Twilight, the first film based on Stephenie Meyer’s bestselling novel, was released in November 2008, spotlighting the love affair between Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), a young school girl, and Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) a century-old vampire.
In the sequel, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, their relationship grows more intense, and Edward, in order to protect Bella, breaks it off and leaves for South America, only appearing in the film through a series of visions.
Can the new movie survive without his presence? He spoke about it at the press day for the film.
Appearing only in part of the movie through these visions did you feel apart from your cast mates this time, or was it nice to be by yourself a little more?
Those scenes were the hardest scenes. We changed it quite a bit in the edit and in ADR, mainly because it was so difficult. It’s not Edward. It’s a kind of manifestation of Bella’s loneliness and desperation.
It was always very difficult because I was trying to ask Kristen, ‘How would you play it?’ because it’s her opinion. So I guess that was hard, but as for being alone I think that I’ve always felt a little bit aloof as the character throughout the whole series. I think that’s how he kind of is. So I didn’t feel anything particularly different.
Did you agree with the decision to make Edward a vision?
I was always very worried about that because even before we started shooting people were asking questions, like, ‘Do you think people are going to be worried about not having enough Edward in it?’ He’s not in the book. I was so worried that it was just going to be random scenes.
There was talk at the beginning of showing his back story in South America, going around moping or something. That would’ve been terrifying for me and I think that it would’ve been catastrophic for the film as well. But I fought as far as I could to keep it as limited as possible, mainly because it just doesn’t happen in the book.
But then at the same time it’s scary just to do voiceover because it could well end up being very cheesy. You’re just playing a vision and if you play it as realistically as possible it becomes an interesting thing to try and figure out. So it was interesting for me at the time.
Can you talk about working with Chris Weitz this time around and if the syllabus he gave the actors worked with your acting style?
I’ve never had that from any director. It was like 40 or 50 pages long, trying to show that he’s on the same page as us and that he’s completely with us in making the film. He didn’t falter from that attitude throughout the whole movie.
It probably sounds ridiculous how much praise this guy gets. (he laughs) I was just with his wife and him in Japan and she was even kind of sick of it, but he is like a saint. He’s one of the best people that I’ve ever met, let alone directors. I think in a lot of ways it shows in the movie.
There’s a lot of heart, especially for a sequel and a franchise. I think he’s just a great person to work with.
What has it been like working on this phenomenon, are you comfortable with it?
I guess it’s inevitable that you become more comfortable. You’re still fighting against some things. The franchise itself, there’s nothing really scary about it. I like the people that I work with.
I generally have very few disagreements about the script or about anything when we’re doing it, especially on New Moon. It just seemed so relaxed and easy.
Can you talk about the scene where you break up with Bella, how was it to do that?
It’s a strange thing, because one of the main things that I felt really helped was people’s anticipation of the [scene in the] movie. [It’s the] fans of the series idea about what Edward and Bella’s relationship is and what it represents to them as some kind of ideal for a relationship.
So I felt a lot of the weight behind it just playing a scene where you’re breaking up the ideal relationship. Also, it took away your fear of melodrama as well, because it felt kind of seismic if that’s the right word. 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 were doing it.
What were your thoughts in Italy where you reveal yourself in the sunlight?
I just came to a realization about that scene today. I guess it was one of the closest moments that I’ve really felt to people’s emotional attachment to the character.
There were so many extras there who were Twilight fans who had flown in to be in the Town Square. Taking that one step into the light was the one moment since the first ComiCon where I felt the whole weight of anticipation, and I guess responsibility as well, to all the people who were so obsessed with the stories. It was a good moment. It was very nerve-wracking.
I felt probably the most in-character than I’ve ever felt in the whole series at that moment.
Check out part two on this interview at the end of the week…