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“No One Can Say it’s a Level Playing Field” – Catherine Hardwicke Ignites Discussion on Women Directors

"No One Can Say it's a Level Playing Field" - Catherine Hardwicke Ignites Discussion on Women Directors

Catherine Hardwicke, director of Thirteen and Twilight, spoke candidly to Variety about her career. 

After Hardwicke directed Twilight, which was a huge deal for a woman director, she admitted that she felt her career would get much easier. Directing the first film of a hugely successful YA franchise, which grossed over $400 million worldwide, broke records especially for a woman director.

I thought after ‘Twilight’ my life was going to be easy. I was the first woman to do that. But no, it hasn’t been easy.

Hardwicke had been set to direct the Twilight follow up, New Moon, but due to scheduling problems with Summit Entertainment she had to drop out. After directing a huge blockbuster, much like Hardwicke’s male counterparts, it was expected that potential offers would roll in. But they didn’t.

Hardwicke directed Red Riding Hood, starring Amanda Seyfried, for Warner Bros. after her retelling of Hamlet with Emile Hirsch fell through. And despite her shining resume with Twilight on it, she was asked to take a pay cut.

I ended up taking a pay cut. I guess I thought after the success of ‘Twilight,’ I might have had a bigger opportunity instead of a smaller one.

Hardwicke’s very honest statements about being a woman working in the industry illuminate a much larger problem (which Variety further discusses in the must read article) that the industry has with women directors and gender equality–one we’ve long lamented about. Having a director of Hardwicke’s caliber bluntly speaking out about these industry problems helps to change the conversation. 

She’s currently promoting, Plush, which opened in theaters last month and will hit VOD in October. With a $2 million budget, Plush is a sexual thriller starring Emily Browning as a young, married rock star, who after the loss of her brother and bandmate to an overdose, turns to the comfort of her new guitarist, a mysterious guy with a dark past who may be dangerous to her and her family.

Hardwicke admits to the double standards of the industry, especially because she’s not of that background.

I’m a five-four female from Texas with no family ties to this business. Of course there are double standards. No one can say it’s a level playing field.

Despite the struggle, Hardwicke is still out there, pursuing her passion. If anyone is interested, she’s currently looking for financing for new projects. 

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