When screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg, previously known for her work on the television series Dexter and The O.C., was offered the chance to adapt the vampire series, Twilight, she was promptly informed she’d have only five weeks to write it. “Five weeks? You can’t write a screenplay in five weeks!” she replied, to which the studio asked her, “Well, you want to get it made?” She did, and as a consequence, all she did for five weeks was write: “You don’t shower, you don’t pet the dog, you don’t eat.”
At the recent Future of Film Summit, where she participated in a panel discussion on why women matter in Hollywood, I sat down with Melissa and asked what her biggest challenge was in adapting the Twilight series. Her answer? Meeting the expectations of the fans. In order to have the experience of the viewer, she refused to read ahead, wanting each installment to stand on its own.
With the fourth movie Breaking Dawn Part 1 opening to a $139.5 million domestic gross this weekend and touting a wedding, a honeymoon and a birthing scene, Rosenberg says Part 2 still leaves lots to anticipate: “The thing I’m looking forward to is seeing Bella as a vampire. It’s a very different character. The fidgeting, the stuttering, the insecurity, the awkwardness- it’s gone. I’m looking forward to that. I’m also looking forward to seeing vampire sex versus human sex [laughing].”
When asked what advice she had for women looking to succeed in Tinseltown, Rosenberg had this to say: “Be prepared to compete. Be prepared to take a hit. Pick yourself back up, and get in there. It’s not an easy field to get into but we need you…we need some fighters.”
Here’s my talk with Melissa and, yes, Robert Pattinson is just as lovely and charming in person as he is on screen.