Speaking to Hypable at The Host press junket in Los Angeles on Saturday, author Stephenie Meyer told us about her new life balancing writing books while also dipping her foot into Hollywood.
Following the success of The Twilight Saga, Meyer’s next book-to-film adaptation, The Host, hits theaters March 29. Last year she shot Austenland starring Keri Russell which premiered at Sundance. She also has two book-to-film adaptations on her plate penned by other writers: Down a Dark Hall by Lois Duncan and Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake.
With Meyer clearly kicking off a career as a film producer, we decided to ask her what drew her to the job. “Have you ever read a book and imagined how it would be turned into a film? And the actors, and casting. I’ve always done that a little bit,” she told us. “I like movie adaptations, I almost always prefer the book. I can only think of one exception. I think that that’s just something I find fun. It’s like dollhouses and dressing up your barbies and whatever. It’s like playing a game. It’s a whole different type of creativity.”
She also drew a clear line between why she enjoys each of these jobs. For her, producing is “a more collaborative space where you have people to hang out with who aren’t your imaginary friends,” she said. “But writing is more of a purer creative outlet. You don’t have to compromise on everything. Actors don’t tell you no, and you don’t have to cut scenes out for length. You can do whatever you want, and it’s a more free situation – but you also have to have private time to do it.”
Meyer says finding that private time to write has become more difficult for her. “Even without the movies, my kids are growing up, they’re more interactive. It’s hard for me to really disconnect my brain from them as much as I could when they were little and didn’t have as many conversations going on.”
While more producing with her company Fickle Fish is definitely in the future, she has a unique way of staying involved but not being on location. “I don’t want to be as active of a producer physically there all the time. I’d rather be there during the beginning stages. The scripting, the casting – I can do it from home. That’s why I have a partner because she’s going to do all the physical stuff. I’ll just sit home and say, ‘How’s it going?’ I’ll be home writing and she’ll be out in the dirt and dust, staying up all night doing night shoots. It’s going to be perfect.”
As for that one movie series she felt was better than the original book? “The Bourne movies. I like that he really is an assassin. I’d seen the movies first, and then you read the book and it’s a cop out – he’s actually a good guy. I was like ‘No, no, I want him to be a killer.'”
Meyer’s next two producing projects are Down a Dark Hall and Anna Dressed in Blood, which she says are still in early days. “We’re working on finding a writer for [Anna’s] script. But Down a Dark Hall is the first on the conveyor belt, and so that one – when we get that to a place, we’ll move on to Anna.”