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Fearless Women
Though the principal roles among the cast are men, Krokidas' ensemble boasts a sterling collection of actresses in supporting roles, including Elizabeth Olsen as Kerouac's girlfriend Edie Parker, Jennifer Jason Leigh as Allen's psychologically unstable mother Naomi Ginsberg, and Kyra Sedgwick as Marian Carr, Lucien Carr's aristocratic and fiercely protective mother.

Olsen found the social milieu of the film particularly fascinating. "It illuminates the whole relationship between society and politics, especially toward homosexuals," she shares. "It's important to have reminders of where our country was at this point. The only reason Lucien Carr didn't have to spend his entire life in jail was because he claimed that David was a homosexual, and Lucien supposedly wasn't... And the fact that it was actually called an 'honor slaying'! That seems kind of insane, even for the 1940s. And in New York City, which we usually think of as the most progressive city in the history of our country."

In landing his pair of veteran actresses to play the key maternal roles, Krokidas well knows how lucky he got. "Kyra Sedgwick is truly fearless. And we needed someone who doesn't hold back to play Lucien Carr's mother -- after all, where did his personality come from? Marian Carr is a woman who went so far to protect her own son that she burned his admission papers to a mental hospital from a decade earlier. And Kyra can play that ferocity behind this Midwestern aristocratic facade."

Of his Naomi Ginsberg, Krokidas observes, "Obviously, Jennifer Jason Leigh has shown that she can portray characters who are emotionally ill in a very honest and beautiful fashion. She's so brave about revealing her own vulnerability."

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