This basic thing I always do: 'What happened between the character's birth, and page one of the script?' Anything that's not in the story, I'll fill in the blanks.
'The Road' is about that fear that all parents can have. What's going to happen to your child if you're not around? It takes those concerns to an extreme. In the film, without me the boy has no food, no shelter, no resources at all.
On a practical level, poetry isn't something anybody has really made a great living at. I might sell some books and, once in a while, someone might pay to hear me read.
To be honest, I don't really care about any pope. It's not something I think about much, to be quite honest with you.