Rolling Stone sat down with "New Moon" director Chris Weitz about movie's wildest stunts, the loyalty of Team Edward and the scenes you won't find in Stephenie Meyer's original book.
You said everyone's been asking you about the pressures of taking on such a successful franchise, and they also want to know why vampires are so popular.
Honestly, there weren't really any pressures for me because there was a guaranteed audience which meant that even if I made a terrible movie people would still watch it. So once you got that reassurance [laughs], you just set out to make the best movie possible, which is what we aimed to do. And I've felt nothing but support from the fans since day one — actually day one there was a little doubt because I have a Y chromosome, but ever since then I've felt a lot of love from the fans.
And why vampires?
I've actually realized that Stephenie Meyer's vampires aren't really vampires — you really don't see many crosses, there's not much garlic, they don't sleep in coffins, they can go out in the day time — they just look more beautiful. It's just more like Greek gods. So, in some ways it's about this girl who falls in love with this demi-god. I think that symbolizes your first love — the person you've fallen for who you think will never never possibly return your affections.
How much did you research vampires before starting the movie?
Absolutely zero. My research is reading Stephenie's books and talking to Stephenie and seeing the first film and knowing about the actors — getting familiar with the work that they'd done, but not much vampire-ology.
I read that you had this idea about the movie looking like a Victorian narrative painting in terms of the colors — how did you come to approach this film from that angle?
In terms of a model for cinematography I think it's a good one, which is to say the Victorian paintings, especially the pre-Raphaelites, told stories in a somewhat sentimentalized and very beautiful fashion. These books are not afraid to be sentimental or romantic and I wanted every aspect of the production to be unafraid to go to a very romantic place.
Whereas the first movie had a lot of tortured rock & roll kind of love to it, I wanted this one to be a sweeping epic. In many ways it's a much bigger film — in terms of the ground it covers, the emotions and the places it goes to — so I really wanted to make a classic-looking movie that was classically composed and classically shot. It had a classical score in a sense and [composer] Alexandre Desplat is very much from a school of composers who can work very much in a classical vein and in a contemporary vein. There is a sort of groovy component to it, which is the soundtrack, which we were able to get all of these amazing bands to compose for us, which is incredibly gratifying. Read more
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