Twilight director rewarded with cupcake before firing
CATHERINE Hardwicke broke records with her Twilight film adaptation, but she says her success with the first entry in the franchise didn't matter because she's a woman.
"Why do you think I got the job?" she told the Daily Beast with a laugh.
"Why do you think they hired a female director? If they thought it was going to be a big blockbuster, they wouldn't have ever even hired me, because no woman had ever been hired to do something in the blockbuster category."
In 2008, when Summit Entertainment released Hardwicke's film starring Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, it earned the highest ever opening weekend gross at the time for a live-action movie directed by a woman: $US192.8 million.
Shortly after, she returned to the studio offices to do some "online chat stuff" and found the company celebrating - without her.
"When I went in I saw that there were massive bouquets and balloons and bottles of wine, and crazy gifts sent to them by all the distributors around the world or whoever, all their friends," she said.
"So I actually had it in my mind, wow, this is a pretty unprecedented success. I had heard these rumours that when a director does something like this they give them a car, they give them a two-picture deal or something like that. They give them an office and ask them what they want to do after this.
"And then I got a mini-cupcake that day. I was like oh, OK, cool - coming in here, I'm sort of working for free, doing this online stuff, and that was what I was offered: a mini-cupcake."
Shortly after, sources told Deadline Hardwicke was removed from the sequels for being "irrational".
"At the time I didn't understand when people were dinging me for being whatever, emotional or difficult," Hardwicke said of the report.
"Yet they're praising all the male directors I've worked for for being passionate and visionary and sticking to their guns, fighting for what they want. But a woman is emotional, difficult, b*tchy, whatever. I didn't know those code words and I didn't know they were used pervasively, and so I just took them personally."
Despite her tumultuous exit from the would-be major franchise, Hardwicke looks back on the experience fondly.
"I've actually looked at it quite a lot over the years, and I still feel really excited about what Rob and Kristen did, how present they were in the moment, how engaged, and they did such a wonderful job putting their heart and soul into it," she said. "And I still love how it looks - it's so beautiful."