While in Chicago for an appearance on Oprah, Kristen Stewart revealed to USA Today that she's been cast as "Mary Lou" in the long-awaited adaptation of Jack Kerouac's On the Road.
Like other characters in the book, this "beautiful little sharp chick" (as Kerouac first describes her) is based on a real person, in this case Neal Cassady's first wife, LuAnne Henderson. The Twilight star joins Garrett Hedlund (Tron Legacy), who we previously learned will portray the Cassady character, "Dean Moriarty."
In the story, Mary Lou and Dean are already divorced but they continue having a friendly, sometimes sexual relationship despite the fact that Dean is remarried. Seems like Stewart gets to play the other woman again, like she did in Adventureland. However, her involvement in this film mostly calls to mind her part in the soul-searching road movie Into the Wild. But this time she gets to participate in some of the traveling, along with Dean and the other Beat Generation characters.
Stewart's attachment would seem to be good for the movie's appeal with younger audiences, though Twilight fans haven't really shown much love for other projects featuring the franchise's stars. Stewart's last movie, The Runaways, was a flop, having barely made a tenth of what New Moon grossed in midnight screenings the night before it opened. Meanwhile, Twilight haters complain when the lip-biting actress boards an important film like On the Road.
Stewart's not really a bad actress, though, and you have to respect her desire to choose stuff that's so far removed from her blockbuster vampire series (the next of which, Eclipse, hits theaters next month). Other than the fact that she's being considered for Wanted 2, when she's not doing another Twilight Saga installment, she's mostly starring in indies.
Brazilian filmmaker Walter Salles is still set to direct the adaptation for producer Francis Ford Coppola, while British actor Sam Riley has unofficially been linked to the Kerouac role, "Sal Paradise." Stay tuned for more updates as they occur, as there are plenty more characters, including Carlo Marx (a.k.a. Allen Ginsberg) and Ed Dunkel (a.k.a. Al Hinkle), to be cast.
On the Road is currently set to open sometime in 2011.
What do you think about Stewart being cast in such an iconic role?
Follow me on Twitter: @thefilmcynic