10/7/12

Kristen Stewart: 'I love Marylou. She jumps off the page and smacks you in the face'

For many, On the Road is primarily one for the boys. Jack Kerouac's obsession with the egotistical and hedonistic drifter Neal Cassady dominates the book, with the female characters relegated to the back seat, disposable objects that float in and out of the tale at the convenience of the proto-beat lads.


That's one view. But to director Walter Salles, the novel's female characters, especially those based on Cassady's long-suffering wives, are "the silent heroines" of the piece. Accordingly, he has cast two of Hollywood's most sought-after actresses – Kristen Stewart and Kirsten Dunst – to play them.
Stewart is Marylou, the book's version of Cassady's first wife, LuAnne Henderson, who joined Cassady and Kerouac on their road trips across America; Dunst is Camille, aka second wife Carolyn Cassady, who stayed at home with the babies in San Francisco. Cassady flitted between these women, sleeping with Carolyn while married to LuAnne, keeping LuAnne as a lover after he had divorced her for Carolyn. Kerouac made little effort to give his female friends depth and dignity on the page; the film attempts to remedy that oversight.

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