Red Riding Hood director Catherine Hardwicke has certainly proven she knows how to cast a movie. (Would Twilight have been the same if she hadn’t nabbed Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson?) Now, in an EW interview, the director unveils some of her casting secrets. “Starting with Thirteen, my known technique is to cast the lead, then find someone with whom they have incredible chemistry,” Hardwicke tells EW. “Like Nikki Reed and Evan Rachel Wood. Same with Rob and Kristen. The same was true with [Red Riding Hood star] Amanda [Seyfried]. I wanted her to be on fire with the person.”
So, for Seyfried’s romantic interest in Red Riding Hood, Hardwicke called in what she labels the “80 hottest guys from around the world” — and narrowed them down to eight. She then instructed Seyfried (“Quite the trooper!”) to make out with each of them. “I’d say, ‘You don’t have to kiss them all if you don’t want to,’ and then I’d look over there and think whoa!,” she says, laughing.
Seyfried and eventual co-star Shiloh Fernandez (who plays a woodcutter who Seyfried’s character romances in the movie) had winning chemistry from the start — even though, Hardwicke says, Seyfried had her doubts. “She had met Shiloh once at a dinner party and did not like him,” the director says. But Hardwicke had pressed the actress to remain open-minded — after all, Fernandez counted the director as a fan. In fact, she had even considered him the second choice to play Edward Cullen in Twilight. “There’s something interesting about Shiloh,” Hardwicke says. “Other guys I’ve directed in love scenes, I have to direct them, you know? Like, do that. Move your arm here. You don’t have to do that with Shiloh — he already has a PhD in just being sexy. He knows how to seduce. He’s got it going on. I was like, ‘Wow, okay. Roll camera!'”