We had the opportunity to interview Edi Gathegi at the creation Entertainment Official Twilight convention in Arlington, VA a few weeks ago. Edi took 5 minutes out of his busy schedule to give a brief run down on the Twilight experience and what he has in store next.
Laura: So one of the things actors usually talk about is how acting is this life long process. You never stop learning with acting, and you’ve had the chance to work with two really great directors – Catherine Hardwicke and Chris Weitz. What do you think you’ve learned from Catherine and brought into your ensemble? And what do you feel the same way with Chris? What do you think you got from each of those directors that you didn’t have before? Or maybe a new respect for something having worked for them?
Edi: I’ll start with Chris Weitz. He’s a great director and amazing in so many different ways. But I think in the nature of New Moon with the CGI was a completely different experience for me. I grew up watching big, epic, cinematic films, but I didn’t have that concept of how you make a movie like that.
Laura: Yeah, like Star Wars.
Edi: And then when you get to be in a movie where you have technical people on set and they’re holding up, you know, Styrofoam cows and telling you, just act here and we’re gonna insert it later, that just opened up my eyes to the inner workings of how a movie like that comes together. So I think I’ve learned certain things technically from Chris Weitz that I didn’t know before hand.
But I’ve worked with a lot of different directors on a lot of different projects. I mean, my whole background was theatre so I’ve worked with directors who were only concerned with the moment to moment, just relationships with characters. The thing that’s different in a film is that there’s a lot more that goes into it. So the director might only be partially concerned with character. They’re worried about budget. They’re worried about time. They’re worried about scene. Like location and a lot of these other technical aspects that directors in theatre don’t consider, you know what I mean?
Laura: Yeah, that doesn’t come into play.
Edi: The kind of director that I’m really excited to work with, not to say that Catherine and Chris weren’t this, but the kind of director who doesn’t have that much pressure from studios that gets to spend time on each moment with every character.
Laura: That’s great. What about your fellow cast mates, the actors in the movie? Like you said, how do you pick a favorite out of all these guys you worked with? [On stage Edi had been asked who his favorite actor in the Twilight film was and his response was, "Well whose your favorite child? You can't pick!"]Sometimes when you’re on set with somebody, you just kind of have the moment where you click as an actor and you can’t predict that. It’s just chemistry. Anybody with Twilight you feel like you had that moment where you clicked and you like to work with them again?
Edi: Well, off the bat, the first that comes to mind is Rachelle. But I think just generally when you’re working in the television and film industry – and this is a gross generalization – but generally you connect with a lot of people, because you guys speak the same language. It’s the common vocabulary of what it is to be an artist in this business. So you all have sort of a commonality where you’re gonna connect with a lot of people. But with Rachelle it was like, “Oh, we’ve got the same sense of humor! Oh, we have the same interests. Oh, you’re like the female version of me! Let’s freaking party! Let’s hang out!” So we became friends.
But then again, everyone in the cast got along very well. I still hang out with Taylor. I see Kellan every now and again with my friends. I see Nikki a lot. Peter and I always make plans and then fall apart. Like last night, he’s here and I’m like, “Uh, I’m too tired Peter, and we reschedule for LA?” “I never see you in LA!” “That’s cause you’ve got kids… and a wife. Let’s set a night. Go hang out.” He has poker nights every now and then, and I do that.
But a lot of the casts are friends. But Rachelle was the first person that came to mind because, naturally I was doing most of my scenes with her.
Laura: You talked about how you were going to go over to the UK. [Edi had given a Q and A on stage at the convention mentioning a project he would be working on in the UK. He had studied theater there briefly when he was a student and has always wanted to go back, but gave no details about his upcoming project.] I’m such an Anglophile, so that rocks, and I’m a big theatre person from New York.
Edi: YEAH! Me too!
Laura: I’m curious, can you say who the director is or can you expand any more on that project? If not, what can you tell us about upcoming work?
Edi: I think I can talk about this one. It’s not completely done, but I can talk about it. I can’t talk about this other thing that’s really exciting.
Laura: No problem! That’s okay! We can just say you’re really excited about something else, but you can’t say.
Edi: This other project is called 50/50. It’s like True Romance meets Snatch.
Laura: Oh wow! That’s an awesome combo!
Edi: And I get to play this British gangster and he’s the wild card. He’s dangerous and funny. It’s cockney and I have a deal with the director: if I can’t sound completely authentic, then were’ just going to go Jamaican or something.
Edi: So I have a month where I can get my cockney accent down.
Laura: Awesome! I can’t wait till it comes out! Thank you!
We would like to thank Edi for taking the time to speak with us and to Creation for the opportunity! We are looking forward to interviewing another member of the Twilight family in Vancouver this coming weekend.