About 10 different Twilight fansites had a phone interview with Anna and Mike. The questions are from the following websites: Twilight Examiner, Twilight Series Theories, Twilight Facebook, Twilight Moms, His Golden Eyes, Twilighters, Twilighters Anonymous, Twilight Superfan, Twilight Source/Imprint, Bella and Edward, Twilight Lexicon.
Q: In New Moon you have a kind of love triangle going on. I’m curious to see how that ended up playing out for you.
M: There are a couple of different love triangles there. There’s obviously the one between Bella and Jacob and Edward that Mike is trying to squeeze into. More of a love rectangle. And I guess there’s the one between Mike and Jessica and Bella. You know, Jessica likes Mike. Mike likes Bella. Everybody likes Bella. And it sort of doesn’t turn out great for Mike or Jessica. A lot of this is very indicative of high school heart ache in general, but it’s sort of heightened with these supernatural characters.
Q: Both of you have a background in theatre. I wanted to know how that has helped you with your roles for Twilight and New Moon?
A: Well on a logistical note, there was a scene when Jessica and Bella go to the movies, when we were shooting that outside there were like hundreds of girls standing and watching as we shot it. It was just a nice tool to have experience in front of a live audience. It seems like a silly comparison, but honestly it helped to kind of block out the fact that all these fans were watching us and to try to just focus on the scene and ignore the fact that they’re all kind of videotaping us from the side lines.
Q: What was your favorite scene to shoot?
Mike: My favorite scene by far was the kind of three way date that happened between Mike and Bella and Jacob. That horribly awkward moment when Mike asks Bella out to the movies and she tries to turn it into a group thing and then it ends up being the worst case scenario which is that that three way thing. You know, I’m sure it was certainly not a lot of fun for Mike to go through. I mean, I can relate, as I’m sure a lot of us can, but it was a lot of fun to do.
Anna: And I would have to say that there is a scene where Jessica and Bella go to the movies. That was fun because Jessica really likes to talk about herself and Bella is really depressed. She’s not saying much. We were just kind of trying to do it all in one take, and Chris told me to just keep talking until we came to a natural stop. So I stopped and just kind of monologued as flighty, silly Jessica which was a blast.
Q: Does having different directors and different visions for different movies cause any confusion for how you should play your character?
Mike: I think that the directors that we’ve had are very different in terms of style and process, but there seems to be a singular vision in terms of our characters. Everyone seems to be pretty unanimous about it, and that basically is that we are there to add levity to the franchise and to just represent normalcy in Bella’s life. Represent just kind of a real high school experience to give the story some grounding so that people are able to believe the more supernatural fantasy elements.
Q: You talked about the monologueing. Can you give us some examples of ad-libbing that you were able to do?
Anna: Well, I don’t want to give anything away. Honestly, we were doing these takes where I just had to keep talking to fill space. So I am wondering what exactly it was that I ended up saying just as much as anybody. So I’m looking forward to seeing it and finding out because I have almost no idea what I ended up saying.
Q: You guys are both so great about adding that comedic element into the movies. You both seem to be able to say a thousand words with your facial expressions. So I was just curious who were your comedic inspirations as actors?
Mike: Well, for me the whole reason I became an actor was because of Jim Carrey. I probably watched Ave Ventura Pet Detective a thousand times as a kid. Man, other than that, a lot of comedic inspiration and actors… guys like… I’m just going to stick with Jim Carrey for now because he sort of jump started the whole thing for me.
Anna: I would have to say Parker Posey has been a favorite of mine for a long time and all the players involved in Christopher Guest films. But then at the same time more traditional ladies of comedy, you know, the Tina Fey and Kristen Wiigs of the world are very inspirational, I think, as far as women in comedy go.
Q: New Moon is definitely a darker film, but can we expect the same humor that we got form your characters in Twilight?
Anna: I hope so. I hope that we add some humor, that certainly was the goal. The films do get darker but the scripts seem to include a little bit for the humans to do, as Mike said, to kind of add a realism and a grounding point for a franchise that is set in a fantasy world.
Mike: Yeah. What’s a lot of fun for me is that the high school kids really are very isolated from the rest of the story, so even if the overall tone does get more intense as we go along, our role really doesn’t change in that respect.
Q: This question is for Anna. Melissa Rosenburg, the screen writer, said that she wrote your role kind of as a combination of Jessica Stanley and Lauren Mallory. I was wondering if you keep that in mind or do you just kind of stick with Jessica’s mind set.
Anna: I have heard that and I know that she wrote some elements in to incorporate both characters. I know that they are both kind of the alpha female mean girls of the novels. One thing about my playing this role was that I felt like the only real way for me to play a girl who, in spite all accounts, should really be tall, thin, and blonde, was just kind of make it really desperate and needy and just a girl who is constantly trying to be liked, and comes of a little pathetic doing it. So I know that elements of both of those characters are incorporated into the script. I think the humans have a little more leeway in terms of how we play our characters. It really only made sense to play it a little awkward and a little desperate. But really, underneath it all, that’s really what those girls are. It made sense for me. That may be what it is on paper, but there’s only so much I can do to make it kind of mean girl-y.
Q: What’s the most rewarding things that you’ve been able to do with the fame that you’ve achieved from Twilight. If it’s charitable or something with a fan. What’s the most memorable experience due to your fame from Twilight.
Mike: One of the things that I – well really it was a mutual decision that my family and I made really early on is to be committed to some kind of charity work as a way of just keeping me grounded and keeping a good perspective while working in the entertainment industry. So I have been working with an organization called “Kids With a Cause” for a number of years and we’ve done a lot of really great work. It’s sort of in transition right now. With this franchise – with Twilight specifically I was able to raise a decent amount of money for “Kids With a Cause” that went to help feed a lot of kids. We go down to orphanages in Mexico quite often and bring a lot of supplies and things that they may need. You know, generally it’s not really charity if you talk about it, but it’s been an incredibly rewarding experience. And that aspect of it – I wouldn’t trade for anything.
Q: You guys portray the nice people in the series, does it feel ostracizing to not be included in the fight scenes or action sequences?
J: Well, I love being on the lighter side of things. I think it is definitely needed in the film. It can’t just be dark moods, love triangles and stuff like that. I think that it is refreshing to us to act in those type of scenes too. I very much enjoy it.
C: It would be fun to get to do some of the training, but it’s still nice to have this brighter, lighter role where I can bring some comedy to it.
Q: What do you think the fans will be most surprised by in New Moon?
J: They will be very surprised when they see how amazing Taylor looks without his shirt on.
*J & C laughs*
C: Each film is definitely growing, and getting slightly darker as each movie/book goes on. So I think it’s going to be the same but better… a little edgier.
Q: We’ve heard a lot about Chris Weitz, and we’d like to know what you took away from working with him?
J: What i took away is how important it is to be meticulous and thorough in pre-production and planning for a movie because once we got on set he had done all the work in terms of setting things up. So all we had to do was come in and just play. So, it was really relieving and it just shows because I am just an actor but with working with different directors, he really was on the ball with this stuff.
C: The thing about Chris was that he was on point. We got there, and he had already had a phone call with each of us. He was really into getting to know each of us. He was probably one of the best directors I have worked with, but he wasn’t like a ‘director’ director. He was like this friend that just happened to be amazing at directing! He knew what he was doing and he had a vision. He made sure we incorporated what we wanted to, but still got across what he wanted to, and it has created this awesome flick.
Q: At the end of Twilight we see that Eric and Angela are a couple at the prom. Do they stay together in New Moon, and if so, how would you describe their relationship? Are they quirky, silly, or cute?
J: Yeah, they stay together.
C: They are together through it all. They are very silly, and very quirky. They’re an interesting couple.
J: Quirky, but at times I don’t even know. It is like, they aren’t even together, but they are. They are very much together, but, you know how those couples that will fight in front of everyone else but in private, they will be as sweet as can be.
C: They’re that cute bickering couple.
Q: Since you have played your characters for two films, and you play them so well, is there a point where you ad lib a line or tweak something in the script? Or do you think that your character might say something other than what is written?
J: Well, it is really up to the director on how he feels that the scene ultimately should be shaped, but if there is something that we feel that might be more effective by tweaking it a little and we will do it and see what the director has to say. If he likes it, he will keep it in. If not, we’ll just continue to explore the options.
C: We’re really encouraged to speak up and let someone know if we feel it would be better to do this… everyone is encouraged to speak up because we are trying to make the best movie ever! We’re trying to nail it, and if we feel something coming out of our mouth, then we’re encouraged to speak up.
Q: Do you have a favorite line from New Moon that sticks out to you?
J: Yeah I think I do. But, honestly I haven’t seen the movie yet, so I think I will probably pick one when I see it.
C: Yah, me too!
Q: In Twilight you guys contributed something personal to your wardrobe. Did you do that again for New Moon?
J: Not so much so. I think it was more settled on what we’d wear this time around and our characters are more established and they kind of take it from there this time around.
C: I have been wearing my own glasses through the whole saga; they are pretty much Angela’s glasses now. I auditioned with my glasses, and I wore them for Twilight, and they broke. It was a lot of wear and tear on my glasses so they had to special order the exact same pair from Gucci with my prescription in them and everything. So if I am wearing those and not wearing any animal products then I am good!
Q: In Twilight your characters are the comic relief, after intense moments with Edward and Bella. Will that continue in New Moon?
J: I think so yeah.
C: That’s pretty much our purpose.
J: We are definitely there to make sure that it isn’t too serious to where people want to -
C: Scream, yah! We’re the comic relief. We are there to brighten things up!
Q: How much has your life changed from Twilight to New Moon, as far as doors opening or media scrutiny on you guys?
C: There have been minor changes. There’s a little more attention, but we get the laid back version of the attention aspect of it. So, that’s been pretty cool!
J: Yeah, I agree with Christian. We get a lot of the benefits without the drawbacks. Me and Christian can still walk on the street and be fine.
Q: Have you taken any souvenirs from the Twilight or New Moon sets?
J: Mm, not me. I haven’t taken anything. I am a good little boy.
C: He set that up because of what I’m going to tell you. Yah, I took some bracelets! I forgot to take them off, and then I realized I was happy I forgot to because I had an ‘Angela souvenir’.
Q: Since you haven’t seen the film yet (New Moon), can you tell us what scene you are most looking forward to seeing, whether you were in it or not?
C: I’m excited to see the cliff dive and the Volturi come into the mix for the first time.
J: Yeah, I am really excited to see how the Volturi’s appearance is and how they act. I’m also excited to see Taylor/Jacob ride his motorcycle and really tear it up.
Q: Have you ever been on your own and thought, “What would my character (Angela/Eric) do?” Has it affected any of your choices?
C: Not really.
J: Not too much. Because Eric is – I don’t think I would make the same decisions as he does. But you know, Erik is a little smarter than I am in real life.
C: I think so too!
J: *laughs* Yeah, maybe I should start thinking “What would Erik do?”
Q: We love the human characters, but if you could choose one of the more serious characters to play in New Moon, who would you pick?
J: I would like to play Alex’s role, Paul. He just has so much testosterone going on. So wild you know?
C: If I could play another character, I think it would be awesome to take a shot at playing Leah. She’s got an awesome sass about her, and I think its fun to play sassy characters.
Q: Has your association with the Twilight Saga movies inspired any of your friends or family to come out of the Twilight Closet, and reveal their obsession with the books or the movie?
C: Oh, yah! I know a lot of people. One of my friends, when I told them I was working on this project, went out and bought the books and fell madly in love with them! What’s awesome is that I, my family and some of my friends are taking this journey together.
J: My sister is a huge fan of Twilight. So, she can’t even believe that I am a part of this. In a way it is like, she wishes I wasn’t in it, because when she sees me it is like, “Oh, now I know that it is a movie because my brother is in it” you know? But my sister loves the whole series.
Q: Have you guys had any crazy or memorable fan experiences?
C: None very crazy. They have all been really respectful and really chill. They have all actually all been really cool people.
J: The craziest I have seen is with a girl. She tattooed Twilight and New Moon on her body. I thought that was pretty wild.
Q: Because the fans are so dedicated, have you ever been huge fans of something (experienced that for yourselves with something other than Twilight)?
C: I have a huge obsession with So You Think You Can Dance. It was an obnoxiously large obsession. I even went to the SYTYCD concert.
J: I had a huge obsession with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles when I was a kid. They even had a soundtrack on cassette tapes back then, and I bought all that stuff. I bought action figures, and t-shirts…
C: That’s weird!
J: …that fake green ooze. Yeah I was just really obsessed with it.