Cinemanía met up with the team behind Breaking Dawn Part 2 this summer, first in San Diego and then again in Los Angeles, a few days before the scandal that put Pattinson and Stewart in danger broke. With Stephenie Meyer and the actors we reflected over the success of the Twilight Saga, fan enthusiasm, the sadness of saying goodbye, the memories and the excitement of finally taking some much deserved vacations.
We’ve seen them mature in front of cameras and our eyes, becoming grown up actors with a promising career. Stewart was only 18 when she played the insecure and in love Bella for the first time. Lautner was only 16 and had to get in shape with the possibility of a new actor replacing him for New Moon, and Pattinson was only an English actor that we saw dying in the fourth Harry Potter film. After four years and five movies, these guys agree in a lot of things: this franchise has changed their lives. They also admit to having a certain sadness because of never returning to that universe. The non-stop filming of both Breaking Dawn releases, for seven long months in Vancouver, were too long and tiring for the actors.
“If they told me tomorrow that we had to film new scenes, I’d be really happy. I’d start vibrating with excitement, because I enjoy playing this character,” Stewart explained to us about the bittersweet end that is approaching.
The actress also added that in reality, she hasn’t had to say goodbye to Bella, because all the characters she plays stay with her after she’s done portraying them, “I’ve taken all I needed from her and now this stage is over. This project has been something very special, it lasted a long time, it’s been very indulging and wonderful, although at the same time we were all rushing, not to be done with it, but to complete the experience. Now that we’ve made it, I like looking at it from a distance.”
Lautner, aware of the end of this very long and meaningful stage in his career, was sure to enjoy every single last moment on set, “I remember that the final date was approaching. There were three weeks of shooting left and I said to myself: ‘Now is when I should start soaking in every moment, because I know that when we’re done I’m going to want to turn back time and start this again.’ I’m very happy I did.” He confessed.
For him, there was an especially memorable instant during Breaking Dawn filming, “The most exciting scene to me was the dance with Bella, after the wedding, it’s on Part 1. It was the last thing I filmed in the entire franchise. It was a unique moment, but at the same time it was a tough scene on Jacob, it’s when he has to say goodbye to Bella,” he told, and admitted that the end of this saga allowed him to do something he’d been wanting to for a while, “When a movie ends, you need to take a week to sleep and not do anything. It’s fun because, after this week you thing: ‘Stop. I need to get back to work.’”
Pattinson’s words are probably more enticing to saddened fans of the saga, the actor wanted us to know that this isn’t really the end of the Twilight era, “I see the Harry Potter series and nobody is behaving like it’s over. Everybody looks at the cast the same way. I don’t think it affects in any way. It’ll take years for things to calm down or you need to do something more definitive after this to show the direction you want to take.”
For Meyer, the reason why these stories she wrote and these movies have become a worldwide phenomenon is still a mystery, and she assures to be surprised by it all the time.
Lautner is convinced the writer is too humble, “I never know how to answer that question, but all the merit is to the books and the characters she created. That’s where it all started. It’s a huge honor to be in the situation that allows me to bring them to life. The characters in the books are what made fans fall in love. I have no idea why they feel so identified with them, but I know that’s where it all started.”
Her cast made dared to go in deeper in this subject, indentifying the shared experience that she supposes is part of the key to success in this franchise, “I’ve been obsessed over it and it’s been a very personal experience. There are other people who are into the same things as me and we share that energy. It’s contagious. If you like something, and you can share it with your friends, you like it even more.” Stewart told us.
Lautner and Stewart couldn’t hide this from us, they didn’t want to leave Vancouver without stealing a memoir of their days while shooting. Lautner kept the last clothes he used in Breaking Dawn, but he admitted that he would’ve liked to keep the motorcycle.
Stewart was more ambitious than the werewolf, taking various objects, “I kept the wedding ring and some bracelets. Actually, all of Bella’s jewelry. I also have some clothes, at the end of every film I go: ‘I want this, I want that’. I have the jacket from the first film, the one she takes to school: the brown one. It’s fun because it’s something I’d wear, but it actually doesn’t zip up because it’s a prop.” The actress also shared that she’ll also miss the Vancouver air and that especial connection connection she’ll always have with the crew.
Pattinson was the only one that didn’t claim possessions from his character; he’s convinced that Edwards wedding ring should be found on sale on Ebay right now. The actor talked to us about other, maybe less sentimental, things that he’ll miss now that his days filming the vampire saga are over, “There’s this incredibly good place to eat shawarmas in Vancouver, it’s one of the best in the world, which is very strange because it’s in Vancouver. The worst part is I don’t even know where it is, it was always other people that bought them [laughs]. But I really liked it, and also the fried chicken you got on the hotel’s room service [laughs].”
For Stewart, there’s a clear reason why she should not be sad over the end of the story: Edward and Bella have finally found happiness and a way to be together, “I don’t want anything else to happen to them, please, leave them in peace. At the end of the film we get to a point that is so satisfactory, it makes you feel really good,” the actress previewed. “I don’t want this to sound arrogant, but we do really cool things with this ending. I think Bill [Condon] was the perfect person to direct this fourth book. The audience expects something very emotional with this ending and I’ve watched it four times, I can tell you that I’ve cried every time.”
Maybe Pattinson’s right, maybe this isn’t the end of an era for the actors of this franchise, but they all have to prove whether they’re in Hollywood to stay, if within a few years these titles will just be one more in their filmography, or whether the adventures of Bella, Edward and Jacob will define their careers forever. Only time has the answer.
The actor attended our interview at the Four Seasons hotel in Los Angeles dressed in casual jeans and a short sleeved shirt over a t-shirt. His hat, covering his almost-orange hair, and the electronic cigarette he smokes between answers catch attention. He’s tired; this is his thousand interview in a long day of talks with journalists, after a promotional weekend talking about his role in the final movie of the Twilight saga.
It’s to be admired that Rob puts all of those factors aside, smiles while he chats with me and always tries to give a sincere, smart and unique answer.
Talk to us about Edward in this film. A lot has happened since you began playing him.
I’ve had to deal during the whole series with fundamental means, and at this point, I think Stephenie [Meyer] had already gotten over that aspect of his personality. The moment Bella turns into a vampire, they’re both fine. She’s the best vampire-human turn that has ever happened, so he has nothing to worry about, and nothing happens to the little girl they have together, she’s a great daughter. I think one of the differences in this movie is that he’s more excited over things. He has something that motivates him, and that’s always interesting to play. Finally, he doesn’t have to worry about anything, he knows he has to protect his daughter, but he doesn’t doubt how to do it for a second. It was very attractive to play him as a secure person, a complete change.
Are you going to miss the character or are you glad to leave him behind?
I don’t know. If Stephenie had written another book after Breaking Dawn in which something crazy happened, I would like to play him. But you don’t long for something unless it exists [laughter and a mischievous look]. I never even imagined that the fourth book would be divided into two parts, because when I signed to make these films, they hadn’t divided the last two parts of Harry Potter. Nobody knew that the new tendency of making a series was dividing the last book into two parts [laughs].
I think shooting the last two films wasn’t easy…
Filming them at the same time was tough, and, when we filmed this one, there were different direction units because there’s a lot of action sequences. We were filming things that none of us really knew how they’d end up fitting in the finished version. In the first version of the film, there’s a scene of the final fight, that’s supposed to be a secret, but everybody knows and it’ll last around 45 minutes. A really, really long fight scene. It took us two and a half months to shoot it in the studio with a green screen, fake snow and a lot of filming hours a day. We spent so much time surrounded by green that when we left the studio it all still looked green. It was crazy.
How has this saga changed you?
It’s interesting. A lot of people go nuts when they get to do a film with these characteristics. Especially in those moments where you completely lose your social life and end up with a new one. I was lucky to have had the same friends for ten years before all of this happened, and I had no interest in meeting new people [laughs]. So not a lot changed, really. You also need to try to not see people in a different way, and sometimes it’s very easy because you spend a few years in which the whole world asks you the same things over and over again. Not only journalists, people in general, people in your daily life, and even strangers, they all ask the same thing and it’s weird. Besides, you know that after they’ll be telling something about you and that’s an even weirder feeling. So you need to concentrate on reality again and again [laughs].
Do you see yourself doing a franchise again soon? Or do you prefer stand alone films?
If it’s a good franchise there’s no problem. Every film that’s being done now ends up being a franchise [laughs], but I have to tell you that there’s something beautiful in distributing a film with a big studio behind it; there’s a certain guarantee that people will see it. You’re going to have a good team of people working. In that sense, I like the way studio’s systems work.
We’ve seen Kristen Stewart reach certain prime professionally, precisely because of this system. Have you become braver and have you been taking more risks by her side?
A lot more. I remember when they sent me the script for ‘Cosmopolis’, we were about to start filming ‘Breaking Dawn’ and I asked everyone whether I should accept it. I knew I liked it, but strangely I didn’t know what to do. I asked Kristen to read the script and she told me: “What the hell are you talking about? You have to do this! It’s Cronenberg!” [laughs]. That influenced my decisions, of course. Kristen is living proof that you can be successful only doing things that she finds specifically interesting. She never makes decisions thinking about her career and it’s something that works more and more as time passes. It’s good that this method works for someone.
Did the Cosmopolis experience change you?
Just getting that part changes you a lot, and not having to force anything to play it. I can’t believe that I haven’t done a film since then. It’s ridiculous. It’s making me a bit crazy.
How long have you not been working?
Practically a year, but in that time I’ve had to promote like four films [laughs hysterically], which is also ridiculous. I feel like that’s my whole job because it’s all I do. Before, I thought having a Twilight movie after every project would make me be less afraid. But, as soon as this is over, you realize that it’s not easy to make decisions. I think, in part, it has to do with the fact that I’m getting older. Now I can do different things, I start to fit into different roles and, of course, I can’t play a high school student [laugs].
So it hasn’t been an intentional pause…
There was a while where I couldn’t find anything at all. And, suddenly, a few months ago, I found a bunch of things, all at once. But none of those projects started until the fall. Fall, spring and summer are full, four movies at once, but it’s taken me a long time to be able to organize it. I really want to start working again.
Mission: Blacklist, which is about the US soldier whose interrogations led to finding Saddam Hussein, is actually your next project…
I think so. The director’s in Iraq, staying in the same palace where the guy we’re making the movie about stayed. He’s sending me pictures. It’s crazy. We’d like to film in Iraq, but it’s going to be very difficult because of safety. I wonder if Afghanistan would make a good Iraq double [laughs].
Is writing something that attracts your attention? What kind of books would you like to be the author of?
Surely something like ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’ [laughs hysterically]. I would really like to do that and invert the roles: making the woman the one who punishes the man. It’d be so much fun. Something like ‘Misery’, but really he loves to be in that situation.
You’ve been chased by the shadow of fame for years. Do you do anything to avoid all public attention?
Nothing works. Sometimes you try the typical things like a hat and sunglasses. It ends up being a thing of where you go to, it has to be places where people wouldn’t expect to find you. Sometimes that works, but not always. Once I went to an Indian reservation in New Mexico, there was a little town in the middle of nowhere with 200 or 300 habitants, I got out of the car and literally five minutes later someone was approaching me and saying: “Robert?”. I couldn’t believe it. But normally the only annoying thing is paparazzi or anyone who follows you. It’s irritating. When people really like you, that’s great. You don’t get tired of that. I’d say 90 percent of people that approach me are a bit intimidated. They tell me things like: “My three year old cousin is a really big fan.” They’re never the fans [laughs].
Our talk ends with this new showing of humbleness from the actor. A lot of things have changed in his life since he put on the pale make-up of Edward Cullen for the first time, but it looks like fame hasn’t gotten to his head.
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