If you are going to inject a classic fairy tale with contemporary relevance, it helps to have as your leading lady an actress who speaks to her generation.
Director Rupert Sanders admits that he has seen only the first Twilight film – but he knew when it came to finding a girl who embodied all the qualities of the gutsy heroine at the centre of his first feature film, Snow White and the Huntsman, there could be no one better suited to the role than Kristen Stewart.
“She’s very contemporary and very spirited,” Sanders says of the 22-year-old star who has become a household name playing Bella Swan in the hit vampire film franchise.
“She carries a lot of weight on her shoulders and does it with far more years than she has under her belt. There was just something about that spirit that was undefined and raw that drew us to her. It’s very unbridled and kind of un-manicured.”
It’s the morning after the Australian premiere of Snow White and the Huntsman (or SWATH as the film is known on Twitter), Sanders’ ambitious, big-budget adaptation of the Brothers Grimm fairytale, featuring a stellar cast including Australian Chris Hemsworth and Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron.
In the plush confines of Sydney’s Park Hyatt Hotel, Sanders is sitting alongside his leading lady whose casual leggings, old grey t-shirt and flannel shirt, believe the fact she has, just that morning, been named by Forbes as the highest-paid actress in Hollywood.
“Well, she’s worth every penny,” he adds, giving the uncomfortable- looking actress a reassuring smile.