Best known for directing such films as the gritty teen drama 'Thirteen' and 'Lords of Dogtown', Catherine Hardwicke takes a stab at directing a different kind of teen tale with 'Twilight', adapted from Stephanie Meyer’s best selling novel. Being behind the camera Hardwicke has had it a bit easier than her cast as she doesn’t get as recognized. However, she has been experiencing some fans of her own.
“It’s pretty crazy for all the actors, but I’ve got a couple of imitators on the Internet. Have you seen my re-enactors? They reenact me directing. If you go on Youtube they act out all of our trailers and everything. They act out behind the scenes.” So did the actors do a good job imitating Hardwicke? “One of them is excellent.”
Clearly there is a great deal of on screen chemistry between Robert Pattinson who plays Edward Cullen and Kristen Stewart who plays Bella; did Hardwicke feel the film was more chaste than the novels?
“When you say chaste you could see it another way, sexual tension. That’s how I think it’s a little more interesting because they are always trying to walk that razor’s edge. If you get too passionate then he will kill you.”
In fact, Stephanie Meyer asked Hardwicke to cut down on some of the kissing as she thought the scene was getting a bit too steamy. “She thought the way we filmed the kissing scene was a little too steamy because I had a wide shot in the cut. I ended up going with the B camera and using more intimate shots. I actually think it stayed pretty steamy, but it’s just a little more intimate.”
Hardwicke started on 'Twilight' almost two years ago and at that time there was a pretty passionate following for the books. Did Hardwicke have any idea just how devoted the fans truly were?
“I knew people loved it, but I don’t think it was nearly as big. There were only two books out and it has just grown and grown and grown.” So was there any pressure that Hardwicke felt because of the growing phenomenon of 'Twilight'. “You know any person that’s a director, filmmaker, a musician, we have our own pressure that we put on ourselves to make us feel good about our project and make it as excellent as we can so that was already more than anyone external could put on me, my own standards. Also as a Director you’re working hard. Up until ten days ago I was working on the movie really hard 24/7 so I’m really trying to make the best product I could with my limitations.”
So what drew Hardwicke to the project to begin with?
“You could not like it or let yourself go when you read the book and I just let myself go. You can get almost hypnotic and intoxicated when you remember what it was like or hopefully you still feel like that for some of us, when you are just madly in love with somebody and you’re just obsessed. I thought that would be so cool to create that world of obsession on screen. The dangerous obsession too.”
Hardwicke’s background is in architecture, art and animation. Her first job was with Tim Burton and she worked a great deal in visual effects before segueing into feature film directing.
“I worked a lot in visual effects to support myself going to UCLA. I’ve loved that world, but haven’t had that much opportunity. However, my last movie I had more of the effects shots than this one actually.”
Though 'Twilight' hasn’t even hit theaters, the DVD is already in the works.
“We put together all the deleted scenes, there are actually quite a few in there, like twelve or something like that. I made some montages. I made a pretty wild music video of Bella’s Lullaby and I’ve made some trippy scenes that you might like.”
In terms of the deleted scenes what specifically did Hardwicke decide to cut? “There is a diner scene with Bella and Charlie, her father. That scene was twice as long when we shot it. It was cool, but it slowed down the pace. So we cut it. We put the whole thing on the DVD. There’s a little more sexiness with the bad vampires, a little kissing and biting.”
Be sure to check out part two of Hardwicke’s interview where she talks about the casting process of 'Twilight' and more about her sexy young co-stars Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart. Look for the movie in theaters this Friday.