For our final Fansite Friday, we have Bree Tanner herself, Jodelle Ferland. Take note that we did this interview before The Second Short Life of Bree Tanner was released.
Q: We all know that you had a chance to read the ‘Eclipse’ novella, but we were wondering if you got to sit down with Stephenie and go over your character?
Jodelle: I did get to read the book first, which was great. I did talk to Stephenie, but most of the talking I did with David Slade, the director. He sat down and talked with me about the character and the book. So I did most of that with David Slade but I did talk to Stephenie about it too.
Q: You’ve known about the book for a long time, much longer than us. Now that it’s officially been announced and the release date is out there, do you feel different about your character? More excited, more nervous?
Jodelle: When I first got to read the book, I didn’t know what was going to happen with it and I don’t think that Stephenie did either. So when I found out that it was coming out as it’s own book I was really excited. Even though I already knew about it, I was just so excited that my character was getting her own book! I can’t wait for it to come out.
Jodelle: Oh wow, I hadn’t even thought of that! What happened was I read the story, and then we were supposed to get rid of it as soon as I read it. You obviously can’t just throw something like that in the garbage, so we were trying to figure out how we were going to get rid of it. Ripping it up wouldn’t really work, and we didn’t have a shedder or anything. We had a bucket, and some matches! We lit the matches in the bucket and tossed it in! It was quite fun actually. [laughs] Then we sent a picture to Stephenie, to prove it. That actually is a really good point, it relates to vampires and burning.
Q: Bree comes across as wild in the book, because she’s a newborn. How did you tap into that wild, animalistic nature that newborns have?
Jodelle: I’ve never played a vampire before, so it was very different for me. I did have to be familiar with the way that newborns feel, so it helped me a lot that I got to read the book first. So I knew what I was doing, I wasn’t just making things up as I went. I also have read the entire Twilight series, so that definitely helped.
Q; Some of the other Twilight actors felt like it was surreal to be cast as the character they play, then it really set in for them when they got on set. What was the moment that you came to grips with the fact that you’re playing Bree in a ‘Twilight’ movie?
Jodelle: I found that it was sort of gradual. When I first found out that I got the part, I was just so excited. I was just jumping up and down and I couldn’t believe it! Really, that day, I felt that any moment someone was going to call and say, “Sorry, we made a mistake, you didn’t get the part!” [Laughs] I was a little worried about that, and then every little thing that happened set it in a little more. Like when I got called in to do wardrobe, I thought they must not have made a mistake, and then I got called in to get my contacts and it set in a little more. Every time I had to go and do something for it, it just kept on setting in. Then when I finally got on set, I was like, “Okay, I guess I got the part!” [Laughs] It did take quite a while!
Q: I know you have a lot of experience with horror films. I was wondering if this helped you at all with ‘Eclipse’ or if it was a completely different experience?
Jodelle: I find that even though it’s sort of the same genre, it’s really different. Twilight vampires aren’t really like any other type of vampire, so being in horror movies didn’t help a lot. I guess it’s good that I haven’t done only comedies before! [Laughs] I’ve mostly been doing scary movies, or mostly darker anyway. So I guess it helped that that’s the type of movie I normally do.
Q: Since you were a Twilight fan before you were cast as Bree, what was it like to know the Bree back-story before anyone else in the world? Any of us would kill to read a Twilight book before anyone else!
Jodelle: I found out that I got the part, then found out a little while later that there might be a book on Bree. I was really excited, but I had no idea that I would even get to read it! When I found out I got to read it, I couldn’t believe how lucky I was! I was like, I get a sneak peek before anyone else! [Laughs] I’m so happy that it’s coming out, I just can’t wait.
Q: When you were first cast, everyone assumed that the part was very small. Back then you must’ve known how big the role would be, did you just sit back and smile when people would say that this is a small role?
Jodelle: I can’t tell you too much about the movie, but I have one scene in the book. There’s more than one scene in the movie, but I’m just excited for when it comes out and everyone will finally be able to see it! Everyone thinks I have one or two lines, but there is a little more than that.
Q: You play Bree who is a newborn vampire, do you get to do any stunts? Like, super-strength stunts where you lift trees or anything?
Jodelle: They kept pretty close to the book. In the book, I didn’t do any fighting. As soon as it comes to the fighting part, where I’m supposed to be hurting the Cullens, Bree surrenders because she doesn’t really want to fight. She’s a really good person inside, even though she’s on the evil side, Victoria’s side. I didn’t do much fighting since I surrender right away.
Q: You were in ‘The Messengers’ in 2007 with Kristen Stewart. I was wondering if knowing someone on set led to a different level of comfort, as opposed to a set where everyone is new and you don’t know anyone?
Jodelle: Yeah, it was easier for me knowing at least one person. I hadn’t met the other cast members but I was glad that I had at least met Kristen before. That helped, but everyone made me feel really welcome. It was good to know at least one cast member.
Q: Is this the first time you’ve worked with Cameron [Bright] even though you grew up in the same town and knew each-other before?
Jodelle: I barely remember, but I worked with him once a really long time ago. I think I was five, and he was seven. [Laughs] I have known him for a really long time. I barely remember working with him before but I have.
Q: Is it more difficult for you to create a character from scratch, like some of the other supernatural characters you’ve played, or is it more difficult to play a character that is known and have that expectation behind them?
Jodelle: It depends, in some ways it’s easier and in some ways it’s harder. In some shows I’ve been in it’s really flexible because it’s not based on anything. So you can basically do whatever you want, you can experiment. Then, with Eclipse it was already written and there’s already a way she’s supposed to be. Not as much room for experiments. At the same time it’s easier because you’ve already got the guidelines for how you’re supposed to act. You don’t need to make up as much.
Q: What was the hardest part about playing Bree?
Jodelle: I think the death scene was pretty difficult. I’ve always found those sort of scenes kind of awkward, you know, dying. It wasn’t extremely difficult though, I mean I had the books. That made everything much easier, to read the books and know them well. Yeah, I would say the death scene was pretty difficult.
Q: I was wondering what you thought of your wardrobe in Eclipse? Your contacts? I’ve heard from other Twilight actors that they were painful, how did it work out for you?
Jodelle: Actually I really like having contacts in. Some people, the way their eyes are, it can be uncomfortable for them. I liked it though! Having my eyes red was pretty awesome. If you’ve seen the Eclipse sneak peek, then you know my wardrobe and you know, it’s not like Victoria who has this really cool nature-y wardrobe, it’s just pretty much a regular wardrobe since she still has the same clothes she had when she was turned.
Q: You’ve worked with a very wide variety of stars in your career, did you get star-struck on the set of ‘Eclipse’ with any of the actors that you were newly introduced to?
Jodelle: Well – [Musical Noises] [Laughs] – I have this little easter stuffed animal and I just pressed it and it started singing. Sorry I’ll answer the question now! [Laughs] Yeah I did at first when I first met them I was a little starstruck and nervous. I was like, wow I’m meeting Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner. Once you get to know them, they’re just people. It wasn’t that bad after a while, but at first I was pretty star-struck!
Q: You have experience in television shows and movies. Do you like one medium better than the other?
Jodelle: No not really! I find that as long as I’m acting it doesn’t matter if it’s for TV, or a series or a short film. I always have fun no matter what I’m doing.