Time Magazine discusses Twilight’s success through books, movies; & the casting process

There’s an article featured in Time Magazine currently discussing the success of Twilight, the upcoming New Moon film, and the casting and directing decisions that took place.  Which of course could only mean that Twilight director, Catherine Hardwicke, got to put her two-cents are included!

It’s Twilight in America.

… Hardwicke saw something there, and she wanted in. She read the Twilight books. Then she threw the Paramount script away and called Rosenberg, who worked with Summit before, and they started over. She also began the hunt for her leading couple.

Hardwicke spotted Kristen Stewart in Into the Wild, in which Stewart makes a brief but indelible appearance as a roller-skate-skinny underage seductress. Hardwicke flew to Pittsburgh, Pa., where Stewart was making Adventureland. “We spent four hours working on scenes and running after birds in the park and playing. The next day when I saw the film, I knew, yes, it has to be. She is Bella.” It was a good match for Stewart too. “It was like, wow!” the actress remembers. “I want to play like this all the time!”

Edward wasn’t that easy. “The bar is so high,” Hardwicke says. “Every two pages there’s a comment about how gorgeous he is … I met all of these guys I felt were quite good, but they didn’t have that special other quality that they were alive for 105 years.” She took Robert Pattinson and three other actors to her house in Venice, Calif., to run lines with Kristen. They played the biology-class scene in the dining room. They moved the cars out of the garage and did the “How long have you been 17?” scene there. Then they did the kissing scene on Hardwicke’s bed. “I played it like a guy who is beating himself up a lot about everything,” Pattinson says. “I don’t think anyone else did it like that. I guess I tried to ignore every aspect of the confident hero of the story.” It worked. Stewart and Hardwicke were sold.

Selling Pattinson to Summit was tougher. He wasn’t a star — his biggest role was Cedric Diggory in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire — and he didn’t look like a star. “He was disheveled,” Hardwicke says. “He was a different weight. His hair was different and dyed black [he had just played Salvador Dalí in Little Ashes]. He was all sloppy. The studio head said, ‘You want to cast this guy as Edward Cullen?’ I said yeah. And he said, ‘Do you think you can make him look good?’ I said yes, I do.”

By all accounts, the chemistry between the two leads was intense, maybe too intense. “After I cast him, I told Rob, Don’t even think about having a romance with her,” Hardwicke says. “She’s under 18. You will be arrested.” It was the beginning of the real-life are-they-aren’t-they, did-they-didn’t-they speculation that is now an ongoing subplot of the Twilight story. “I didn’t have a camera in the hotel room. I cannot say,” Hardwicke says. “But in terms of what Kristen told me directly, it didn’t happen on the first movie. Nothing crossed the line while on the first film. I think it took a long time for Kristen to realize, O.K., I’ve got to give this a go and really try to be with this person.”

Oh, my Catherine.  Something’s are better left unsaid.  I think that’s kind’ve personal and should only come directly from the two people involved.  I really don’t think that it’s fair.  Whether or not they really are together or not isn’t really our business.  These two have enough to deal with, they don’t need someone else talking about them behind their backs regardless if it’s true or not.  That’s my personal opinion.  What do you think?

* * * * * *

While shooting New Moon, the cast and crew began to realize that like Jacob, Twilight had transformed. It’s a different beast now: not a fast, maneuverable indie franchise but a global juggernaut. The books have hit No. 1 in 15 countries. Pattinson just got back from Japan, where for the first time he heard the same shrieking that he gets in the U.S. “No one could really speak English, but they reacted in the same way as they have around the world,” he says. “Even the distributor was saying, Japanese audiences don’t react like this.” 

* * * * * *

At the heart of all this are Stewart and Pattinson, who have gone from obscurity straight to superstardom. People wait for them outside buildings. People try to follow them home. “In Vancouver shooting New Moon, I tried something,” Pattinson says. “It’s the only city in the world where hoods are not fashionable. If you’re wearing a hood, you’re going to mug people. So I wore a hood, and then I’d sort of spit on the ground a little bit and do a little bit of shaking around as you’re walking. Everyone moved to the other side of the street.”

If there’s an irony to the success of Twilight, it’s this: life as the idol at the white-hot center of the hottest entertainment franchise in the world isn’t that much different from being a vampire. Pattinson has become the immortal object of global fandom’s hopeless yearnings. What began deep in Meyer’s unconscious mind has become Pattinson and Stewart’s reality. They’re living the dream.

Want to read the entire article?  Click here.



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