund was perfect casting, as he's no stranger to impulsive road trips himself. "I was pent up in Los Angeles, after doing a film that I worried was going to be negatively received. I jumped in the car, showed up in SLC at 2 in the morning, got a hotel, took off at 7 in the morning, got some Dennys, got pulled over for speeding in Idaho, drove through Yellowstone behind logging trucks, up through Montana, 19 hours straight," he shared. "Slept in a Motel 6, who turned 100, in North Dakota, showed up on the farm to surprise my dad. I've done quite a few, through Arizona and stuff. I drive a SUV. I've got to be higher up, I can't stand not being able to see the road in front of me."

As part of his research, Hedlund and Salles hit the road together in the same car that Cassady had driven. "Walter and I did a cross country in a '49 Hudson, that took us 14 days. We broke down nine times. If you try and get brake pads in Nashville on a Sunday, good fucking luck. We broke down in the middle of nowhere in New Mexico. I've been to some great places, and some great trips, but it's weird that I found this the greatest 14 days of my life. We took the back roads, we didn't take the freeways. When it takes 5 hours to get from Phoenix to LA, it took us 16. Within the impatient traveler, there's part of you that says 'Ah, come on, let's just get there.' But it takes as long as it takes."

Interview by Aaron Hillis

This article is related to: On The Road, Cannes Film Festival, Interviews, Kristen Stewart, Garrett Hedlund


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates