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Exclusive Interview with 'Twilight' Director Catherine Hardwicke

By

Exclusive Interview with 'Twilight' Director Catherine Hardwicke

of Robert Pattinson ('Edward'), director Catherine Hardwicke and Kristen Stewart ('Bella') at the premiere of 'Twilight' in Rome.

Franco Origlia/Getty Images
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At what part in the process did they say that to you?

Catherine Hardwicke: "This was in January. This was in prep. And they said, 'For the budget and the amount of money we have, you've only got 50 days to shoot.' So I said, 'Okay, I will find a way to do it. I will do it. And then two days later they came and said, 'Now you're having 44 days.' I said, 'Wait a minute…'"

They didn't believe you could do it in 50.

Catherine Hardwicke: "'You just told me that I couldn't do it in 50.' I was kind of like, 'Wow, I don't understand it.' And they were just looking at me like, 'Now you have to do it in 44.' I'm like, 'Am I on another planet?'"

How did you cut back six whole days of shooting?

Catherine Hardwicke: "Well, then that was the idea, like, 'Okay, then Catherine, you have to go cut the script.' They actually made me cut a lot of action. I said, 'I think this movie needs action,' and I had more cool ideas in the baseball and more in the ballet that I thought would have even ramped it up one more level. But at that moment in time, and this is very weird to think of right now, they said, 'We don't care if this goes beyond the core girls. We're not looking for boys. We just want it to be okay for boys, not embarrassing for boys to see it.' Now, after they saw all the action and everything, now it's all about getting the boys. But at that moment in time, they convinced me that they didn't care about boys. But I was the one fighting. 'I want action!' I'm like, 'Girls like action too.'"

You have to be able to pull in more than the core fans.

Catherine Hardwicke: "That's what I thought too. But it's been a journey for them too, for Summit. It's a new company and they didn't really know that much what's going on. You know, everybody was struggling to figure it out. Like, 'What do we do?'"

Plus Twilight didn't really explode until you were already in production, right?

Catherine Hardwicke: "Right. There were only two books when I started on it so people didn't know. I mean it's still growing. Now it's exponential - the film, the faces made it even more exciting for people."

Everyone seems to be talking about the books and the movie now.

Catherine Hardwicke: "Now it's done, it is going out there…It is the ripple thing. And then I found out like a lot of guys are getting hip to it. Like, 'Why is this guy so attracted to the girls?' They want to understand what's the deal with Edward and I've heard some people are getting their hair done like him."

Which Edward cut though? The one from the movie or the one that Robert Pattinson's sporting now?

Catherine Hardwicke: "I know, I know! [Glancing down at the cover of Entertainment Weekly] Oh, but look at him. He's just ridiculously good-looking."

I have to say when you first cast him I was probably like everybody else saying, "Oh, really? Okay…" But then the first still pictures were released with him in character and I got it.

Catherine Hardwicke: "Could you even imagine there would be another Edward?"

No, I actually can't now.

Catherine Hardwicke: "I can't either. I'm still just going, 'How could we have even thought of it?'"

Was there anyone else close to getting the role?

Catherine Hardwicke: "There were like five guys. I mean there was a semifinalist list and as I go over each of them, four other guys – no f--king way. They could not. It would have sucked, to be honest. As sweet as each of them were in their own way, they were not Edward."

Just look at these magazine covers…

Catherine Hardwicke: "I know. Nobody has seen Rob's face more than me, okay? I'm in the editing room every minute. When I saw this cover I sort of went, 'Oh sh-t!' I mean nobody could be more immune to him than me but I'm not immune. [Laughing] It's ridiculous."

"But he's got heart, too. He's got talent. He has an artistic talent, a musical talent. He's got the depth. He reads. He thinks, you know?"

But he almost thought too much though, didn't he? He even said that during my interview with him. So how do you handle an actor that's just so into it like that?

Catherine Hardwicke: "I didn't want to stop this process because that's not necessarily bad. I mean maybe that's good. And in a way, it is good. Look at his performance - the fact that he got that deep. But this was really the case that whenever we tried to rehearse a scene or shoot a scene, he would get one line out and then just stop and second-guess himself, and like hate the line, hate everything he's doing. And I'd be like, 'You know, I actually thought you were doing pretty well. Why don't we just go through the whole scene and then look at it in the big picture, okay?'"

And he would do that?

Catherine Hardwicke: "He would do two lines and stop and I'd be like, 'Oh my god, I have five seconds to get this right. I have five minutes to get things right.' I don't want to say that but, 'Rob, okay, that was great, we got two lines. Let's do the whole scene this time and don't second-guess yourself. Don’t stop.' [Laughing] I mean, 'Please god, do the whole scene.' And then finally when he would do it I'd go, 'Hey that was actually pretty damn good, Rob. It's good. Here's a little note. Here's a little note…' And finally if I could just get him to do it, it would work."

Have you ever worked with an actor like him before?

Catherine Hardwicke: "I've never had an actor like Rob or Kristen. They are remarkable, but they are definitely challenging in a way. Or, because they're challenging everything in themselves, too, not just me. They were trying to find it and they were trying to make it really great."

I think that's so strange because they are so young.

Catherine Hardwicke: "I know, but maybe that's why they do it because they haven't… I mean neither of them had a role like this before where they'd dominated a whole film. And they knew that people cared a lot about it. This was a bit scary."

Page 3: On Her Intense Cast and Sexism in Hollywood

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