After leaving the world of Twilight behind, director Catherine Hardwicke was ready for a new challenge. Specifically, Hardwicke was looking for an empty canvas where she could fill in all the cinematic blanks with her own imagination and she found it with Red Riding Hood, starring Amanda Seyfried.
SheKnows: When you first got the script for Red Riding Hood, what were your first impressions of it?
Catherine Hardwicke: I loved that David (Leslie Johnson, screenwriter) had taken this little very short tale and how he wove all these characters, secrets, lies and family ties things and then built in that layer of paranoia of being suspicious of everybody. As soon as I read the script, I could see myself making it [laughs]. I knew that I would be making something truly new visually. I wanted to actually make this world, make this world that I have no idea what it looked like.
SheKnows: Was that professionally inspiring for you to be able to work from a palette from scratch? With Twilight, you kind of had your hands tied.
Catherine Hardwicke: Yes, I loved that. I wasn’t so fixed on Twilight [laughs]. This is a real one. Twilight had to feel like a real high school. These vampires in Twilight had to fit into a real high school and wear what regular kids wore and the like. Making Red Riding Hood, this one was a lot more liberating. I could completely draw from my own imagination. We have it in our fairy tale world and we determine what it looks like. It’s not France in 1437. It’s our interpretation of a fairy tale.
SheKnows: Also what struck me too was the score, it just added a whole other layer of haunting. When you gave your composer the task and then he came back with those haunting chords and melodies, did you just want to hug him?
Catherine Hardwicke: Yes, but it wasn’t that simple [laughs]. I actually hired this first-time composer, Brian Reitzell -- who’s also a music supervisor and composer -- before I even started the movie. I wanted that big song in the festival. I wanted to create that song. Brian works with bands. He works with Air. He’s this really interesting collaborator, plus he’s a music producer and he knows how to get those cool sounds. He does all this innovative stuff because I just did not want this to sound like anything I’ve really ever heard of. I was just kicking their butt to not have something traditional for the score. It needed to be mysterious and soulful, and not too sentimental [laughs]. We really delved into it in a big way.
Read the entire interview here.