Catherine Hardwicke, director of the first Twilight film, who was closely involved in casting the ensemble of actors, is under no illusions about the seriousness of the current salary dispute involving Ashley Greene and Kellan Lutz.
“It would really break my heart if they were replaced, but it could happen. Things could turn ugly quickly,” Hardwicke, 54, said this weekend at the Twilight Convention in Vancouver.
Cullen kids Lutz, 25, and Greene, 23, reportedly had a three-picture deal, which expired, and are trying to score paydays of about $1.5 million as work begins on the next installment, Breaking Dawn. But Hardwicke says the young actors might not even be all that involved in the negotiations.
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“They have all these people and outside influences telling you what to do,” Hardwicke said. “They tell you to hold out for this much because you’re such an important part of the franchise, and everyone is telling you to ask for more.”
But it’s a dangerous game, she adds – pointing to the case of Rachelle Lefevre, who was replaced by Bryce Dallas Howard for Eclipse. “A lot of stuff can get mishandled and misunderstood,” she said. “That is what happened with Rachelle Lafevre.”
Do they actually deserve more money? Hard to say. “Probably they do deserve more money, on one level,” Hardwicke says. “But if everybody makes so much money then … [shrugs]. It is very complicated. Oh my, it is such a mess. I really hope they can sort it out because it would be a shame to lose any actors.”