‘Garrett Hedlund, the recipient of the Maui Film Festival’s Rising Star Award, headed to Hollywood as soon as he graduated from high school in Minnesota.
“I remember being snowed in with dad in a La-Z-Boy with brothers and sisters around and watching something on a big screen,” he said. “It makes you feel a little bit envious; makes you feel like you want to be the one entertaining them—and that’s when I think it came.” Although he would write to film studios, asking to be an actor, he never got any responses. But, he said, “That was the thing throughout the process of getting to L.A.,” he said. “It was all the non-responses that kept pushing me further to the town.”
He’s recently finished the highly anticipated film of the classic Kerouac novel On the Road. Hedlund plays Dean Moriarty, who is modeled after Kerouac’s best friend, Neal Cassady. To prepare, the actor flew to London and spent hours with Cassady’s widow, Carolyn.
When Hedlund was 17, he read Kerouac’s real-life depiction of Cassady, The First Third. The book made a lasting impression.
He was a charismatic character, said Hedlund, who was very in love with life. When he saw that the movie was being made, he knew he wanted to be a part of it. Sitting in Cassady’s trailer house, one-on-one with the godmother of the Beat Generation, Hedlund missed his flight as she read the 25 pages he wrote in the style of her husband’s letters that so inspired him. “She’s the strongest woman I’ve ever met,” he said. “It was just one of the most surreal things ever. ”He hopes that she is pleased with his portrayal.’
Thanks to Laura from Garrett Minds!