Stephenie Meyer answer fan questions
Stephenie Meyer has graciously answered questions submitted by fans to TheTwilightSaga.com.
These are some of them.
What was your favorite thing about Chris Weitz and how was his interpretation of the books different from Catherine Hardwicke? - Mira N.
My favorite thing about Chris Weitz: everything. Sounds hyperbole-ish, but he's really that amazing. If you follow along on some of the cast interviews you'll hear the same thing over and over. We all adore Chris. I would have to say that my very favorite thing about Chris as a director, coming from my unique position, is his passion for being true to the source material. He really immersed himself in the Twilight world and came to the set with the feel of it already in his head. We were very much on the same page. Second thing, he listens really well—to everybody, cast and crew.
In comparing New Moon to Twilight, I would say that the biggest difference in style is that Chris is more classic while Catherine is a little more edgy and modern. I wouldn't want both movies to be the same, though. I like seeing different interpretations. After all, no two people see the same thing when they read a novel. I enjoy seeing that visually.
After seeing Twilight the movie you mentioned that you wish you had thought of Bella catching a glimpse of Edward watching her sleep and thinking it was only a dream. Are there any new moments in the New Moon movie that you thought...I wish I had thought of that? Miss having you around the fandom, Nicole B. (Cocoa) Crestwood, KY
Hey Cocoa! I miss you guys, too! Hope you're well!
New Moon stays closer to the novel, so there aren't a lot of scenes that aren't closely related to the book. I am a little sad that my action movie—Crosshairs—is so generically titled. I like the name of the action movie they used for the film (they couldn't use Crosshairs because there is a movie named Crosshairs somewhere out there). It makes me laugh every time Kristen says it.
Also (and I don't consider this a spoiler because you've seen the trailers) there is a bit of a fight sequence in the Volturi tower now that isn't there in the book. At first, I had some resistance to this idea because in my mythology, if you start a fight with the Volturi, your story ends right there. It would have been kind of a bummer to have Edward, Bella, and Alice slaughtered in Volterra and no happy reunion scene (and no Eclipse or Breaking Dawn). But I worked with Melissa Rosenberg (the screen writer) and Summit until we came up with a solution that made sense with the story but also gave them the visual action they needed. And now that it's all put together and beautiful, I love it and kind of wish Felix had gotten his moment in the book.
Hi Stephenie! Texas LOVES you!!! In staying true to the novel, I'd like to know if there were any scenes missing from the original screenplay that you insisted be in the movie?? Thank you SOOO much!!!! -Trinity in Fort Worth
Sort of. In the original screenplay, Jacob's visit to Bella's room that one night didn't exist. The necessary information was still there, it was just scattered through a few other scenes. I really missed that scene, but change (and cutting!) is a part of the adaptation process—especially when you write really long books—so I was prepared to suck it up. And then Chris Weitz felt like we needed that scene, too, and he wrote up a beautiful version I love. And we all lived happily ever after.
I'm curious about whether or not you would have liked to write the screenplay for New Moon or any of the movies? Melissa has done great so far, but do you think the movies would have been any different if you hand a bigger hand in the screenplay? - Colleen
I don't think I'd be any good at adapting my own books. As you can tell, I like to write long stories. I do actually cut a lot in the editing process (Twilight was ten thousand words longer in the rough draft form), and what stays all feels absolutely vital to me. I just can't look at it objectively. I think I'd be better at adaption if I had some distance from the work. So yes, the movies would be different if I'd written the screenplay—they would be six hours long, which might sound great to some people, but as such they never would have been made.
Hi Stephenie - What is your favourite scene in New Moon the movie? - Laure
I can't really choose just one. I love so many things. Bella's and Edward's first conversation in the parking lot...the painting...Jessica's monologue...the scenes in Jacob's garage...the first time you see the werewolves!!...Jacob in Bella's room (thanks, Chris!)...the underwater moment...what you see while Thom Yorke's amazing song is playing...everything in Italy...and I could go on. It's all so good.
Hi Stephenie, I know that your writing is inspired a lot by the music you listen to, so my question is how much say did you have in the music that was picked for the movie/soundtrack? Thank you! - Marci P.
Not a ton. I had a short wish list, and I got one wish out of the four, and that's really a lot when you think about it. My answered wish: a Muse song. My wishes that were not granted: a Blue October song, a Marjorie Fair song, and a Motion City Soundtrack song. All of these artists were a big part of the New Moon writing process for me, and I would have liked to see them included, but in the end, the soundtrack is truly amazing, so I don't have any complaints.
What do you think about the casting of Robert Pattinson as Edward, i.e. does he look like you expected Edward to look like and does he portray the right emotions? - Carly, Captain of Official Team Edward
Initially—as in when Gillian (the producer) called me and said, "So, we're going to cast this guy, Robert Pattison. Go google him and see what you think!"—my opinion was that Rob would do a good version of Edward physically. Not the Edward I see in my head, of course, but a good and interesting portrayal. There's something otherworldly about his face, I thought as I watched him in Harry Potter and checked out the pictures on line. If vampires really existed, that's the kind of face you might wonder about, right? So I was happy with Catherine Hardwicke's choice, because it's not like we were going to find someone who looked like the person in my brain.
I continued in this same opinion for a while. I met with Rob a few times and was impressed by the amount of thought that he was putting into the character (though we still don't entirely agree on who's got Edward's emotional state right—Rob contends Edward is more depressed than I think he is) and I was excited to see what his version of Edward would be like. Cut to a few weeks later, when I headed up to Portland to watch the filming. And then Catherine said action, and Rob shifted into character and my jaw dropped open.
Suffice it to say, he really nailed it. He's not playing a version of Edward, he's playing Edward. There is still quite a difference between Rob's Edward and the Edward in my head, but there are moments when they look eerily similar. I'm still not sure how he does it, but I'm glad he can. As for emotions, I think he does a great job.
Of course, a lot of the credit for this goes to Kristen as well. She contributes the other half of that Bella-Edward vibe so amazingly well. I've been on set through three movies now, and I still thank my lucky stars every day that she signed on to this franchise.
How did you come up with the Twilight character names, were they random or did you have a reason behind them? - Carly
I'm not a huge research junkie, because I'm always more into creating the fantasy than the reality, but names are one of the things I do spend some research time on. For example, for Jasper's name I searched roll calls for the confederate army in Texas. Both "Jasper" and "Whitlock" are on those lists, but not together. The name Cullen exists on seventeenth century English headstones. Other names I find by time and place of birth—I look through the most baby popular names from that year or census records from that city. Some things are more random; if I'm really stuck for a surname, I'll flip through the phone book. For Edward, I wanted a name that had once been very romantic, but had fallen out of use (See: Edward Rochester, Edward Ferrars). Bella was the hardest for me to name, because I needed a modern name but nothing seemed to encompass her personality. I tried a lot of things that didn't fit at all. In the end, having just surrendered the hope of ever having a daughter, I gave her the name I would have given one of my children if any of them had decided to be a girl.
I am curious, when you think of Edward and Bella, or read or talk about them, do you still picture the people from your dream? Or has your images of these characters changed over time, especially now after seeing your books adapted to film? Thanks! Danyeal J.
When I read the books or think about the characters in a writing scenario, I still see them they way I first did. I can still see exactly what they looked like in that first dream. When I'm reading the script, however, it's all Kristen and Rob and Taylor.
Why in the world is Edward's volvo now black in the New Moon? - Kim B.
This wasn't my call. Picky as I am about cars, if I'd been rounding up the vehicles for Twilight, they all would have been the exact makes and models I'd written about (especially that '53 Chevy!). I don't know what all is involved with choosing the cars—I know they have to be able to get their hands on several identical vehicles—but I can say that I like this Volvo—the XC90—better than the first one—the C30. In regards to the color, it's actually a dark silver, not black. And I enjoy the black rims quite a bit.
Dear Stephenie, Each director brings something different to the movie they are working on. Do you feel that by using different directors for each movie will take away from the continuity of the story? - Shannon
As I said before, I like having new styles for each story. I think it reflects, to an extent, all the millions of different versions that exist in the world—a different one for every reader. As for continuity, I think we're fine there. The actors bring the same characters into the new vision, and the backdrop of the location is consistent.
Will New Moon the movie have a lot of Edward in it or will it be like the book and he will be missing for a big chunk of it? - Patricia M.
Something I felt very strongly about was that Edward's absence was essential to keeping the feel of the movie consistent with the feel of the book. The story doesn't work without the missing hero. Chris was able to come up with a way to preserve that feeling while at the same time conveying the fact that to Bella, Edward is always present. It's more than just that Bella's audio hallucinations are now visual hallucinations; Kristen's performance revolves beautifully around that absence. Edward is absent for a "big chunk" of the movie, but he's always there, too.
Is there going to be a Breaking Dawn movie? If you are not sure of that, then do you wish there is going to be one? - Jamie C.
At this point in time, we're in talks. I would love to see BD made if it could be made well. It's a little bit trickier than the others.
First, thanks for the amazing books! Now, with the question: If you could live one scene (for real) in the movie, what would it be? - Anna
I think a lot of the scenes that are exciting write or to read about or watch on the screen would be very uncomfortable to experience first hand. The ones I would want to live would be the quieter scenes. In New Moon, probably the only scenes that would actually be fun to live would be Bella's birthday up to the papercut, and the night after Italy (though that one starts out pretty emotionally painful, too). Twilight, Eclipse, and Breaking Dawn all have a lot more "it would be cool to be Bella right now" moments.
I love your books, thanks for writing them. What was your favorite memory of writing new moon and filming new moon!! - Christina B.
I have a lot of favorite moments from both. In the writing, envisioning Volterra and putting Bella into that situation was very exciting. I loved spending time with Jacob's character. All the interactions with the boys in the pack made me smile. The reunion scene between Bella and Edward felt really good to write.
As for the filming process, my favorite memories are not exactly favorite scenes, because you don't entirely get a sense of the scene until you see it cut together. I loved walking into the Volturi tower for the first time. (Adding to that moment was the fact that it was also the first time I met Daniel Cudmore. Picture the scene: I'm in this huge white marble rotunda, just in awe of the sheer size and how good it all looks, when through the door walks Daniel in full costume. Six foot eight, tailored black coat, deep red eyes. Totally perfect and totally intimidating. It was great!) Another favorite memory of the filming was watching Michael Sheen work. Michael is a staggeringly talented actor. It was an education just to watch his process.
I was wondering what made you choose Italy for the home of the Volturi? Is there a special meaning about Italy in your life or was it a random setting? Thanks :] - Kerry K.
I chose Italy because I needed a place with a really long history. Choosing Volterra itself was a strange thing. I wrote the whole Volturi scene before I'd picked a location for it. For the first time, I was planning to create a fictional city, because at this point, I was starting to realize that people were actually going to read this book, and I was nervous about what the real life citizens of Forks would think, and more especially what the real life people of La Push would think—I'd taken some rather big liberties with their fictional history, and I wasn't sure if they would find it amusing or irritating. So, to avoid similar moments of panic, I decided to set my clan of ancient ruling vampires in a made up place. I was going to call this place "Volturin," and I knew it needed to be located in Tuscany about an hour or two from Florence—I'd already written the drive from the airport. I'd also already written my descriptions of the plaza and clock tower and Volturi turret. So I pull up a map of Tuscany, trying to decide if Alice should drive north, south, east, or west, and look at that—there is a city named Volterra just about an hour from Florence. So I google image search Volterra, and the very first picture that comes up is the Volterra clock tower. Chills. I called my sister (who'd already read about my fictional Volturin) and told her to go look at Volterra. She freaked, too, because she'd pictured it the same way, too. It was actually a rather creepy moment.
After that, I gave up the idea of creating a fake city and just hoped the people of Volterra did not mind a few vampires. When I went to visit a few years back, all the people I talked to were totally fine with the vampires—what had upset them was the fountain. They don't have one, and think their square is perfect without it.
Check out all the questions and answers at Stephenie's official site.