Author Stephenie Meyer contemplates end of 'Twilight'
Stephenie Meyer thinks everybody the rabid fans who love, love, love her Twilight book series and movies, and the critics who hate them should take a deep breath.
"I may not have a lot of balance in my novels, because that's fantasy, but I really believe in a lot of balance in life," said the author who first made Edward Cullen sparkle.
"You want to keep in sight that the characters aren't real, and you need to go out and find a real person and not hope for Edward to show up," Meyer said in a recent phone interview. "I think the fans, obviously, they want to see these moments happen they want to live in them."
On the other hand, "the critics are going for a completely different reason," the writer said. "They're going to evaluate how successfully this makes them feel. And, as time goes on, I hesitate to presume anything. But it's kind of the thing, isn't it? Hating Twilight?"
With the last movie in the saga, "Breaking Dawn, Part 2," hitting theaters nationwide this weekend, Meyer acknowledged that the end of filming felt like a high-school graduation a parting of the ways for the cast and crew who have been translating her vampire romance to the screen for five years. This month's publicity push, culminating with the Nov. 12 premiere in Los Angeles, "actually feels like a reunion," Meyer said. "I haven't seen everybody involved with the movie in, like, two years."
The process of watching her four books being made into five movies has had its ups and downs, she said, but "there's just something inherently cool about seeing your characters on a movie screen. I think that's what keeps you coming back."
The highlight for her was seeing the moments she wrote being brought to life with the same emotional intensity as she intended.
In the first "Twilight" movie, Meyer recalls, "the famous scene when they're in the woods and he's confronting her and she knows that he's a vampire some of that, when we were filming it, felt so on-point. It's all about when the emotions feel there."
She also praised Billy Burke, who played Sheriff Charlie Swan, father to the series' human heroine, Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart). "His relationship with Kristen feels so real and so father-daughter," Meyer said. "They always felt very close to the book, because it just felt like how they relate to each other."
Another favorite scene for Meyer came in the last film, "Breaking Dawn, Part 1," at the birth of Edward and Bella's daughter Renesmee a scene that was gruesome and emotional.
"For some reason, that night, we were all in tears," Meyer said. "Rob [Edward portrayer Robert Pattinson] was just so tender with this baby covered in slime. And when Kristen quote-unquote dies, it was heartbreaking because he was so in the moment."
It's a long way from when Meyer a Brigham Young University graduate living in Mesa, Ariz. started writing Twilight.
"If I had thought about it in the beginning as something that would be wildly successful, and a million people are going to read this, I would have quit writing because there [would have been]way too much pressure," she said. "My version of writer's block is knowing that people are going to read what I'm writing, and it's so intimidating."
After the success of the first book, writing the sequels became something of a challenge. "The lucky thing for me was I had kind of finished, I had written a rough draft of Breaking Dawn before Twilight ever came out," she said. "So nothing ever shifted the story for me because it was already down on paper."
Likewise, Meyer wrote her sci-fi romance The Host while editing Eclipse, the third Twilight novel. "That again was something where I just told myself, 'Nobody's going to read this except for me. This is just mine.' And I need that sort of mentality." The movie version of "The Host," directed by Andrew Niccol and starring Saoirse Ronan, arrives in theaters next spring.
But in a saga about undying love, is there ever an end to Twilight?
"It's the end for now, definitely," Meyer said. "I need some breathing space. â¦ I don't know if I'll get to a place where I feel alone enough with the story, where it's not like a million people are looking over my shoulder as I try to write, cringing as I erase every word because it just isn't good enough. I don't know what it's going to take to feel like I'm alone with the story again."
She added: "For now, it belongs to everybody, and that's a good thing, but it's not a great thing for writing."
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