Friday, June 22
MORE OF KRISTEN AND RUPERT'S INTERVIEW WITH THE WEST AUSTRALIAN/
West Australian If you are going to inject a classic fairy tale with contemporary relevance, it helps to have as your leading lady an actress who speaks to her generation.
Director Rupert Sanders admits that he has seen only the first Twilight film - but he knew when it came to finding a girl who embodied all the qualities of the gutsy heroine at the centre of his first feature film, Snow White and the Huntsman, there could be no one better suited to the role than Kristen Stewart."She's very contemporary and very spirited," Sanders says of the 22-year-old star who has become a household name playing Bella Swan in the hit vampire film franchise. "She carries a lot of weight on her shoulders and does it with far more years than she has under her belt. There was just something about that spirit that was undefined and raw that drew us to her. It's very unbridled and kind of un-manicured."
It's the morning after the Australian premiere of Snow White and the Huntsman (or SWATH as the film is known on Twitter), Sanders' ambitious, big-budget adaptation of the Brothers Grimm fairytale, featuring a stellar cast including Australian Chris Hemsworth and Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron.
In the plush confines of Sydney's Park Hyatt Hotel, Sanders is sitting alongside his leading lady whose casual leggings, old grey t-shirt and flannel shirt, belie the fact she has, just that morning, been named by Forbes as the highest-paid actress in Hollywood. "Well, she's worth every penny," he adds, giving the uncomfortable- looking actress a reassuring smile.
(...) More under the CUT. Kristen talks about 'Cali' and Breaking Dawn Part 2
"It's certainly darker than Disney but I don't think it's darker than the Grimms' version," Sanders says. "It's like an original fairytale - they scare you to inform you. And people like to be scared a bit. "We're not scaring people in a gratuitous way. It's peripheral fear, not horror. It makes you tingle and it makes the ride more intense."
Stewart, whose films outside the Twilight franchise include Into the Wild and The Runaways, admitted at the Australian premiere of SWATH on Tuesday that she never really liked the original fairytale. "It's not that I wasn't a fan," she says. "I just couldn't connect with Snow White growing up. So when I first heard about the project I thought, 'Snow White? Why?'"
Like Sanders, she changed her mind upon reading the script and identifying with a character who was not prepared to be relegated to being saved by someone else.Sanders describes her as a "female Luke Skywalker". "There has been a void of women being strong in movies and finally it's been done well," Stewart says. "You recognize Snow White but it's like all her perfect qualities have been put at the bottom of a pit of mud to see if she can find them and take them and polish them." Indeed, Sanders pushed all of his stars to their mental and physical limits during the 80-day shoot in sheeting rain and miserable mud in some of the remotest areas of Britain during winter.
;For Stewart, who at one point during filming had to jump into a freezing lake, the most uncomfortable part of her role was having to ride a horse. "That was by far the highest hurdle for me to get over," she says. "It terrified me. I think that's good though - genuine fear and discomfort is cool on screen.
For Sanders, the discomfort came early on in he piece when he contemplated the enormity of adapting such a beloved fairytale for the big screen. "You are a bit nervous whenever you do anything in life where you are opening yourself up," he says. "I don't think my job was any more nerve-racking than Kristen's or Chris' who are the face of it. I could have probably slid away into anonymity and never worked again if it had been a disaster. I guess there's pressure for all of us." With strong reviews and box office results and talk of a sequel, Sanders doesn't have to worry too much about his future.
As for Stewart, she will take a month's break before starting work on her next film - a thriller named Cali by The Notebook director Nick Cassavetes. "It's hard to talk about because I haven't got into the zone. Literally as soon as I get home, we need to cast it ... sit down with the script,"Stewart says. "But it's pretty extreme in every way. "It reminds me of movies from the 90s - weird cult movies."
She will next appear on the big screen as the uninhibited Marylou in the screen adaptation of Jack Kerouac's classic novel, On the Road, which opens in Australia in September. Then of course there's that little film opening in November - the final installment in the Twilight Saga - Breaking Dawn: Part 2. While keen to press on with new and challenging roles, Stewart admits it was hard saying goodbye to a character she has lived with for the past four years. "It's always the same feeling at the end of something you have invested in," she says. "In this case it was just longer. "I will probably have to talk about (the role) for the rest of my life but I am lucky because it's a fond memory
Snow White and the Huntsman is out now. Via @KStewAngel