It was an art trying to score this interview with Catherine Hardwicke. Totally understandable though considering she's directing a movie or something... and that seems like a pretty full time job. Lucky for us she took the time to run over and grant a few questions on a couple of occasions between directing the film TWILIGHT. Catherine has a pretty unique eye when it comes to directing. Her credits include gems THIRTEEN starring Nikki Reed and LORDS OF DOGTOWN starring the late, great Heath Ledger, plus THE NATIVITY STORY. Right off the bat you can tell Catherine is extremely passionate about the projects she picks, especially TWILIGHT, and when a director is that passionate about a project, they're going to want it done right, which is all good in my eyes. So read on to see what Catherine has to say about what we can expect from TWILIGHT.
Based on the things that you've done, what is it about this particular project? It seems kind of different in tone than the other stuff you've done.
Well it is about teenage girls. (laughs) When I read the book I was just kind of swept away with the whole obsession, that ecstasy. The whole idea of this girl how excited she gets falling in love. It really felt kind of real. Like kind of a great authentic voice and I thought that would be so visual and cinematic to capture that feeling. How it feels to be in your first love and loving somebody so much that you would literally turn to a vampire. (smirks) That's pretty cool. That's intense. And that's how we felt most of the time when we're young, or even now. Like 'Oh my god I would do anything to be with this person.'
Obviously this is a love story. It's not really 'horror' but it's got the supernatural in there. How much can we expect in it, in regards to the vampires and stuff.
Oh, well you do see the vampires doing the vampire thing. We do see some vampire attacks and things. So you'll see some stuff that'll hopefully give you a few shrieks. And then there's the sexy part of vampires. (smirks) Vampires are great because they're sexxxxy. (gives a little dance to go along with the emphasis on sexy.) It's like when you get bit by a vampire it's not horror, it's like... mmmm. (shivers)
The world of these vampires, is it more organic? Is it more flashy? How are you going to put it visually?
One thing that's a great thing is that the setting for us is a character. Because you've got the whole thing that Stephenie [Meyer] came up with. The rainforest, the Olympic [Peninsula] rainforest. And the moss and the dripping trees. Where the Cullen's live and the rain. (points to the window) You saw today we were like making rain outside. We brought in trees and rain and stuff. So we're trying to do that everyway we can. Put more trees and make you really feel like your in the rainforest. Then the Cullen's house is in a forest of trees and stuff, feels like a tree house and it's really cool. And then the vampires themselves, they don't go for traditional dark clothes. The Cullens wear these kind of colors of like an arctic wolf. Like silvers, blues, grays, white and they kind of shimmer and they're sort of fabulous.
There's that scene in the book where Edward goes out into the sunlight and glows like an angel. Is that in the film?
And sparkles. (nodding and smiling) Yeah.
And how did you do that?
Well we haven't shot it yet. (laughs) So we haven't done it yet. We're taking suggestions. (laughs) No. We have a really beautiful meadow that he's gonna go out in. With like a stream and a big rock, it's really cool. And then we've been trying different tests. So we have a few little secrets. We can't tell you all of our secrets. (laughs)
Now the characters in this book are definitely great. They're complex, especially Edward, he's so great. What's your favorite character?
Oh yeah, yeah. Well (nods) Edward is pretty intense. Because you know, he's lived a hundred years and he wants to kill her but he loves her. I mean the love/hate is so symbolic.
Why are you the best and only person to bring this story to the screen.
Well I think that I have done a lot of stuff with teenagers and I like that age. Where things change in your life. Everything’s kind of exciting and more action is going on, craziness. And your heart... like your so passionate at that age, well some people are. But also, like visually I was excited. I used to be an architect and a production designer and so I just thought this was a great chance to like make beautiful visuals. Like with the rainforest and the Cullen's house, like they have the cool architectural house. So all those things kind of made me like really wanna do it.
Thank you very much.
Thank you so much.