Michael Welch posted the following comment on his twitter yesterday. For those of you who have had a chance to meet Michael at a convention or DVD release, then you know how much he genuinely loves this fandom! And lets not forget that he was the one who coined the term “Twi-hard.”
Nearly 5 years ago, I walked into Deb Aquila’s casting office in Hollywood for the millionth time, to audition for the role of Edward Cullen in a new film that was picking up a lot of industry buzz called Twilight. Who knew that would be the moment that changed my life.
Having not had a particularly strong audition, I didn’t expect to be coming back for that role. But I knew there were plenty of other roles available and was excited to be able to return and read for Eric Yorkie, Bella’s enthusiastic new friend, eager to give her a shoulder to cry on. I had much more fun in that audition, especially having met Catherine Hardwicke and getting a sense that our visions for this high school world matched up pretty seamlessly. I had one more audition for Eric but had to leave early to work on an episode of Numbers (I think). But even having missed that round, Catherine still wanted me back for the final high school audition- This time, as Mike Newton.
That’s when I met Kristen, Justin, Christian, and Anna. I just had fun with it. I knew what I had to offer that role. They were either going to connect with my take on it, my flavor, or the other actor auditioning for Mike, a great young talent named Hunter Parish. Hunter and I were actually big fans of each other and talked in the waiting room for a long time before going in. I even expressed my admiration for Hunter to Catherine after my audition and told her I would have no problem losing out to him. There was no competition in that room; it was just a bunch of talented, confident young actors playing off each other, offering what we all had to bring to our respective roles. But I gotta tell you, the combination of the 5 of us who ended up in the movie together just felt right. I kinda knew it was gonna be us.
That’s when the journey began. The phenomenon spread like wildfire. During the making of the first film, no one knew exactly what to expect, but I think we all had a sense that we were a part of something special.
Before I knew it, I was traveling the country, the WORLD, meeting fans, visiting soldiers with the USO, seeing Paris, receiving hundreds of pairs of socks based on a blog I wrote, and most importantly, being put into a position to be able to get clean water to those around the world who don’t have it by working with The Thirst Project [Thirstproject.org :)]. It’s been quite a journey.
And now that we’re reaching the end of these films that have been such an integral part of my life over the years, I guess I just wanted to say, thank you. Thank you to the cast, with many of whom I will remain lifelong friends. Thank you to our various crews and directors, to Summit, to the cities of Portland, Vancouver, and Baton Rouge. Thank you to Stephanie Meyer for creating something so beautiful. Thanks to Charity, Amanda, Shirley, Larry, Candace and everyone who have been so selflessly supportive all these years. I think I may take you guys for granted sometimes but I really do appreciate everything you do for me. Thanks to my mom and dad for giving me EVERY opportunity to be able to build an incredible life that I wouldn’t trade for anything. And most of all, thanks to YOU, the fans. You literally make my dreams possible. I don’t lose sight for a second of the magic of what I get to do and I owe it ALL to you. You make it happen- For me, for all of us.
This is not the end of our relationship together, far from it. I just wanted to take a moment to reflect on these past several years. I will cherish them for the rest of my life. Thank you. 🙂 -Mike