TORONTO -- It's been tough for Kristen Stewart to be back out in public after revelations of an affair that led to her breakup with "Twilight" co-star Robert Pattinson.

Yet there's no place she would rather be than at the Toronto International Film Festival alongside her colleagues for the adaptation of Jack Kerouac's 1950s Beat Generation novel, "On the Road."

Stewart said she never thought about skipping the festival, where the film played ahead of its U.S. theatrical release in December.

She said it was important to be there with director Walter Salles and co-stars that include Kirsten Dunst and Garrett Hedlund, who like Stewart had worked for years to get the film made.

"We have been waiting for this thing to be unleashed for so long. It was sort of one of those situations where you just have to put yourself in your body and go appreciate the moment," Stewart said in an interview Saturday.

Recalling the film's world premiere at May's Cannes Film Festival, Stewart said, "I would have been happy standing at Cannes with the entire theater booing it as long as I was in that row with my cast and with Walter. We would have been fine. I feel so strong with these people, and it's so appropriate. I belonged there."

Since Cannes, Stewart's personal life has unraveled as she admitted she cheated on Pattinson with her "Snow White and the Huntsman" director, Rupert Sanders.

The Toronto premiere of "On the Road" on Thursday was Stewart's first public appearance since, and she was greeted by hundreds of "Twilight" fans who came out to show support for the 22-year-old actress.

"You expect a lot of people at a `Twilight' premiere, but showing up at an `On the Road' Toronto film festival screening and seeing that amount of people is absolutely, disarmingly amazing," Stewart said. "It felt pretty cool."

"On the Road" has been on Hollywood's to-do list for decades, but previous attempts to adapt it for film always fell through.

Salles ("Central Station," "The Motorcycle Diaries") spent years developing the film, which stars Hedlund as beat generation free spirit Dean Moriarty, inspired by Kerouac's friend Neal Cassady, and Sam Riley as the author's alter-ego, Sal Paradise.

Stewart co-stars as Dean's first wife, Marylou, who joins him and Sal on some of their crazed cross-country adventures.

The novel was a consciousness-raising experience for Stewart when she first read it as a high school freshman.

"Marylou and Dean are the type of people that I was inspired by. Initially, at 15 reading the book, going, God, these are the sort of people I've got to find. The mad ones," Stewart said. "And I am so not one of them, but maybe I could be. ...

"The great thing about `On the Road' is that it really can crack open your shell, and I definitely realized things about myself that I didn't realize before. That I can let my face hang out and not be too aware of it, and stop questioning myself and not be afraid of strangers, and stop being judgmental."

Coping with photographers and TV crews at Thursday's red-carpet premiere was a challenge.

"I was a little nervous, obviously. I'm always nervous before a red carpet," Stewart said. "To be honest, I was just kind of telling myself, like, just don't black out. Be there, don't just figuratively put your head down and barrel though it. Be there, appreciate it. Luckily, very, very much I was able to do that."

In November, Stewart faces some awkward public appearances when she and Pattinson will be promoting "The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2," the finale of their vampire romance.

Stewart is confident they will get through that all right.

"We're going to be fine," Stewart said. "We're totally fine."

___

Online:

Loading Slideshow...
  • Kristen & Rob

    Actors Taylor Lautner, Kristen Stewart, and Robert Pattinson accept the Ultimate Choice award onstage during the 2012 Teen Choice Awards at Gibson Amphitheatre on July 22, 2012 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

  • Kristen & Rob

    Actors Robert Pattinson (L) and Kristen Stewart speak at 'The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2' Panel during Comic-Con International 2012 at San Diego Convention Center on July 12, 2012 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

  • Kristen & Rob

    Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart attend the UK premiere of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 at Westfield Stratford City on November 16, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

  • Kristen & Rob

    Actors Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart arrive at the Premiere of Summit Entertainment's 'The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1' at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on November 14, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

  • Kristen & Rob

    Actors Robert Pattinson (L) and Kristen Stewart are immortalized in a hand and footprint ceremony at the Grauman's Chinese Theatre on November 3, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

  • Kristen & Rob

    Actor Taylor Lautner, actress Kristen Stewart and actor Rob Pattinson attend the Summit Entertainment 'The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1' press conference at the Hilton Bayfront during Comic-Con 2011 on July 21, 2011 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for Summit Entertainment)

  • Kristen & Rob

    Actors Robert Pattinson (L) and Kristen Stewart arrive at Summit Entertainment's 'The Twilight Saga: Eclipse' at L.A. Live's Nokia Theater on June 24, 2010 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

  • Kristen & Rob

    Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart accept the Best Kiss Award onstage at the 2010 MTV Movie Awards held at the Gibson Amphitheatre at Universal Studios on June 6, 2010 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

  • Kristen & Rob

    Actors Kristen Stewart (L) and Robert Pattinson arrive at the afterparty for the premiere of Summit Entertainment's 'The Twilight Saga: New Moon' at the Hammer Museum on November 16, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

  • Kristen & Rob

    Actors Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart chat during the presentation of their new film 'The Twighlight Saga - New Moon' during the HVB youth event at the Olympic Hall on November 14, 2009 in Munich, Germany. (Photo by Alexandra Beier/Getty Images)

  • Kristen & Rob

    Actors Robert Pattinson (L) and Kristen Stewart appear onstage at Summit's 'The Twilight Saga: New Moon' Cast Tour at Hollywood and Highland on November 6, 2009 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

  • Kristen & Rob

    Actors Taylor Lautner, Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson speak at 'The Twilight Saga: New Moon' press conference during Comic-Con 2009 held at San Diego Convention Center on July 23, 2009 in San Diego, California. (Photo by John Shearer/Getty Images)

  • Kristen & Rob

    Actress Kristen Stewart (L) and actor Robert Pattinson, winners of Best Movie, Best Kiss, Best Fight, Best Female Performance, Breakthrough Male Performance awards for 'Twilight' pose in the press room during the 18th Annual MTV Movie Awards held at the Gibson Amphitheatre on May 31, 2009 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)

  • Kristen & Rob

    American actress Kristen Stewart (L) and British actor Robert Pattinson pose for photographs during the 'Twilight' press conference at Ebisu Garden Place on February 27, 2009 in Tokyo, Japan. The film will open in Japan on April 4. (Photo by Kiyoshi Ota/Getty Images)

  • Kristen & Rob

    Actor Robert Pattinson (L) and Actress Kristen Stewart (R) arrive to attend a photocall for the Catherine Hardwicke's film 'Twilight' on December 8, 2008 at the Crillon Hotel in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

  • Kristen & Rob

    Actors Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart attends the premiere of Summit Entertainment's 'Twilight' at The Mann Village and Bruin Theatres on November 17, 2008 in Westwood, California. The film is based on the popular book series by author Stephanie Meyer. (Photo by Vince Bucci/Getty Images)

  • Kristen & Rob

    Actors Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart attend the 'Twilight' Premiere during the 3rd Rome International Film Festival held at the Auditorium Parco della Musica on October 30, 2008 in Rome, Italy. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)