Q & Andy: Catherine Hardwicke

Catherine Hardwicke didn’t mess around with her directorial debut. In 2003, the former production designer released Thirteen, an independent film about two wayward teens in suburban American. Starring two unknown actresses at the time, Evan Rachel Wood and Nikki Reed, and co-written by Reed, Thirteen was raw and shocking in its honesty. Hardwicke was nominated for two Independent Spirit Awards and won the Dramatic Directing Award at Sundance; Holly Hunter, who played the protagonist’s mother, picked up an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Hardwicke flirted with the mainstream when she directed the first Twilight movie in 2008 and Little Red Riding Hood in 2011, but is still most known for her independent dramas. Her most recent film, Miss You Already, starring Toni Colette and Drew Barrymore, is currently screening at the Savannah Film Festival presented by SCAD.

ANDY WARHOL: What did you eat for breakfast?

CATHERINE HARDWICKE: Yogurt and fruit—heavy on the pineapple.

WARHOL: What was your first job?

HARDWICKE: At age 12, I delivered a newspaper called The Shopper in my hometown of McAllen, Texas. Very all-American!

WARHOL: How were you discovered?

HARDWICKE: Um… I’m waiting for that magical moment.

WARHOL: Who was the nicest person you worked for?

HARDWICKE: Wyck Godfrey, Michael London, Amy Pascal, Sheryl Clarke. Lots of nice producers.

WARHOL: What are you working on now?

HARDWICKE: I just wrote a cool screenplay called One Track Mind!

WARHOL: Did you ever have any nutty fans who scared you?

HARDWICKE: One girl showed up at all my Q&A’s and even sent me a present in the hospital. I kind of miss her now…

WARHOL: What’s the craziest thing a fan has sent you?

HARDWICKE: An autographed copy of a fan-written, self-published memoir called Addicted to Twilight. It’s one of the funniest books I’ve ever read.

WARHOL: Is there anything you regret not doing?

HARDWICKE: I wish I could have figured out a way to bust through the “unconscious gender bias” and start directing films sooner.

WARHOL: What’s your favorite movie? 

HARDWICKE: Of mine? My new baby, Miss You Already. Drew Barrymore and Toni Collette KILL IT.

WARHOL: When do you get nervous?

HARDWICKE: I get anxious when I can’t get shit done fast enough! I like action! I like to make stuff!!!

WARHOL: Have you ever been to the White House?

HARDWICKE: I’ve been to the White House Ruins in drop dead gorgeous Canyon de Chelly. It’s magical and free of politicians.

WARHOL: What do you think about love?

HARDWICKE: Oh yes!!!!! Love is everything!!! So many beautiful kinds of love—I want them all!  Before we started making Miss You Already, Drew said her favorite films are platonic love stories—what a beautiful thought.

WARHOL: Do you keep a diary?

HARDWICKE: Yes. I write in it most often when I’m upset about something and I need a good long rant! I also keep a sketchbook.

WARHOL: What are you reading?

HARDWICKE: Always lots of screenplays and Drew Barrymore’s new book, Wildflower. I’m re-reading Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In and also Yes is More, the graphic novel/architecture book by hot Danish architect Bjarke Ingels, and The Making of Blade Runner. My current e-books are The Sixth Extinction and Girl in a Band.

WARHOL: Do you feel frustrated with the way things are now between men and women?

HARDWICKE: Some great men in the film business are kicking ass and making a real effort to balance out gender inequality. These “early adopters” are on the right side of history—helping to bring more diverse stories to the world.

WARHOL: What do you think about American kids?

HARDWICKE: I was just visiting SCAD in Savannah—the largest design school in the US—and I’m super excited about the students’ enthusiasm and wild creativity. They’ve created beautiful vibrant art and the journalists are super prepared and thoughtful.

WARHOL: Do you get depressed if you don’t work?

HARDWICKE: Hell yes! That’s why I’m always making something. If I can’t get the money for a feature film, I’ll make a short film like Til lt Happens to You about the rape crisis on college campuses featuring the Lady Gaga/Diane Warren song. I also just wrote a screenplay—that didn’t cost me anything. But now I really want to make it so I’ve got to find the money.

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