When Robert Pattinson told us Gus Van Sant would be his ideal director for "Breaking Dawn" because the material is "all about teenage love and obsessions," it turned out Van Sant himself was listening.
As the director revealed to MTV News at the Cannes Film Festival, Pattinson's suggestion led directly to Van Sant joining the short list of helmers in March 2010.
"I've never met [Pattinson], but I think that's where it started," he said. "I had heard him mention it in the press. So I thought, 'Oh, is that even actually a possibility? Would they even hire someone like me for this film?' That's how I got all involved in it. I told my agent, so I became one of the directors."
The other directors being considered at the time were Sofia Coppola and Bill Condon. Each reportedly met with Summit Entertainment, with the job eventually going to Condon. Before he was passed over, however, Van Sant had what he called a very nerve-racking meeting with studio execs.
"I got very nervous," he said. "There were, like, 15 people. I had never really auditioned or gone into a job interview in that way since maybe 1988 or '87. I guess I was unprepared for it. Usually people just hire me.
"In this case, they wanted me to talk about their project, which really needed to follow very closely the book and which the outline was following very closely the book," he added. "There was a certain amount of room for illumination on their own project, but they were the experts. I was talking about the book, and really all I was saying was, 'OK, this is great, let's go to it.' That was the pitch. I think they're used to something else. They're used to, for those of you who might audition for film jobs, a 40-minute dissertation with perhaps visual aids and a pep talk about how fantastic this project is going to be. I just didn't know how to do that."