Bill Condon Talks About Characters and Franchise Films

Bill Condon did a phone in interview with Moviefone this weekend.  Time and again Condon has proven in interview how seriously he has taken this material and how driven he has been to get everything right for the fans.  This interview follows right along those lines.  Here are a few tid bits as a sample:

You mention the performers experimenting in the dailies. I think it would be fair to call you an actor’s director — the films you’ve directed have gotten stars Oscar nominations five times, and Jennifer Hudson won — but Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner grew up on these movies; they’re maybe set in their ways and what they think the characters are. How do you come in and direct them for this last run?

I did not find any of them set in their ways. It felt like they were eager to explore. Part of the advantage I had was that after a lot of anticipation in three movies, now a huge number of things happen. These characters change so dramatically. When you think of where Bella stars, which is where she’s been for all three movies, and by the end she’s this fierce warrior-hunter-maternal-goddess. All the steps that get her there — it’s a huge amount of change. The same for Jacob and Edward. They grow up more than anything.

Catherine Hardwicke [who directed ‘Twilight’] has a genius for getting inside the brain and is so in touch with what it’s like to be a teenage girl. I couldn’t imagine doing that first ‘Twilight.’ But I can imagine doing this one because it’s more adult concerns happening in this story.

Bella has that big transformation, of course, but Jacob has to go through a lot of heady emotional stuff as well. Taylor is the least experienced and youngest actor of the main trio — did you have to do any additional work with him to get him to where Jacob needed to go?

He is as serious an actor as anybody I’ve ever worked with. He worked really, really hard and wanted to get deeper inside the emotions of this character. Because, again, this character goes through things way beyond mooning over the girl he can’t have. He was up to it, and really, really serious. He didn’t walk through anything. Like any good actor it was a lot of talk, questions and trying things.

Read the whole interview on Moviefone.