Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Catherine Hardwicke Interview from

CS: I see you have the novel adaptation of the film sitting here and that's one of the things I was going to ask you about. The novelization has sort of an unusual ending.
Catherine Hardwicke:
Well, we couldn't give the whole ending away. We had it end right before you find out [who the wolf is]. But then you can go online after the movie comes out and read the final chapter.

CS: Was that your idea?
Yeah, because David Johnson wrote a much more detailed screenplay than we could actually fit in our movie. So I felt like "Oh my god! You're not going to know the characters as much as I want you to know them!" and then I got my friend, Sarah [Blakley-Cartwright], a 22 year old, to write the book. She's been in all my other movies and I thought it would be really fun. But I also thought, "We can't give away the ending." We don't want to know who the wolf is. So we take it right up to that point.

CS: Was that a concern on-set? Was there any thought of shooting multiple endings?
Well, we didn't, no. But a lot of people never got the whole script. They just got up to page 85. A lot of people who worked on the movie didn't know the ending. There's nobody in that last scene except for, like, three people.

CS: You're directing a cast where you need to get across the paranoia that any one of them could be the wolf. What sort of directing do you give to actors to get the point across without hinting too much one way or the other?
There are a lot of suspects, yeah. How do we keep that air of mystery? Well, Shiloh [Fernandez], for instance, sort of knew that his character was meant to keep to himself. He was sort of the silent type where he doesn't talk too much. He's the Clint Eastwood type where he says two or three words and you don't really know what the character is thinking. Then you've got Henry. But I didn't want the movie to be a cheat where, when you look back on it, you think that, on purpose, we tricked you. Each character should have a real motivation from their heart for everything they're doing. But if you went back and looked at it, you would say, "Oh, I see why he did that" or "I see why she did that." But it's very tricky to choreograph that none of the prime suspects can be there when the wolf appears. It was fascinating to work that.

CS: Tell me about the whole look of the film. Your background is in production design, so how quickly did it all come together for you on this?
Yeah, that was one of my favorite things coming from production design and architecture and all that. I was so excited to get to create a world so, right when I first got the script, I literally got out my drawing paper and colored pencils and paints and looking at beautiful images from Heironymus Bosch, like "The Garden of Earthly Delights." Looking at all those paintings from Medieval times. I went to Burning Man and looked at all my photos. Those kind of festivals. Then I started researching the architecture. If you lived in this forested area, how heavy would the timbers and the wood be. I had this crazy little book when I was 17 of Northern Russian architecture that I fell in love with. I always kept that with me, believe it or not. It had all these neat buildings. So I just started pulling all these objects together.

Check out the entire interview here.

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