THR: Stephenie Meyer Talks ‘Twilight’, Casting and ‘The Host’
The Hollywood Reporter: What do you think it is about your writing that resonates with Hollywood and attracts the attention of filmmakers?
Stephenie Meyer: You know, I have no idea why it resonates with anyone except for myself. I know it makes me happy. I feel like a lot of the appeal for Hollywood now is the crazy fan base who have made this so successful. Obviously Hollywood is always trying to tap into whatever they think is gonna be lucrative, but with the first one, someone just responded to the story they saw potential there, which was cool. We got lucky where with Catherine Hardwicke, she really wanted to make it like the book. There was an original script before we were with Summit that was so completely bizarrely different.
THR: What was different about it?
SM: FBI, boat chases, night vision goggles, Bella with a gun. Yeah, it was crazy. At the time — once you give away your rights you can’t object to the changes. It was just kind of like, ‘ahh!’ And then they didn’t make it and they let the rights come back, and it was like, ‘OK, I’m taking this home and no one’s ever touching it again.’ Then Erik Feig (former president of worldwide production and acquisitions at Summit, now president of production at Lionsgate) called and said, ‘Please we’ll do anything. We really want to make your story.’ It’s like, ‘Yeah, I’ve heard that before.’ And he’s like, ‘No, no,’ and he let me come up with a rider where I wrote all these things that couldn’t change. They were like, ‘Yes, we’ll do it’ and I was like, ‘Oh, OK, well then I guess you really do want to make it as it is. That’s cool.’
THR: Were you at all scared about how The Host would translate to film?
SM: So many people had a hard time with that. The only three people I think who weren’t ever worried were me, Nick Wechsler, the producer, and Andrew Niccol, the director, because we all are like, ‘No, it’s obvious, totally obvious. You just need to have the most brilliant actress in the world and you don’t have a problem.’ And we got her, so we were really lucky. Saoirse [Ronan] is amazing. When you have an actress of that caliber, especially when not everybody knows who she is yet, I think she’s going to blow people away. And then you give her this concept role, it’s like a gift. She just loves to be able to do it and watching her — oh my gosh. There’s this one scene that has no music, it’s a close-up of her face for five minutes and you cannot look away. I mean, tears streaming down my face the first time I saw it. It was unreal.
THR: How involved have you been in the casting process?
SM: That was such a collaborative group. Nick brought me in from the very beginning. He wanted to do the movie and we got together. We kind of talked about how would you do this, and we both felt comfortable with it. Then he’s like, ‘What are your favorite science-fiction movies?’ My number one favorite science-fiction movie is Gattaca. Andrew Niccol was at the top of the list. I also really likedThe Truman Show because it’s such an odd but cool concept, and Andrew wrote that originally as a thriller and not a comedy. I’d really love to see that script — someday, I’m gonna get to read that. [Nick’s] like, ‘Well, Andrew’s fantastic’ and he’d worked with him before, and Andrew wanted to do it. He’s never done an adaptation before, so that was really cool.
Head over to THR to read more!
Have a tip?
Email story ideas to: