HOLLYWOOD - Novelist Stephenie Meyer has a rabid teen following, and Hollywood already has dubbed this month's two-hour feature film debut of her book Twilight, about a girl named Bella who falls for a vampire named Edward, a pop-culture phenomenon. But the author has had a few rough months.
In August, the final book in Meyer's Twilight saga, Breaking Dawn, was greeted with passionate but divided reaction from fans, some of whom were so disappointed that they threatened to return their copies. Later, a draft of Midnight Sun, her planned retelling of Twilight from Edward's point of view, leaked online, causing her to suspend finishing the project.
Recently, Meyer, a wife and mother of three, discussed Breaking Dawn and the new movie Twilight.
Has the divided reaction to Breaking Dawn put a damper on this entire Twilight experience for you?
Well, hmmm, no. You know, it was funny because I was expecting this sense of closure when I finished the rough draft, and I was expecting it again when I finished my editing and I knew it was going to print. But it wasn't until the books were out on the shelves that it was done, and I had that sense of crossing the finish line, like "I've done it! I've gotten it all done!"
It's sad when you can't make everyone happy, though. It's impossible, but, at the same time, you still hope. You think, "Maybe I can do it," but you know you can't. But, gosh, if I had to rely on giving people what they wanted, I would have had to write 40 billion different books, and even then, I wouldn't get it right.
Earlier at a press conference, you mentioned you butted heads with actor Robert Pattinson over how each of you saw Edward.
Oh, yeah! That was a worry! He'd sit there arguing with me, telling me I'm wrong about this character. He thinks Edward is a lot more depressed than I do. He thinks Edward is on the point of suicide. I'm like, "No! He's got his family that he loves. He's got Carlisle." And Rob would go [putting on a British accent], "Well, why does he like Carlisle so much? This man changed him into a vampire! What are you thinking?" (Laughs.)
There were very intense conversations. But it was hysterical after the fact. I was worried, though. I was thinking, "Oh, my gosh, he's going to go in there and play Edward like Edward the emo. Nooooooooo." But he didn't! ... It was crazy, but he got it. It's on the screen, and that's all that matters.
Did you give any notes after seeing the movie's rough cut?
Oh, yeah! I sat with some of my friends, because I needed the moral support. I just made notes about all these little things. Some of it was me going, "Oh, I wish this scene had been longer." Like the meadow scene, I thought, should be longer. And I wanted to see Jacob at the prom. I missed that. In the first cut we saw, the scene didn't exist!
What did you think of the movie's ending? [It's a bit different from the way the novel ends.]
It was fantastic. I thought, "Now I've got them. They have to go on [with more movies], don't they?"
Was it your idea?
It was in the original script. I didn't suggest it. [Screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg] does a lot of stuff that way. I'm looking straight from what Bella can see and what Bella can hear. Melissa comes at things from outside of Bella sometimes and thought it would be cool to add this bit in - and I loved it.