Hard Candy (USA 2005)


David Slade


Brian Nelson


Executive Producer:

Paul G. Allen, Rosanne Korenberg,


Jody Patton


David Higgins, Richard Hutton,


Michael Caldwell


Brian Nelson, Hans Christian Ritter

Associate Producer:

Erica Farjo, Barney Jeffrey


Harry Escott, Molly Nyman




Patrick Wilson

Jeff Kohlver

Ellen Page

Hayley Stark

Sandra Oh

Judy Tokuda

Jennifer Holmes

Janelle Rogers

Gilbert John

Nighthawks Clerk

Erin Kraft

Donna Mauer

Cori Bright

Girl in Coffee Shop


(Complete Cast & Crew)

Hard Candy

Ellen Page Online Movie Rating:



Drama / Thriller


104 minutes




US $1,000,000

Filming dates:

July - August 2004

Filming locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA / Burbank, California, USA / Griffith Park (LA) / Arclight Cinemas (LA)


Rated R for disturbing violent and aberrant sexual content involving a teen, and for language

World premiere:

25th January 2005 (Sundance Film Festival, USA)

Company / Studio:

Lions Gate Films, Vulcan Productions, Launchpad Productions, IcePack Pictures und andere

Official website:


IMDb website:


DVD premiere:

19th September 2006 (USA, Region Code 1, Lionsgate) (click here to see more DVD releases)



English Press Kit

(PDF Document, 194 KB)


German Press Kit

(PDF Document, 162 KB)


English Production Notes

(PDF Document, 116 KB)



For three weeks, 14-year-old Hayley Stark has been chatting on-line with 'Lensmaster319', a 32-year old fashion photographer, named Jeff. The two agree to meet at a coffee shop called Nighthawks. They hit it off, despite the massive age difference. Hayley appears to flirt with Jeff, and Jeff generally restrains himself, even admitting that he must wait 4-years until he can be with her. But his reservations are apparently not enough to decline when Hayley all but invites herself over to his house. Once at the house, manipulation becomes the name of the game, and the pedophile seems to be on the non-traditional side of it.

Background Information:

The production by Lions Gate Films got already great attention at the Sundance Film Festival 2005 and the spanish Sitges Festival 2005 and was very successful there. The reviews and comments about Hard Candy are surprisingly good, but not only due to the complex plot but rather due to the record-breaking acting performance of Ellen Page.
The movie was shown in a few selected cinemas in the USA and realize a grandiose box-office takings of 30.000 US-Dollar in only two cinemas. Hard Candy, which was shooted in only 18 days, find its way to the german cinemas in June 2006, too.


  • Best Script (Brian Nelson, 2005 Catalonian International Film Festival / Sitges Film Festival)
  • Best Film (David Slade, 2005 Catalonian International Film Festival / Sitges Film Festival)
  • Best Feature Film (Audience Award, 2005 Catalonian International Film Festival / Sitges Film Festival)
  • Overlooked Film of the Year (PFCS Award, 2006 Phoenix Film Critics Circle)
  • Best Actress (Ellen Page, 2006 Austin Film Critics Awards)
  • Best Equality of the Sexes (Ellen Page, 2006 Women Film Critics Circle)


  • Some working titles were “Vendetta” and “Snip Snip”. “Hard Candy” was finally chosen because it implies both sweetness and spice. The expression is also slang for an under-aged girl, amongst pedophiles who troll the internet.
  • The inspiration comes from Japan. Producer David Higgins had read reports of Japanese schoolgirls ambushing men who surfed the Internet for underage dates and later developed the story.
  • Ellen Page was nearly passed over for the role of Hayley because she had a shaved head for another role when she filmed the audition tape she submitted.
  • Ellen won the casting against 300 other girls.
  • Most of the scenes were only filmed for one or two times.
  • Filmed in 18 days.
  • The movie wasn't filmed chronologically, expect of the scenes inside Jeff’s house
  • The opening scenes at Nighthawks was shot last, with the set of Jeff’s house transformed into a coffee shop. The very last scene they shot for the film was the bit where Hailey goes into the bathroom and changes into the T-shirt.
  • Sandra Oh agreed to her small part in this film mainly because of her previous working relationship with Ellen.
  • Sandra Oh's material was all shot in one day.
  • Sandra Oh’s character was called Mrs. Tokuda in the script. When she arrived on the set, Oh said “I feel like a Judy Tokuda,” which the director loved. However, the name had been made up on the spot and could not be cleared by the legal department, so the executive on the set asked for one take where she refers to herself Mrs. Tokuda. Oh didn’t want to do the take, but finally relented on the condition that she would only have to do one take. However, she intentionally delivered the line “Tell him Mrs. Tokuda says Hi.” in a ridiculous Midwestern accent, making the take unusable. The name Judy Tokuda eventually presented no clearance problems.
  • Patrick Wilson briefly passed out due to overexertion during filming of the intense surgery scene
  • Despite the intense emotional and physical content of most rest of the movie, Ellen Page said that one of the hardest scenes to shoot by far was the scene at Nighthawks, where for take after take she had to eat more tiramisu than she could ever want.
  • During its opening weekend, the film grossed nearly $30,000 per theater, the highest per-screen average in the top 50.
  • The stunt coordinator’s house served as the exterior for Jeff’s house. The interiors of Jeff’s house were inspired by that of producer David Higgins, who planned to shoot the film there if enough money could not be secured to build sets.
  • When they were filming the scene where Hayley implies that everything Jeff thinks he knows about her is a lie, producers asked if they could include a line where she states that she was actually 18 years old rather than 14. Ellen Page was adamantly against the suggestion because she thought it undermined the premise of the film.
  • The final shot of Hayley with the hoody pulled over her head was taken by the DP Jo Willems without Ellen Page knowing. She didn't know about the shot until she saw the final cut.
  • According to actress Ellen Page, the iconic red hooded shirt used in the movie and on the posters was, in fact, orange. The color was changed in post-production.
  • Both cast and crew members have denied that the costume choices for the character of Hayley were intended as a reference to the children’s story ‘Little Red Riding Hood.’
  • Despite the intense emotional and physical content of most rest of the movie, Ellen Page said that one of the hardest scenes to shoot by far was the scene at Nighthawks, where for take after take she had to eat more tiramisu than she could ever want.
  • The parking structure scene was shot on the roof of the garage that serves the Arclight Cinemas Hollywood theater complex. When the film was shown in that theater, many patrons were technically watching the scene unfold in the same spaces where their cars were parked.
  • It is British director David Slade’s first feature film, having previously worked mostly with music videos.
  • During its opening weekend, the film grosses nearly $30,000 per theater, the highest per-screen average in the top 50.


  • “Ellen had so much passion to bring to this role, and she was so true and honest about it. Her reasoning was that at fourteen, your attitudes are black and white and there are no shades of gray, because you haven’t lived yet. And Ellen wasn’t much past that age, but she’s very emotionally mature. When you’re driven with such passion, like the myth of the mother who can lift a car off her child, you are so empowered with that passion that you can unquestionably do anything. And she didn’t just play lip service to that, she went the whole way with that. God bless her for it, because it turned her into such a three-dimensional character.” (director David Slade on Ellen Page; Source: www.bww.cinematical.com)
  • "She's the most chameleon-like actress I've ever met. She's a shy person, until she wants to become something else." (X-Men director Brett Rattner on Ellen Page after seeing Hard Candy); Source: usatoday.com)
  • “I wouldn’t say she’s evil or sick at all. I think she’s an extremely passionate, intelligent young woman. I actually found it kind of inspiring in a way, and in a symbolic sense perhaps. But no, I wouldn’t think she’s crazy or evil. I think she sees something wrong with society. She’s irritated that people are ignoring it and she’s going to do something about it.” (actress Ellen Page on her character Hayley Stark; Source: movies.about.com)
  • “Actually, for me, it was actually a very interesting process, or, dare I say it, fun, because I know that I’m just playing a massive, massive trick on this guy. That said, I actually did go over surgical procedures and had the information as to how someone would actually do this. The difficulties of it were actually relatively superficial. The fact that we basically shot it all in a day which is actually quite a lot, there are like 14 pages of dialogue during this scene. I mean, I would look at Patrick and think, “You’re the one getting your balls cut off but I’m the one having to stand here and talk about it.” (actress Ellen Page on her experiences on the set; Source: moviefreak.com)
  • "She was astonishingly advanced in terms of her intellect for anyone I've ever met of that age. I mean, really scary smart. And so committed to the character. And so committed to everything, really. And it shows. She's gone on to do amazing work."
    (director David Slade on working with Ellen Page; Source: www.winnipegfreepress.com)
  • “What’s so interesting about this film is that you have a character written for a fourteen-year old girl with intelligence and passion and when do we see that? Really not often. That’s why it was such a joy to play this character who I actually think is really honest and very real. Cus one of the criticisms this film gets - and I get - is that there’s just ‘no way that she could’ve done this’, well, I personally disagree.” (actress Ellen Page on her character; Source: DVD commentary)

Release Dates:



Festival / Event / Location / Comment


25th January 2005

Sundance Film Festival


12th May 2005

Cannes Film Market


14th October 2005

Festival Internacional de Cinema de Catalunya


14th April 2006



20th April 2006

Dead by Dawn Horror Film Festival


12th May 2006



3rd June 2006

Transilvania International Film Festival


8th June 2006



10th June 2006

Sydney Film Festival


16th June 2006



29th June 2006



6th July 2006



13th July 2006



3rd August 2006



5th August 2006



17th. August 2006



29th August 2006

DVD release


1st September 2006



6th September 2006

Deauville Film Festival


8th September 2006



15th September 2006



21st September 2006



22nd. September 2006



22nd September 2006



22nd September 2006



27th September 2006



27th September 2006



28th September 2006



2nd November 2006



3rd November 2006



30th November 2006

DVD release


8th January 2007

DVD release


24th January 2007

DVD release


8th June 2007



18th June 2008

DVD release


3rd April 2009

DVD release, new edition

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