Monday night’s downtown New York premiere of “Big Sur,” adapted from Jack Kerouac’s celebrated 1962 novel, was the kind of affair that would make a Beatnik poet proud. The after-party at Hotel Chantelle served up gimlets and a live-retro band, and most of the actors who walked the red carpet talked about their secret literary ambitions.
“I connected to ‘Big Sur’ more than his other books because there’s such a deep conflict for him as an artist,” said Kate Bosworth, who admitted that she wrote “a little poetry” in high school. She mock elaborated: “Dear Michael Polish,” she said, referring to the film’s director, who happened to be at her side (he’s also her husband). “Roses are red, violets are blue.”
“My poetry is about not writing poetry,” Polish added.
“Everyone tries to write poetry,” said Jean-Marc Barr, who plays Kerouac’s alter ego Jack Duluoz. “When you fall in love, there’s a big ego trip, so you got to try to put it into words.”
Variety discovered at least one potential James Franco in the making: Balthazar Getty, who plays Michael McClure, said he considers himself a writer, and he would like to publish.
“I’m trying to put together some of short stories and poems that I’ve written since I was in my early 20s,” the 38-year-old actor said. He’s not ready to show his collection to an agent yet. “Maybe I’ll just put it out myself.”
Josh Lucas said he wrote poetry “badly.” As a teenager, “I definitely tried to do it,” said Lucas, who plays the Beat Generation’s Neal Cassady. “It was always about love, the fire of the soul. The more I read, the more I realized I was not a writer.”