In his article, author Lionel Rolfe delves into Gerald Nicosia’s book “One And Only: The Untold Story of On The Road” which focuses on Lu Anne Henderson’s role in the story of Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady’s friendship and the advent of the Beat Generation. Rolfe discusses how Mr. Nicosia’s research and expertise affected ‘On The Road’ the film, and in particular, Kristen’s preparation process for the role of Marylou and the “necessary estrogen” of ‘On The Road’.
Random Lengths: Mr. Rolfe writes, “The new film is more from the viewpoint of Lu Anne, Cassady’s first wife. That is because Nicosia as the preeminent Kerouac scholar was hired as an advisor for “On The Road.” When he played the tapes for actress Kristen Stewart, both he and the actress had some major revelations.
Stewart plays Marylou, who was 15 when she met Cassady. Marylou was a sweet 16 when they married, discounted as the stunning 16-year-old blond bimbo who Kerouac and Cassady shared, but otherwise was of little account. “One And Only: The Untold Story of On The Road” strongly disputes that account, and portrays Lu Anne as as the glue that bound these two powerful characters. She molded their relationship, and thus was a major catalyst of American literature…
To be sure, a lot of serendipity was involved in how the story unfolded. Nicosia decided to play the interview for Stewart during a beat boot camp “On The Road” director Walter Salles set up in Montreal in the summer of 2010. Nicosia had recorded the hours-long interview with Lu Anne in 1978. For Stewart, she was looking for the rhythm of Lu Anne’s language. For Nicosia, he realized that he had not really understood what Lu Anne was saying when he first recorded the interview…”
“What we now know is that the dynamic duo of Kerouac and Cassady was actually a trio: Neal, Lu Anne, and Jack,” he replied.”It was always assumed that these two guys, cultural outlaws, a kind of modern-day Butch Cassady and Sundance Kid, just magically found each other, combined forces, and started the Beat Generation.
“What we now know, thanks to Lu Anne’s testimony, is that both these guys were enormously insecure and vulnerable, that they were very different (though both were misfits in post-World War II America), and that neither one liked or trusted the other when they met.
“It took the depth and insight of a woman’s love, Lu Anne’s, to allow them to see enough in each other’s character, and in each other’s heart, to begin to form the friendship that changed contemporary America. Without Lu Anne–the “necessary estrogen,” as Kristen Stewart put it–the chemical reaction, the new and potent compound of Kerouac-Cassady, simply wouldn’t have happened or existed.
Read Mr. Rolfe’s full article at Random Lengths News.
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