In The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, the third chapter in Stephenie Meyer’s hugely successful series, Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) is forced to choose between her love for vampire Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and her friendship with werewolf Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner), as both fight to protect her and show why they are the one she should spend her life with.
At a press conference to promote the film’s upcoming release, actor Robert Pattinson talked about working more closely with Taylor Lautner, getting through that tent scene, how Edward Cullen has evolved throughout the films and how he’s looking forward to working with director Bill Condon for both parts of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn. He also gave some insight into his upcoming roles in Bel Ami, Water for Elephants and Unbound Captives.
IESB is back with an Ashley Greene interview:
“Just last week, a handful of online websites, including IESB, got to chat with Twilight star Ashley Greene. During the interview, she spoke about her role in the upcoming indie Skateland, about the dramatic events in small-town Texas in the early ’80s, that force a 19-year-old skating rink manager to look at his life in a very new way, and how bummed she was to miss its premiere at Sundance.
The actress also talked about the difference between working with Chris Weitz for The Twilight Saga: New Moon and David Slade for the next installment, The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, and how she would love to try her hand at comedy, musicals and action.
Q: Can you talk about Skateland? Did it hurt not to be able to be at Sundance for it?
Ashley: I did really want to be there. For anyone who doesn’t know, Skateland is an independent film I did, directly after Twilight. It’s a movie that takes place in the 1980’s. It was directed by Tony Burns and, when it got into Sundance, I actually cried. I was in New York, doing press for New Moon, and that was the one thing I wanted and needed. We had Twilight, and I had just signed on to do The Apparition, and I was a lead in a studio film, which was incredible. And then, I said I would love for one of my films to go to Sundance. I will not go to Sundance unless I have a film there because sometimes it’s kind of a circus. So, it got in, I was ecstatic and then the snow ruined everything.
“IESB: David Slade, how was he on set? Every director seems to bring something a little different to the franchise, how different was Slade, considering he knows the vampire genre.
PF: I thought he was a great fit for what they were going for. Every movie has had a little bit of different energy, I think the director sets the tone and David brought a great quality to it, it has a lot more action and I think he understands the action elements to it as well as the love story. There is a lot going on in that book and I was glad he was at the helm.
IESB: Do these events ever get tiring, I don’t mean in a bad way but Comic-con and different events all over the world, does it get a little like, “Wow, there is too much for me to do!”
PF: No, I mean it would be a lot more work this morning if nobody showed up (laughing), so the fact that people are interested and people are willing to take the time to come out to come out and support something that I think is important and also to come out and meet me, I’m always grateful for.
IESB: As an artist are you looking to break off and do a different role now?
PF: I’ve been working for 15 years so I don’t feel like the Twilight movies define me as a person, I am very grateful to have it as part of my career. I’m also currently on Nurse Jackie with Edie Falco which is a total 180 degree turn from this so for me I’ve, throughout these 15 years, have tried to play different characters and every time my agents say, “What do you want to do next?” I say, “Anything I haven’t done before.”
Read the rest of part 1 on IESB. We’ll cover part 2 as soon as it’s up.
“IESB: Were there any specific parts of the film that you were most looking forward to talking about for the commentary?
Chris: I was very happy to talk about some of the more complicated shots that we did, like the roundy-round shot. That was a bit in which we took what was a series of chapter headings in the book and turned it into a motion-control shot in which the seasons passed as Kristen Stewart’s character, Bella, remained in the same place. What I like to do with CG is to use it as expressively as possible, and not to make things blow up good, but to sometimes render something ineffable that would be very difficult to do in camera. That involved a lot of work, in which a motion-control camera captured the movement of our steady-cam operator. So, it was a pleasure to talk about that, and about what goes into something like that.
IESB: Having had to deal with stunts, green screen, CGI, weather, bugs and everything you had going on, what was the biggest challenge in bringing this film to the screen, so as to please as many of the fans as possible?
Chris: I think the greatest challenge was the logistical load of it. When you’re talking about taking a film from beginning to end in one year, it’s difficult to do that with a normal film where people are just sitting on their butts, talking to one another. But, when you add in underwater work, heavy CGI work and wire work, it becomes extraordinarily complicated. And then, you add in getting the London Symphony Orchestra to record a soundtrack, and getting 10 or so indie bands to compose songs especially for the film, there are a lot of timelines that are ticking along, at the same time, and you hope that you are able to combine it all at the right point. And, you always end up, just at the last minute, on the last day, your final CGI shot comes in. There are about 400 and something CGI shots, which actually isn’t that many compared to what I’ve done before, but it’s quite a lot. It can complicate things when you’re in the editing room.”
Q: Did it ever feel like you were really in danger of not getting the role in this movie?
Taylor: Honestly, I knew where my character went in New Moon and that’s all I tried to stay focused on. I couldn’t control things outside. I couldn’t control the media. But, I could control what I was doing to portray Jacob Black correctly. That’s what I stayed focused on, the whole entire time.
Q: Did that start with going to the gym and gaining 30 lbs?
Taylor: Absolutely. Jacob transforms a lot in New Moon, not only physically. but mentally and emotionally as well. So, it was a matter of getting to the gym and eating the right food, and a lot of it. But, it was also about reading and studying the book and the character, over and over and over again, so I could have his character down as well because he changes in many, many different ways
Q: How does he change?
Taylor: Basically, my job was to continue what I started in Twilight, which was this extremely happy, friendly, outgoing guy, who is best friends with Bella. I had to continue that for the first half of the film, but as soon as he transforms, he snaps and becomes a completely different person. He’s dealing with his issues and it’s really hard for him.
“Q: Can you talk about working with Chris Weitz, and how the syllabus he gave the cast helped you?
Rob: I’ve never had that, from any director. It was 40 or 50 pages long, in addition to a bunch of letters and emails, trying to show that he was on the same page as us and was completely with us, in making the film. And, he didn’t falter from that attitude, throughout the whole movie. It probably sounds ridiculous how much praise he gets. I was just with him and his wife in Japan, and she was even kind of sick of it. But, he is like a saint. He’s one of the best people I’ve ever met, let alone directors. In a lot of ways, it shows in the movie. It’s got a lot of heart, especially for a sequel in a franchise. He’s just a great person to work with.
Q: Appearing in most of the movie as only a series of visions, did you feel disjointed from your cast mates at all? Did you wish you were in more of the film?
Rob: Those scenes were the hardest scenes. They weren’t really, at the time, but after I saw the first cut of the movie, they changed them quite a bit in the edit and ADR. It’s not Edward. It’s a manifestation of Bella’s loneliness and desperation. It was always very difficult. I asked Kristen, “How would you play it?” It’s her opinion, so that was hard. As for being alone, I’ve always felt a little bit aloof as the character, throughout the whole series. I think that’s how he is, so I didn’t feel any different.
Q: What was it like to film that break-up scene between Edward and Bella?
Rob: There’s something weird about it. One of the main things I felt doing that and what really helped was people’s anticipation of the movie, and the fans of the series’ idea about what Bella and Edward’s relationship is and what it represents to them. It’s some kind of ideal for a relationship. And so, just playing a scene where you’re breaking up the ideal relationship, I felt a lot of the weight behind that. Also, it took away a fear of melodrama. It felt seismic, even when we were doing it. It was very much like the stepping out into the sunlight scene, at the end. You could really feel the audience watching, as you’re doing it. It was a strange one to do.”
IESB adds another great interview to their Comic Con collection. This time out they talked to Ashley Greene and Chris Weitz.
“Q: How is it for the cast?
Ashley: The funny thing about it is that we’re not filming, but we’re still traveling, doing press and doing Comic-Con, so we’re not really getting a break. At least we’re not working 12-hour days. We get a little bit of time to rest. But, it’s good that we’re getting them all done because we keep the memory fresh. We’re in these characters for the next two years, so I think that it helps to get them all done at once.
Q: Why do you think these books have succeeded so well as films?
Chris: I think it’s the feeling that, in some way, the vision presented on the screen was not so different from what they dreamed up in their head, when they were reading it, and that’s a very difficult thing to do because you’re presenting a contrary image to what any reader’s experience is. There’s something very sacred about the experience of reading a book. There’s something very extraordinary about a film, when you’re in a darkened room, seeing it. And, if those two things can blend, in some good way, then that’s great.”
See the rest on IESB
SDCC interviewed Kristen and Taylor about their Comic Con and New Moon experience. Is it just us, or do they give better answers when it’s one-on-one and there isn’t a video camera on?
“Q: So, how’s your Comic-Con experience been?
Taylor: It’s very similar to last year. It’s just that we were expecting it, this time. Last year, we didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into. This time, we brought ear plugs.
Q: How does it feel to be working on such a popular film with such a huge fan base?
Kristen: It feels good. There’s nothing bad. Trying to describe what it feels like is so funny. Everyone feels like we’re nervous about the pressure and having approval, but this art form is so subjective, anyway. People say, “I love this book. I’m obsessed with it.” And, we can say, “Well yeah, me too.’ Everything is better, if you’re on some sort of common ground. It’s like fire. There’s nothing better than sharing passion. This is so far out of our scope of what’s going on in our head, when we’re shooting a movie. It was strange having fans so close, but like Chris Weisz said, it’s like doing theater when they stand up and clap after every take, and sit there very quietly organized, in little rows, and try not to disturb us while we’re all in character. It’s a little bit more pressure, but at the same time it was motivating.”