Director Catherine Hardwicke loves Vancouver. And not just for its good looks.
In fact, she flew up here from L.A. only for a few hours on March 6 to present a special screening of her film Red Riding Hood (which opens Friday [March 11] ) for the Vancouver cast and crew.
“The Canadians, I gotta say, everyone in that room [indicating the screening theatre], they just busted their butts,” she tells the Georgia Straight at the Scotiabank Theatre. “Anytime we would ask them anything, you know, ‘Can we do this?’ they were just like, ‘Yeah, let’s make it happen.’…They really went for it. We had such a very tight shooting schedule. It was just like Death Race 2000 every day to get it done. But they were real troupers. So I wanted to come back and say hi to everybody.”
Hardwicke’s retelling of the traditional tale is a mashup of fantasy, horror, romance, thriller, adventure, and mystery. In the town of Daggerhorn, Valerie (Amanda Seyfried) is betrothed to a wealthy suitor (Max Irons), but her heart belongs to a poor woodcutter, Peter (Shiloh Fernandez). Complicating things, there’s a killer werewolf that could be any one of them. As paranoia grips the village, Valerie discovers she has an unexpected connection to the beast.
A few days earlier at a Los Angeles news conference attended by the Straight , the soft-spoken, cheerful Texas native, known for her youth-oriented features like Thirteen or Lords of Dogtown , said that fairy tales have a cathartic, almost therapeutic effect. “That’s the thing in fairy tales. You actually do confront your dark side or your impulses or your feelings of sibling rivalry in Cinderella or whatever. You admit that they exist and then you work through them and conquer them and come out living happily ever after, having learned something. That’s one reason why the fairy tales keep having traction and meaning.”
But what thrilled her most about Red Riding Hood was that a secret Hollywood dream of hers was finally coming true. “One of the things I was excited about when I read David [Johnson]’s script,” she said in L.A., “[was] I thought, ‘Oh, finally, I’m gonna be able to create a whole world, a special unique world.”
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