We recently had the opportunity to interview Charlie Bewley who plays Demetri in The Twilight Saga:New Moon. There’s an old adage that “There are no small parts. Only small actors.” It means that any part is largely what an actor makes of it. He or she can really make an effort at getting a tiny role right, or they can “phone it in”. Lucky for all of us, Charlie Bewley falls into the former category. We look forward to seeing Charlie’s interpretation of Demetri on the big screen in November when he will breathe life into a small, but pivotal role.
New Moon marks Charlie’s first major film role. This week Charlie is in Montepulciano filming New Moon exteriors. Break a leg, Charlie, and may the Kraft services tent have plenty of nuts!
Photo: Brandyland Photography
1) We understand from a recent interview that you have read New Moon. Have you also read the other two, and what do you think of them?
Yeah, I read the audiobooks. Obviously I honed in on all the Volturi bits in order to build my character profile. So, I am looking forward to a more thorough read during the break in between films. I do understand the general plot of Eclipse and Breaking Dawn, but unfortunately I can’t sit down and read at the moment because of my insane schedule.
2) What was the audition process like for you?
In terms of time spent on researching backgrounds and story, I don’t think there’s been an audition I worked harder for than New Moon. I did a lot of work, but I understood the stakes of getting such a role.
The scene was the bell tower approach immediately post-Bella saving Edward. The first audition was simple, over very quickly and I was called back in days later.
Wyck Godfrey[the producer] and Chris Weisz were in attendance at the call back. Chris and I had a small chin-wag about how great England was so I felt grounded before I started. Diffusion of tension: Crucial. I brought myself into the character much more this time around. What came out was good: charm, control, threat. It felt good.
I was then hauled back in to read for Marcus a few days later, but truth be told I always wanted Demetri. FYI, Chris Heyerdahl is an excellent excellent choice for Marcus; his voice is captivating.
10 days later….
“Charlie, you booked Demetri”… cue delirium.
3) What was the make-up and costuming process like for you? Some of the actors have had difficulties with the contacts, did you? Did the costume help you find the character?
I loved wearing the contacts – bottled threat: straight into character. I knew my costume awhile back which allowed me plenty of time to think about my demeanor, but only when I put the wardrobe on and interacted with my surroundings and other characters did the idiosyncrasies of Demetri become apparent.
4) How did you and the other Volturi cast members build your character relationships?
Dan Cudmore and I met for coffee a couple of times to discuss life before shooting. Otherwise, I didn’t meet most of the cast until the day of shooting. Not ideal, however, I had formed opinions on each of the other Volturi members as well as Edward, Bella and Alice, so I interacted with each accordingly in scene.
It’s Felix who I am allowed most interaction with and as such, we spoke about our relationship in depth. In life, Dan and I are two very similar people; sportsmen, scrappers, Rollerbladers Anonymous members… but the way we come across is very different; perfect contrast for these two roles. We shared rides into set in the morning and got on supremely. Our alliance in life is very natural and this should translate well to the on-screen relationship between the two guards.
5) Did you approach Demetri’s character with a specific agenda in mind, as in to make him scary, yet appealing or simply frightening?
Demetri is a lethal killer with a pretense of charm. Actually, pretense is a little harsh – he genuinely is a Casanova of life, and this might be his biggest weapon.
Felix and Demetri both carry huge threats in our individual powers: Felix is the enforcer; Demetri is the cat to the mouse… thrill of the chase, yada. But it’s when you know you are the best, unrivaled for so long… complacent, almost arrogantly threatening becomes you; so couple that with centuries of acquired knowledge and experience… that’s a whole other level of danger.
6) Which member of the Volturi do you think the audience will find the most frightening?
Dakota. Jane. Both, in fact, are a little unnerving.
7) Actors generally pull from life experiences to build their characters. Since you are playing a fictitious super-natural being, did you find that difficult to do or is it more fun to build a character off imagination?
I love bringing a character to life. I revel every time I get an obscure, abstract character to play because it’s not immediately accessible to you. After a while, I find that a character is organically meshed together using many different facets of your make-up and this collage plays out honestly as the character in question.
Demetri is different though. I am so close to Demetri in character and there is no one in the saga who is better suited to me than him, and vice-versa. I wish they would spin-off his character in a “Joey” sense, so I could bring this guy and his exceptional skills set and character to the world.
Clearly, I have a lot of love for Demetri.
I seriously hope we will get to see just how insanely dangerous he is. His charm will be on show in New Moon but I would love to demonstrate the other side of his being; his tracking powers. Needless to say, I spent a lot of time attempting to seduce Melissa Rosenberg in between takes.
8 ) You stated “Pattinson” in a recent interview, any particular reason?
He looks a lot like my little brother Andrew with whom I love a good scrap. We’ve been a long swim away from each other for a while him and I, and I was hoping Rob would stand in for a couple of rounds. But he was too busy being a superstar…Meh.
9) What parts of filming did you find challenging (ie green screen, make-up). What was most enjoyable?
The experience on the New Moon set was a thrilling one. It’s this big hive of activity and everyone is working their proverbials off to pull this thing together. The crew were all brilliant, but I have to mention that Chris Weisz is just the coolest guy to work with. I still don’t really understand how he does it, but he just does, and brilliantly efficiently at that, without breaking any eggs.
It was great hanging around with the cast, on and off set. There are some great figures in this flick. Big shout back home to Jamie Cameo-Power, very entertaining. Special thanks also to the make-up department who were a lot of fun and kept us all awake and entertained at 5am call-times.
The most challenging thing was keeping away from the kraft tent. The food they serve up is damn good and I have a nut addiction which rivals your average lipid-deficient Brazilian squirrel.
10) Which wonderful characters would you like to breath life into? What would be your ultimate character?
Any character who attempts to conquer the pinnacle of his passions with ferocity, creativity and freedom. These are the most inspirational people of our time. It has been the bearing of witness to such figures which has inspired me to “act”, or more appropriately: step into the shoes of and breathe life into legends, fictional or otherwise, experiencing life through their eyes before allowing the audience to live their lives through mine.
Ultimate role: Tyler Durden – Fight Club 2, please (in a non-Cruel Intentions 2 manor, svp). That film has everything I could ever want from a film and I am insanely jealous that Brad Pitt got to play that role. But I heard Brad was up for Demetri too…Unlucky pal.
11) Do you have anything more you’d like to share with Twilight Fans?
I don’t really rollerblade…Much.