The way you portray the sexuality of teenage girls is unlike anything else out there. Your actresses never fall into traps of Disney-fied sexlessness, gratuitous titillation, or slut-shaming. How do you walk that fine line? I just try to imagine what it feels like to be that person, and I trust the actor to be in the moment and to go with the emotions and the feelings and hopefully get transported.
and that’s thrilling. I found that she goes very deep with the character at all times. And the best thing in the world about Amanda is she’s not a diva. If she sees somebody carrying something, she’ll go try to help them carry it, or she’ll buy crazy mugs for everybody on the crew. She’s generous, funny, spontaneous, and she doesn’t complain and isn’t a pain in the ass to work with. So she’s kind of unreal.
Twilight has gotten some backlash from people who say it’s anti-sex or too moralistic because of the Mormon background of Stephenie Meyer, the author who wrote the novel the film is based on. How do you respond to that? I know that was one of the big early criticisms of the first book. But I felt more like it was really concentrating on the longing and the feeling, which was strong and potent. If you didn’t know she was a Mormon, you could just say, “Wow, this writer has created incredibly difficult circumstances for these two people to be together under.” So I just embraced that and went with that. Usually, I try not to step outside and judge but instead be there in the moment, be there with the characters, and just live it and feel it.
Is Red Riding Hood a horror movie? I’ve seen it called a horror movie, but it becomes more of a psychological thriller as the town turns against each other. You start discovering all these secrets and lies, and you’re trying to figure out who the killer is. It’s not super gruesome—I mean, it’s PG-13—but the fear factor is pretty high.
“An actively sexual woman who has desires of her own— that is dangerous.” I am so excited for Red Riding Hood, and I think Amanda Seyfried is great. As an actress, she still seems like she’s a wild child, like she hasn’t been ground down by the system yet. I love Amanda. She blows your mind on so many levels. First of all, as soon as she’s in front of the camera, she’s got one of the most incredible faces. Wait till you see her in this movie. Sometimes she’s Angelina Jolie, sometimes she’s a young Michelle Pfeiffer, sometimes she’s an alien, sometimes she’s an anime character, sometimes she’s 15-year-old Dakota Fanning. She goes through every kind of transformation. And she is fierce and beautiful. And you’re right, she’s a wild child. You don’t know what’s going to happen or come out of her mouth,
74 / BUST // FEB/MAR
The heart of a lot of fairy tales is budding female sexuality. One of my favorite interpretations of Little Red Riding Hood is The Company of Wolves by Angela Carter. In it, Riding Hood burns all her clothes and gets in bed with the Big Bad Wolf and sleeps between his paws. It’s incredibly daring and beautiful and erotic. That’s definitely part of it, because there is that mystery— getting in touch or discovering your wild side, your animalistic side, your sexuality. Amanda is playing a girl right on the cusp of womanhood, and she’s falling madly in love and trying to navigate that. It’s against her parents’ wishes, and another person loves her madly, and the wolf comes in, and there’s a murder right at the beginning. Let’s talk about the sex in the movie. Again, there’s this line between the titillation factor of watching this beautiful, young woman and also making sex an active choice for her. You’re touching on something that certainly scares men and can draw criticism. An actively sexual woman who has desires of her own—that is dangerous. I think in this case, Amanda brings her own passion and sensibility, and so she and I and of course Shiloh Fernandez, who plays the super hot love interest—we all had to try to find the balance between his desire and her desire. And that was something interesting we navigated in the scenes. When would one person be more active? When would one person be more passive? When do you just let the other person take over? Then when does the other one take over? So we talked about that. You’ve also got Julie Christie in the cast, who’s a total sex symbol from the ’60s, and she’s playing the grandmother! She’s still sexy. When I read the first draft of the script, the grandmother was just a creaky old lady. But I was like, “I’m not doing a movie like that.” This grandmother is going to be…I was calling her Boho Granny. She’s going to be wild and into witchcraft and sexy and living out in the woods like a wild-
issue 67, portis de rossi