The fansites that representatives at Comic Con were invited to a round table interview with Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, and Nikki Reed. It was a great dynamic having this mix in the room together and the three Cullen family members behaved and responded almost like a real family. We’d like to thank Summit for the opportunity and as well as Peter, Elizabeth, and Nikki for being so great and taking the time to chat with us.
To make things less confusing, Peter is marked in blue, Elizabeth is in purple, and Nikki is in red. Everything in black is something that one of the fansite ops said during the conversation.
Fan site interview with Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser and Nikki Reed.
July 12 2012. Hard Rock Hotel, San Diego, California
Q: How difficult was it for you, as your characters, to work with Kristen as a vampire, as opposed to working with her as a human being?
Elizabeth: I mean, I think it was a lot of fun. There’s a scene where she almost kills Taylor. And I believed in the moment that she was strong enough. She really was so committed, whether she was a vampire, Vampire Bella, which is completely different, and she was scary, she was a real force.
Peter: It’s like a whole different person. It was kinda cool. She’s grown to be so mature, and confident and strong. Really, it was like like dealing with a different person altogether. Like, Bella is usually weak and frail. Not weak. But frail as far, you know, a vampire looking at her, and we always felt the need to protect her, and I didn’t feel the need to do that. I felt like this was a woman who could hold her own.
Elizabeth: She could kill us.
Peter: She was stronger than us.
Q: But then was it weird for you? Because one day she would be Vampire Bella, and then the next day she’d be back to being Human Bella. Because you were filming both films simultaneously? Was that odd?
Elizabeth: And not just Human Bella; like Human Bella falling…
Nikki: apart? (everyone laughs)
And then the next day she was beautiful vampire Bella…
Nikki: That was bizarre.
Elizabeth: Yeah it was weird to see her disfigured like that because it looked so real. It came out great.
Nikki: The last one, Part 1 and 2, that was the only time when my character and Bella wanted to interact and have some friendliness and a smile here and there…
Fighting for the same cause.
Nikki: Exactly. The dynamic was vey different.
Q: Nikki, you made reference earlier in the panel that you’ve kind of grown up together on the set, and we asked Mackenzie this, and I thought it would be fun to ask you, especially with Peter and Elizabeth sitting here. What did you learn growing up (on set) from the other actors that you worked with? I feel like this is something where you benefit from each other, I’m sure.
Nikki: Uhm, I think it would be impossible to go through every single one (actor) and come with the most genuine answer because there’s so many people, and certainly from working with these guys sitting next to me, and say, Billy Burke, and Michael Sheene. You guys (gestures to Peter and Elizabeth) have a body of work that I really admire. I mean, I remember seeing (Elizabeth’s) Sweet Land and saying “I can’t believe she wasn’t nominated for an Oscar!”. So I think getting to work with people like that, you really try to absorb something from it. I look up to these guys, and they also have a great work ethic as well. I think it’s really important when there’s a bunch of us working together to have one person who makes sure that nobody falls off the train, you know what I mean? And keep it together and actually keep each other in line too. It’s been a journey. I mean, it’s been four and a half years, and we’ve all grown a lot. It’s so sad.
Q: And to flip it, is there something that Elizabeth and Peter learned from the younger cast members?
Elizabeth: I never cooked in my life, and now I actually make rice and some vegetables.
Nikki: She cooked meals for me.
(Elizabeth shakes her head)
Nikki: You did!
Elizabeth: I was not at the level that you were at, but just even that I would go to the store and buy vegetables and cook them. None of that ever happened until I met Nikki Reed. But truthfully though, in terms of the work I feel like I was stealing from everyone. I mean, I think Nikki has a commitment when she’s in a scene, and she brings such an energy into the scene, it is unlike anyone else onscreen. And it’s something that is so specific to her. What she did with Rosalie and her creativity, and the way she thinks about the scene and her character, she puts a lot of work into it. And as far as… I’m thinking of the people sitting here, with Peter I’m always listening to the way he talks about these characters, and sort of like stealing his theories, because, again, he’s someone who I really admire, and being in a scene with him, you really can’t half-ass this, you really have to show up and you do the best job that you can, especially because, like Nikki said, we are a team. And you cannot let your team down.
Peter: I think that age doesn’t really matter to me, when you’re working with people that are talented you get inspired. Whether they were younger or older, you do look to the people that you work with and they inspire you in different ways. I was really inspired by the people in this room, and with the other actors that I work with.
Q: So to take it one step further, have you learned anything from your character that surprised you?
Peter: I always say I put a little bit of myself in every character, but I also take a little bit from the character and I walk away with it after I play it. With Carlisle, I think he taught me a lot of patience.
That is his superpower.
Peter: No. It’s compassion.
Compassion! There you go.
Peter: That’s (patience) his secondary superpower.
Peter is schooling us in Twilight today… (laughs).
Peter: He has a lot of patience. He has a lot of wisdom, and he thinks things through and I’ve always admired that in him, and even with my own kids, because Carlisle to me is like the perfect father figure. I always looked at him with my kids, and I learned patience with him.
Q: To the fans, from movie to movie to movie, everyone is always really excited to see the changes, and sometimes not so excited to see the changes. Is there a certain movie that made you think “Wow, I look hot!”? (everyone laughs)
Nikki: I had some real moments with Peter about this. I was like, “Just be honest”.
Peter: I think you looked good in Eclipse. That was the best, when you got to dye. That was your best.
Nikki: I was feeling the same way about that but then someone came in and said “No, I was very disappointed”. You know, you always sort of put your faith into it, and the director, and you believe that they are going to do what’s best, but yeah it’s really bizarre. I don’t know about you guys but my process is that I try not to obsess over what I’m going to look like, I mean I do (laughs) but it’s not the focal point, you know? That was such a priority for a lot of us in these movies, it was like “What do we look like?”.
Elizabeth: What we should look like or what we think we should like. My approach is to always try to simply it, less of everything, less hair, less make-up, less lashes. But it was tricky because I had a wig, I had to dye my hair red, then I had brown hair, then I had really dark hair, then I got highlights. I still don’t know what my hair was like. I would love to know what Stephenie Meyer thinks. But that’s the thing about movies, you know? Sometimes it just gets out of control. There’s so many people!
Nikki: So many people!
Elizabeth: And the next thing you know…you got a fruit on your head.
Peter: It’s not your job if there’s a hair situation… (makes weird hand gestures around his head). There’s a hair dresser, that is their job (everyone laughs). My job is to bring the character to life, their job is to watch out for your hair. So you’re in constant battles with that person, because you’re, like, “I wanna look good”. They’re trying to make you look a certain way, and I’m like… at a certain point you have to be like, “Ok, that’s their job and you have to let them do their job”. There were times when I looked in the mirror and I looked like a cross between a ‘Ken doll’ and Ronald McDonald.
Nikki: Is that because what I said that time?
Peter: You might’ve put that in my mind.
Nikki: But you know what? I think it’s fair to say that we have switched department heads for hair and make-up for every single film. Which was hard because we had a new person every time.
Peter: A new person we had to trust.
Elizabeth: And they had a lot of challenges.
Nikki: Yeah. Peter:… and they wanted to always fix the one before, you know, or put a new stamp on what they were doing.
Q: Do you have a personal favorite?
Peter: I like the hair in Twilight because that was my hair and I dyed it. If I had to choose wigs, which was 2, 3, 4, 5…
Elizabeth: Not 4 or 5 (everyone laughs)
Peter: There were moments in 4 and 5…
Elizabeth: All had their moments (everyone laughs).
Nikki: This is a sensitive subject for Peter and I because we’re the ones that sit down in front of people and had people go like, “Wow, you guys actually are really good looking in person!”. That’s what people say the most about us.
Peter: In Eclipse it wasn’t so bad, I mean it was a little short but if I had to pick I guess I would go with Twilight.