Team Kerouac

Kristen Stewart and Garrett Hedlund chat about the film version of On the Road

"I don't think there's ever going to be a point when there aren't a group of people who have varied expectations of what they want from fate. You gravitate toward those people and you do things you couldn't do alone," Stewart, also a big Henry Miller fan, adds. "That's why the book has never been not popular amongst people pushing and running after something."

We talk for a little while about the characters, their models, jazz, their Beat reading list. Inside the Actors Studio stuff — none of it is very interesting and neither is entirely unaware of that. Then Stewart's publicist whisks her out and she says "nice to meet you" with more sincerity than she needs to.

Hedlund talks a little more about his road trips and research. But what really stands out isn't one of his own stories but one from Salles, the director, via Hedlund, about a pilgrimage to the Bay Area to meet Beat poet and Kerouac comrade Lawrence Ferlinghetti.

"They were on the streets of 'Frisco and they looked over and there's cars and traffic jams, and all these billboards and signs and advertisements and bright lights," Hedlund says, jabbing at why On the Road's ideas are indelible yet inimitable. "Then Ferlinghetti pointed and said, 'See ... there is no more way."

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