The Director Of "Twilight" Opened Up About The Backlash Kristen Stewart Received Over The Movie And Said It Was Because People Were "Jealous"

"A huge chunk of the [Twilight] fan base are young women and they all wanted to be Bella."

The director of Twilight has opened up about the explosive rise to fame of Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson.

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In a recent interview looking back at the 2008 blockbuster and the frenzy surrounding its release, Catherine Hardwicke recalled the moment Kristen realized that her life was beginning to change.

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"Oh my god. I remember the day that Kristen came to me and said, 'Hey, I walked out of my house this morning to go eat breakfast. And there was paparazzi out there.' This is before the movie came out, long before," the director said in an interview with The Big Hit Show podcast. "She's like, 'I think my life is really going to change.'" 

"She's very much an…indie spirit person, likes indie music, likes to do her own thing. Rob also," she added. "They really weren't the kind of people that wanted to be or planned to be superstars. So I was feeling guilty, oh my god, I didn't predict this either."

Catherine admitted that, at the time, nobody had predicted the success Twilight would later gain, particularly as some thought that it wouldn't make much of an impact simply because it was a "girls' book."

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Before Twilight became the multibillion-dollar movie franchise that it is today, there was some doubt that it would even reach the screen. Paramount Pictures and MTV had originally bought the rights but later sold them to Summit Entertainment. 

But even then, people behind the scenes didn't think they had a success on their hands. In fact, they felt quite the opposite. Catherine said: "Summit told me, they said, 'Look, there was this very popular book called Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants. And the most this movie will ever make will be $29 million. That's how much that movie made. So that's the audience. That's the limit of the audience for something like this.'" 

"That's what people thought at the time," Catherine added. "A girls' book could not make a lot of money."

But it quickly became apparent that the movie was going to become huge, with fans proving their dedication to the franchise early at the first premiere.

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It was at the moment when Robert Pattinson stepped out of the car at the event, according to Summit executive Erik Feig, that he realized there was no going back. "I hugged him. And he was literally trembling," Erik told The Big Hit Show. "It was like, Oh my god. This is it. You're going to step on that carpet. And that's it. It just was so clear. That was then. This is now and never, ever going back."

Later on in the interview, Catherine opened up about the fan response to Kristen and Robert and, in particular, the backlash Kristen faced compared to her male costar.

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"If you think about it, of course a huge chunk of the fan base are young women and they all wanted to be Bella," Catherine said. "So they were just by nature, jealous of Kristen who got to be in the same room … with Edward, that would just be part of it. Nobody could be good enough because they didn't look like them."

"Kristen, yeah, that was a tough situation for her to be in. And for Rob, both of them," she later continued of the frenzy surrounding the pair. "They really thought they signed on to an indie film with the director of 13 and Lords of Dogtown. That's what we all thought."

However, despite the tough times both Kristen and Robert went through as a result of the attention they received from Twilight, Catherine pointed out that they've since been able to go on and do the things they always wanted to do.

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"They've both been able to green-light incredible, interesting films — indie films that would never have gotten made if they hadn't signed on, and if they didn't have that sensibility," she said. "So they've helped the whole Sundance movies and indie films and indie filmmakers. Huge applause for them."

You can read the full transcript of the Big Hit Show interview here, and listen to the podcast on Spotify.