Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) © 2010 Summit Entertainment

It’s the beginning of the end for The Twilight Saga with the new movie Breaking Dawn – Part 1. It’s also the part of the story that fans have been longing to see – Edward (Robert Pattinson) and Bella (Kristen Stewart) finally getting married, going on a romantic honeymoon and the trauma of having a baby. For Robert, who has been playing Edward for four years, it’s been quite a journey, which he spoke about at the press day for the movie.

Can you talk about playing Edward through the series?

Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) © 2010 Summit Entertainment

Right from the beginning I just ignored that he was a vampire; basically I ignored the fact that he was 108 except for metaphorical purposes, and you’re left with a kind of troubled teenager which is a really simple story of him getting content with himself.

He gets content by finding a woman and having a child which is, I guess, how a lot of troubled guys balance themselves out. (he laughs) At least that’s the hope anyway.

The movie’s director, Bill Condon, mentioned the psyche of the self loathing that you told him you’ve been playing for the first three movies, which never had been presented as an element in the plot of the first three films.

Yeah, I always thought that would be the key ingredient to Edward’s character. He’s a 108 year old guy who’s never achieved anything he’s wanted to achieve.  He’s been stuck in adolescence. When you’re in adolescence, nothing is given to you. You think everything is unfair and he’s been living like that for a hundred years.

You’d eventually get to the point of desperation.

It’s very difficult to portray that and portray a love story at the same time unless you want to make a very different movie. So I was trying to push for that angle at the same time.

It’s funny because Bill was the first person to say that I want to put this at the forefront, because Breaking Dawn is the happiest movie in the whole series. We did a couple of flashback scenes which kind of reflects his anger when he first turns into a vampire.

Can you talk about your own personal journey? What has this role done for you?

Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) © 2010 Summit Entertainment

I guess just presented a whole variety of obstacles in terms of growing and figuring out who you want to be. It’s like having a very complicated maze to go through and you’re also being propelled by some kind of jet as well, while trying to think about how to go through a maze at the same time.

I still feel like it hasn’t really slowed down. I’m still trying to figure out where I’m at. But it’s been fun! It’s totally bizarre to me. I didn’t even know if I was going to continue acting before this happened. I have much more of a drive and passion for it than I ever did before.

Can you talk about the scene where the baby is born?

I read the script before I read the book, which is the first time I’d done that, and so I read that scene being kind of astonished. I knew the story was kind of crazy but I couldn’t believe it until it was actually written down. It was terrifying going into it. It was one of the most incredible scenes to do in this movie.

There’s definitely an NC17 rated version of a few scenes in this movie. But it was just incredible to shoot. Because of the violence in it, it gave you freedom in the scene, having every character so desperate. Suddenly it became something very different, especially for Edward who has always held back and is a pacifist, and is very objective and logical about everything.

[In this scene I’m] stuck between emaciated dummies’ legs chewing through a placenta and getting cream cheese and strawberry jam (substituting for the blood) all over my face and pulling out a three week old baby with a wig on. (he laughs)

What was playing your last moment of Edward like for you?

Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) © 2010 Summit Entertainment

I think the last scene with everyone was kind of horrible, because it was freezing cold, it was after two weeks of night shoots and everyone just kind of scarpered off afterwards.

‘Alright, that’s the end of Twilight.’ It was five in the morning; it was freezing cold and pouring with rain.

At least it was kind of symbolic of how a lot of movies are shot. It’s freezing cold and pouring with rain all the time.

It doesn’t really feel like the end of it yet, because the press tour has become so huge it really feels like part of the process of making the movies. And so until the last one is released I don’t really feel like I finalized anything.

At the wedding scene, Edward had mixed feelings, he was super nervous and super happy, have you had similar experiences in real life?

Yeah. A lot. I think whenever you are genuinely happy you’re also out of control, so you’re always a little bit nervous. I think the perfect level of happiness is when you’re kind of terrified. I have felt that many, many times.

Your character has an elaborate wedding. Would you want to have an elaborate wedding in your own life?

Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) and Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) © 2010 Summit Entertainment

It does seem like a bit of a hassle. I was in an interview with Kristen and she got all annoyed with me for saying the groom’s role in a wedding is basically just as a prop. (he laughs)

Even playing the part, it’s such a clear indication of whose day it is when you’re standing at one end of the aisle and the entire congregation is looking at the girl walking up the aisle and you’re in the same suit as every other guy, and she’s in her princess dress.

Any guy who tries to get involved in organizing a wedding, or even has an opinion of what the wedding should be, they’re kind of ridiculous. It’s whatever your wife decides to do with it.

How did Robert feel about being immortalized with his handprints and footprints at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre? Click on the bar below to hear what he has to say!

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Judy Sloane

Judy is Film Review Online's regular Los Angeles based reporter.