SELF Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Lucy Dazinger interviewed Melissa Rosenberg, screenwriter for the entire “Twilight” movie series for SELF’s original web series “Five on 5.” The interview with Rosenberg, also known for her work on “Dexter,” “The OC,” Ally McBeal” and “Party of Five,” talked about what it’s like to be a woman in a male-dominated field as well as the decisions behind giving the “Twilight” characters the proper voices for the screen. Below are some quotes from the interview.

Lucy: How does it relate, the writing discipline and the physical discipline, how does this relate to you?

MR: “It is probably surprising to most people that writing is actually a very physical activity. You have to concentrate so fiercely. It requires such self-discipline that if you have any sort of ache or pain, if you’re back hurts, if you’re sick, if you’re tired, it absolutely interrupts the creative process. So, it’s extremely important to stay fit, to stay rested, to have a healthy diet. ”

Lucy: Your female characters are vulnerable and strong. I have a sixteen year old daughter who is devoted to these movies and has watched them over and over again. And we just featured Nikki Reed, and I thought what is the message for women, or young women, who watch these movies about empowerment and vulnerability. What do you want them to think about when they think about the lives led by these characters and how it might relate or not relate to them?

MR: “It was a very cautious decision to make Bella a very proactive character. She goes for what she wants. Her boyfriend tells her not to, her parents tell her not to, everybody is saying you can’t have this, its dangerous. She pursues it. That’s the message. And I hope that’s the message that gets across to the young women who watch this, is go for what you want. One of the fun sequences in this movie is Bella attempting to seduce Edward. She really embraces her seductress. She goes for it and not to give anything away but anyone who has read the book knows that she’s successful.”

Lucy: If you were to look back at your younger self or you met a young woman who was younger than you and she said I really want to be a writer, what would you tell her?

MR: “I have so many things, so many what not to do’s. I think women think that the work will, that it’s all about the work. That the work will stand for itself. But you know what, it really doesn’t. That’s maybe fifty percent of it, that’s true in my business and it may be true in all businesses, I’m not sure. The other half of it is, be someone people want to work with, learn how to pick yourself up off the floor and move forward. Laugh at yourself and learn how to take a hit.”

Lucy: What’s your mantra?

MR: “My mantra is show up. Show up at work and for me showing up for work is being at my desk. Show up, everyday.”

To see the full video interview, make sure to go to SELF.com.

Melissa Rosenberg

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By Monique Jones

Monique Jones blogs about race and culture in entertainment, particularly movies and television. You can read her articles at Racialicious, and her new site, COLOR . You can also listen to her new podcast, What would Monique Say.

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