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Catherine Hardwicke On Her Kinky, Twisted Thriller 'Plush' and Why She Considers 'Twilight' an Indie

By R. Kurt Osenlund | Indiewire October 10, 2013 at 8:52AM

Catherine Hardwicke often speaks with the giddy, impassioned verve of a teenager. She takes great breaths in her speech in order to emphasize ideas, and to help you feel the way she feels about them. Given Hardwicke's filmography, such a disposition seems only natural. It's easy to see the themes and characters that attract the director. Since her searing, achingly raw breakout, “Thirteen,” Hardwicke has gravitated toward the filmic translation of adolescence, rebellion, rock, and angst, preferably channeled through a young female protagonist. Hardwicke is also, of course, the helmer of the first “Twilight” movie, which she says she personally regards as an “indie film,” as well as “The Nativity Story,” which gave us Mary (Keisha Castle-Hughes) as the original pregnant teen.
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Plush

I'm probably not as hip to the wide-ranging world of music as I should be, but the type of music you're portraying here, this sort of goth-tinged rock, seems like it's not around as much anymore. Were you aiming to evoke another time, or another period, or is this just representative of a pocket of music I'm not sufficiently aware of?

Well, there is a world with quite a few bands that still have connections to this kind of vibe, but I did defer to Nick Launay, who's our music producer, and who's produced for some bands. I really, really love what he's done for the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Nick Cave, and Band of Skulls, and Arcade Fire. So, in a way, that producing was his baby. He reached out to all his musician friends and up-and-coming songwriters, and they got inspired to write songs, and he produced all the music and scored it. So he's really the expert, for me, and he wanted to create a very distinctive sound for this. And we did kind of want to go with that dark, goth thing because it is about an obsessive fan, who's obsessed with this dark world for his own reasons.

Given the way the film starts, with a murder, there's this ominous nature that kind of hangs over it, and coupled with some of the extremes on display, we get this darkly comic, and at times campy, mix. For example, let's talk about the kids on leashes. Did that just happen on the fly?

[Laughs] No. You know, I think I had seen kids in airports on leashes, and one day it just popped into my head that it would just be a very kind of twisted thing that [Hayley's] nanny did.

And then there's the scene when the family runs to the hilltop and they're all looking at coyote vomit.

Oh, yeah. Okay. Well, you know, I'm from South Texas, and that's actually pretty common activity on our farm. So I didn't notice that the rest of the world couldn't relate to that...no, I'm just kidding. But it really is from my childhood—we used to run around the farm looking for coyote vomit.

There's a line in the film about artists and geniuses being a little twisted. Is “Plush” to be the definitive film that tells us Catherine Hardwicke is a little twisted?

[Laughs] Oh my god. Well, yeah, you never know. I think I just wanted to really try to explore some of these things that you explore in your brain, and try and figure out how to get in the zone, get in touch with your own ideas, take risks, break barriers, and jump out of your comfort zone. How do you stretch? How do you get creative? I just wanted to let go and explore all of that.

This article is related to: Plush, Catherine Hardwicke, Interviews, Twilight Saga, Twilight, Emily Browning, Xavier Samuel






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