Catherine Hardwicke has been a production designer and art director in Hollywood since the early '80s. Working mostly on independent projects and cult films (Tapeheads, Tank Girl), she did some bigger films in the late '90s (Three Kings, Vanilla Sky). She teamed up with 13-year-old actress and family friend Nikki Reed to write the screenplay for the coming-of-age drama Thirteen, marking Hardwicke's first directorial effort. The film debuted at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival, and she took home the Director's Award. In 2008 Hardwicke directed the first installment of The Twilight Saga, a film series adapted from the phenomenally popular book series following sparkly vampire extraordinaire Edward Cullen's forbidden relationship with the distinctly human Bella Swan. She directed Red Riding Hood, a dark take on the classic tale starring Amanda Seyfried in 2011.
Biography by Andrea LeVasseur
- For her architecture thesis project at the University of Texas, dressed up as a building and pulled off layers to demonstrate the evolution of design.
- Got her start in the film business working as production designer on such movies as The Newton Boys (1998), Three Kings (1999) and Vanilla Sky (2001).
- Collaborated with the then 14-year-old Nikki Reed to write Thirteen (2003), which was her directorial debut.
- Her 2006 biblical film The Nativity encountered controversy when 16-year-old star Keisha Castle-Hughes, who plays Jesus' mother, Mary, announced she was pregnant two months before the movie's release.
- Delivered the highest-grossing opening weekend for a film with a female director with 2008's Twilight.