You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Melissa Rosenberg: ‘Twilight’ scribe mines fanbase

Women's Impact Report: Femme Filmmakers

Melissa Rosenberg acknowledges that she might have ascended to the top of Hollywood’s scribe heap more quickly if she had been a little more, uhm, ladylike. “I do have a habit of speaking my mind,” quips Rosenberg, who enjoys the enviable distinction of being the sole screenwriter on all five “Twilight” films. “There are writers who are not as outspoken. And they probably get ahead a lot faster than me. I mean, I’ve been a WGA member for 18 years.”

“The reason ‘Twilight’ works is because it’s not some melodramatic love story,” explains Rosenberg, who was hired by Summit to adapt the Stephenie Meyer bestseller after wowing brass for penning another Summit teen romance hit, “Step Up.”

“You have to give (female auds) better themes,” she explains. “They respond to human emotion and genuine emotion, and that gets tossed to the side when you’re talking about special effects, stunts and plot. The thinking in Hollywood is young boys drive the box office. But women will drive the box office if you give them something they want to see.”

Case in point: The first three films in the “Twilight” saga — including this past summer’s “Eclipse” — have generated $1.5 billion worldwide in ticket sales.

And though the Bay Area native is often described as Hollywood’s teen queen, thanks to cracking the youth ennui of “Twilight,” “Step Up” and TV’s “Party of Five” and “The OC,” Rosenberg admits she is no expert. “It’s funny. I don’t even have kids,” says Rosenberg, whose busy 2010 schedule also included her role as producer on the critical darling “Dexter.” “I don’t think I have any particular insight into teenagers. ‘Dexter’ is actually a better fit for my sensibilities.”

Popular on Variety

More Scene

  • Leonardo DiCaprio, Martin Scorsese, Al PacinoKirk

    Martin Scorsese Saluted by Leonardo DiCaprio, Al Pacino at Santa Barbara Film Fest Gala

    Leonardo DiCaprio and Al Pacino saluted Martin Scorsese‘s dedication and risk-taking at his Santa Barbara International Film Festival tribute, while the filmmaker spoke about the importance of “individual artistic expression.” More than 300 people attended the black-tie gala on Thursday night in Scorsese’s honor at the Ritz-Carlton Bacara in Santa Barbara, where festival exec director [...]

  • DOLEMITE IS MY NAME!, 2019, DOL_Unit_06284.RAF

    'Dolemite Is My Name' Writer Larry Karaszewski Recalls 10-Year Journey to Make Rudy Ray Moore Biopic

    “Harriet” writer-director Kasi Lemmons was in a reflective mood at Tuesday night’s “Behind the Screen” event at the Formosa Cafe in West Hollywood, sponsored by the Writers Guild of America West. The biopic, starring Cynthia Erivo as slave-turned-abolitionist Harriet Tubman, has been receiving buzz since its premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival. It’s Lemmons’ [...]

  • Taika Waititi and Roman Griffin Davis

    Holocaust Experts Debate 'Jojo Rabbit' at Museum of Tolerance Screening

    With its comedic, cartoonish portrayal of Nazis, Taika Waititi’s satirical Hitler youth tale “Jojo Rabbit” has polarized critics and audiences alike. And that division continued to be stirred at Tuesday night’s screening of the film at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, where Liebe Geft, director of the museum, moderated a heated panel discussion [...]

  • Laura Dern MoMA

    Gwendoline Christie, Adam Driver Honor Laura Dern at MoMA Film Benefit

    Laura Dern is certainly no stranger to film sets. “Bruce Dern and Diane Ladd birthed me and bred me on cinema,” she said on Tuesday night in New York City, as she accepted honors at the Museum of Modern Art’s annual Film Benefit, presented by Chanel. “I was conceived on a Roger Corman movie called [...]

  • Jon Huerta

    'This Is Us' Star Jon Huertas Builds Community With Venice's Clutch Restaurant

    “This Is Us” star Jon Huertas, who’s being honored at the Napa Valley Film Festival with Variety Vivant’s Spice Award Nov. 13, has always known he wanted a career in Hollywood. But he’s something of an accidental restaurateur. No, he didn’t exactly stumble into co-owning Clutch, one of the hottest upscale casual restaurants in Venice, [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content