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The West Australian / Road Trip To Opportunity

Sporting a leather jacket, a beanie and black jeans on a hot summer day in Cannes, Garrett Hedlund resembles Dean Moriarty, the Neal Cassady-inspired character he portrays in Walter Salles’ movie of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road.

When he removes his sunglasses his eyes are two red balls.

He and his co-star Sam Riley (Sal Paradise aka Kerouac himself) had tied one on the evening before in honour perhaps of the men they portray – though hopefully they live a little longer.

Cassady died at 41, Kerouac at 47. Interestingly, junkie guru William S. Burroughs (played by Viggo Mortensen as Old Bull Lee in the film) lived to the ripe old age of 83.

“I am for the most part, responsible and I prefer a healthy lifestyle,” notes 27-year-old Los Angeles-based Hedlund (Tron: Legacy, Country Strong), a fit specimen who once considered a career as a professional baseball player.

“But I know that given Neal’s craziness and that he’d worked in the railways, it’s sort of symbolic the way that he passed. A bunch of young bucks came up to him saying ‘Come on man, let’s drink. You are Neal Cassady, you are Dean Moriarty, I know how you can play, let’s do this.’ So they got him really f…ed up and he ended up walking the railroad tracks and he collapsed and died.”

Riley may not be athletic though today he’s in better shape and can clearly drink Hedlund under the table.

“I’m from Yorkshire,” the 32-year-old boasts cheekily. Even if Riley had so deftly embodied another hard liver (Joy Division singer Ian Curtis in Control) he felt a huge pressure to understand the motivations of the iconic and complex Kerouac who, as he points out, drank himself to death around the same time. (Cassady died in February 1968, Kerouac in October 1969.)

Initially Kerouac had wanted to play Sal in the cinematic adaptation of his novel and hoped Marlon Brando would star as Moriarty and help get the film off the ground.

Though a movie version of the seemingly unfilmable road story of their real life crisscrossing America in the late 40s failed to eventuate, that put all the more pressure on Salles’ actors.

“When Johnny Depp was saying how he was glad that he was too old to play Kerouac because there would be too much pressure, I thought ‘Well, if he is saying that how will I fare’,” Riley says.

“Although I had a lot of anxiety and wasn’t sure which way it would go, I couldn’t say no, could I? Any young actor would kill for the opportunity.”

A former aspiring musician who has an uncomfortable relationship with fame, Riley now lives in Berlin with his wife, German actress Anna Maria Lara, who is far more famous there than he is – and he likes it that way.

He is, however, hugely talented and On The Road has given him the opportunity to shine.

“Sam has the intelligent sense of a writer,” Salles says. “The movie’s about young people trying to define what’s going on, but it’s also about someone trying to write a book about this process. When you are transmitting the details of the story you have to have an actor who is completely focused and who has a humanist quality and the ability to convey what’s going on.”

Hedlund too was a natural choice. A fan of the novel since he read it at 17, he is a big talker like Cassady and writes prose poetry himself. Salles met him in 2006 when he was casting the film.

“Garrett had travelled from Minnesota to Los Angeles and he wasn’t so known at the time but he’d written such a beautiful piece about the journey itself that I realised he had the sensibility for this material,” he explains.

“His tests for the role were brilliant.” An aficionado of road movies, Salles had filmed The Motorcycle Diaries based on a screenplay by Jose Rivera, who writes the screenplay here.

Aiming for meticulous detail, he took off on a road trip across America with Hedlund driving a ’49 Hudson, as Kerouac and Cassady had in the novel, while Salles filmed the second unit landscapes.

“We broke down in Texas, we broke down in the middle of nowhere in New Mexico,” Hedlund recalls with a chuckle. “We had nine different mechanics along the road.”

Most important for the movie though was the boot camp where the actors immersed themselves in Beat culture, Riley says.

“I am a Yorkshireman and Garrett is from Minnesota,” he explains.

“We couldn’t have had more different upbringings and experiences, but for whatever reason we were chosen to play these two guys at the moment when the movie finally got made.”

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Via Mr Hedlund

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Garrett Talks New Coen Brothers Film Inside Llewyn Davis

On The Road – Jack Kerouac’s free-form novel, first mooted as a movie in 1957 – has had a long and twisted path to the big screen.

We explore the fascinating story of its wild trip to cinemas in our October issue of Total Film (on-sale now!), interviewing all the key people involved in finally bringing the classic novel to your local popcorn emporium.

As part of that exploration, we spoke to Garrett Hedlund as he prepares to leave behind one cinematic car to clamber into another for the Coen brothers.

Tell us about filming Inside Llewyn Davis for the Coen brothers?

“It’s a wonderful story loosely based on this struggling folk singer in the sixties named Dave Von Ronk. It’s a wonderful cast and a wonderful period. My part was just me and John Goodman and my buddy Oscar Isaacs in a car, so I don’t know what the rest of the film is going to be like – but I sure got a kick out of filming.

“The Coen brothers, they’re two of the greatest. Those guys are two of the wisest, smartest, most brilliant filmmakers in the world and I would have played a Bellhop in the elevator for them, I would have been extra No.10 at a dinner scene to work with them.”

On The Road opens on 12 October 2012.

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via Laura

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Cannes Premiere of On The Road gets standing ovation

Critics may have been mixed after this morning’s press screening,  but the World Premiere audience at Wednesday night’s Cannes gala of director Walter Salles’ long-gestating film  On The Road was highly enthusiastic giving the film about the Beat Generation a 10 minute standing ovation. Co-producer Rebecca Yeldham said it was sweet justification for the 8 years she has been shepherding the picture with Salles. I caught up with her and the cast at the ultra-crowded after-party next door to the Palais at the oddly-named club, Magic Garden Meets LeBaron.  The film based on the famous 1957 classic book by Jack Kerouac (actually written in 1951) has had several people attempt a film version with no luck and it has taken 55 years to get to the screen. Kerouac himself even sent it to Marlon Brando right after publication  but never got a response. Francis Ford Coppola eventually secured the rights over 30 years ago but couldn’t come up with a way to make the complex film work. Finally Salles and his The Motorcycle Diaries screenwriter Jose Rivera cracked the code and after some false starts finally got the job done (Roman Coppola is also a producer on the film for American Zoetrope). IFC and Sundance Selects will distribute the film but it won’t be part of their VOD platform, but rather a major theatrical release. IFC’s and Sundance Selects President Jonathan Sehring, also at the party , said he couldn’t be higher on the film and they plan to open it in December and mount a major awards campaign. “We are going for it in a big way,” he said. “And initially I was skeptical about the whole thing. I didn’t know if itcould work. I had never really seen a good Beat film done right before but Walter has done a magnificent job and all the actors are great.

She’s great,” he said pointing to Kristen Stewart  who was standing in a nearby corner of the party talking with Twilight co-star Robert Pattinson (RPat is in Cannes for his own premiere on Friday, David Cronenberg’s Cosmopolis). Sehring’s been busy here. He is also high on the acquistion title,Sightseers, a wickedly dark and clever British comedy I saw today in Directors Fortnight. It’s one of the more entertaining films I have seen here this year and should find an audience. Director  Ben Wheatley has a following. Sehring just viewed the film this week and quickly snapped it up for release in 2013. ” We had handled Kill List, a film he wrote, but a  lot of people were after this one,” he said. Sehring sees so many films so quickly at film fests he always chews gum thoughout each one so he doesn’t doze off. He said he got the tip from a journalist. I think I will try it. Some of these films are real endurance tests.

Read more at the Source

Video via Mr Hedlund

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Walter Salles’ journey to On the Road

Riley was selected after 2007’s “Control” and Hedlund came on after taking a long bus ride to his audition from his home in a town in Minnesota so rural that the nearest metropolis was Fargo, three hours away.

“He kept a journal about his journey, and he asked to read it after his audition scenes,” Salles remembers. “What he’d written was so much in tune with Neal’s letters we were all sure he was right.” Hedlund, who is outstanding, was so committed to the role he wouldn’t take other work without checking with Salles first about possible schedule conflicts.

In doing research on the earlier attempts to film “On the Road,” some of which date back to well before Coppola acquired the rights, Salles was struck by screenplay versions that had Dean Moriarty punished or even killed by the end.

“That character was very politically incorrect,” Salles explains. “His attempt to live every single possibility, and the evasion of responsibility that came with it, made people uncomfortable.”

Read the full article at the Source

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Another Man Article

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via Mr Hedlund

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Reaction to OTR Trailer/Jerry Cimino from The Beat Museum

Garrett Minds‘ friend Jerry Cimino has written his reaction to OTR trailer. Here is a part of it, please make sure you visit the Huffington Post site to read the rest!

On The Road Movie Trailer Promises an Adaptation Worthy of Kerouac

Controversy has raged for decades among Beat Generation fans as to whether this movie should even have been attempted. I can understand both sides of the argument. On The Road is a very personal novel for many, many people. At the Beat Museum, located in San Francisco, we see people from every corner of the world walk through our doors daily who are on their own personal journey kick-started by their reading of Kerouac’s books. On The Road holds a very special place in the hearts of many of these people and they don’t want their vision of Kerouac’s book (and their own personal journeys) messed with.

The flipside of that argument, of course, is that On The Road must be made into a film. Jack Kerouac himself sent a letter to Marlon Brando back in 1959 imploring Brando to make the film. Kerouac understood that a novel is not a movie and he even told Brando he was willing to write the screenplay himself incorporating whatever accommodations and changes needed for the story of the book to work as a film.

In 2012 that argument still has not subsided. But with the release of the trailer for Walter Salles’ film adaptation of On The Road I believe the filmmakers have magnificently met their obligation to the true fan and to their own artistic callings.

Captured in this 1.45-minute trailer is all the energy, drive, excitement and uncertainty of the book itself. The raw sexuality of Garrett Hedlund as Neal Cassady and Kristen Stewart as his 16-year-old bride, Lu Anne Henderson. From the dance halls of New York to the hotel rooms of Denver to the whorehouses of Mexico, Kerouac’s words come alive on the screen.

Source – Huffington Post

Via Mr Hedlund

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Garrett Hedlund To Join Coen Brothers For Inside Llewyn Davis

Garrett Hedlund, who has somehow been left holding the bag as the only actor committed to Akira even with production on hold, now has time to pursue a much more promising project. According to Variety, he’s in negotiations to join Inside Llewyn Davis, the new project from the Coen Brothers about a folk singer making his way through the Greenwich Village music scene in the 1960s. Oscar Isaac isalready set to play the lead role, but Hedlund proved his singing ability in Country Strong and could easily play another performer.

Inside Llewyn Davis is gearing up for production in New York soon, and there’s a plenty strong cast already in place– Coens go-to guy John Goodman is set for a role, and Carey Mulligan, Justin Timberlake, Jeanine Serralles and F. Murray Abraham are all set to work with the brothers for the first time. It goes without saying that Llewyn Davis is high on any “most anticipated of 2012 list,” and even though production is just now starting, it seems likely the quick-working Coens could finish the film in time for a late year release. Will Hedlund get a chance to show off some acting skill before he gets tossed into the gears of a giant movie like Akira? If negotiations pan out, he’ll get one more movie to put between himself and the already badly aged Tron: Legacy.

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