Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner Talk 'The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2'

Tuesday, 13 November 2012 13:28 Written by  iamrogue
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Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner Talk 'The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2'

For last four years, sparkly vampires and shape-shifting wolfmen have joined spandex-wearing superheroes as the biggest franchise figures at a theater near you.  But the sparkliness of those vampires is set to dim, as The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 closes out the five-film series this Friday, November 16th.

The new film concludes the two-part adaptation of the last novel in Stephenie Meyer's story spanning four bestselling novels.  When last we saw Bella, the newlywed was also a newly-minted vampire and mother.  As she adapted to her new supernatural lifestyle in Breaking Dawn - Part 2, the nefarious Volturi are mistakenly informed that she and Edward's child, Renesmee, is a volatile and dangerous Immortal Child.  In order to protect their progeny, who was actually born a vampire, from the Volturi, Bella, Edward, and the Cullens must marshal a fighting force of vampires and werewolves, setting the stage for a climactic final battle.

Bill Condon, who also directed Part 1, finishes out the series with returning stars Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner.  The central trio is joined once again by the likes of Peter Facinelli, Billy Burke, Ashley Greene, Elizabeth Reaser, Jackson Rathbone, Michael Sheen, Dakota Fanning, Kellan Lutz, and Mackenzie Foy.

At the Los Angeles press day for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2, IAR was one of many international entertainment outlets on hand to discuss the sequel with the cast and principal creative figures.  Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner were on hand to enthusiastically discuss the latest entry in this franchise and the conclusion of a ridiculously successful pop culture phenomenon.

This movie marks a big change for Bella as a character as she shifts from human to vampire.  Having been something of an outsider amongst both her human friends and the vampiric Cullen family for four movies, Bella is now adapting to having superpowers and a thirst for blood.  Her new abilities meant a new challenge for Stewart, who was called upon to perform complicated stunts for action sequences. 

"I broke my thumb maybe like the first or second day of our really sort of intense action-y type stuff," she recalled. "So that was really frustrating, but it was fun. I think I got a little taste of it. I got a little taste of it when we were in Italy just like the physicality was so important then and it finally became important again. And I don't know, what can I say? I think I'd been on the sidelines for so long, just itching, going like, 'God, I think I could do that pretty well. I think I could do that pretty well. I think those contacts are going to look pretty cool.' No sorry. I was like bursting to do it. And which I think is probably why I broke my thumb. I was a little overzealous."

For Lautner, as well, the story finds his character in new territory.  After being one-third of a love triangle for several films, Jacob Black's focus in now on protecting Renesmee, played by Mackenzie Foy.  In Breaking Dawn - Part 1, Jacob imprinted on the newborn, devoting himself to her well-being entirely.  In depicting the relationship between Jacob and Renesmee, Lautner was aware of the delicacy of their dynamic, saying, "It’s a fine line and I was worried about it. We were very fortunate to have Stephenie Meyer, the author, on set with us for these last two movies, and I definitely had quite a bit of conversations with her. There’s really nobody better to ask about it than her. And she basically told me, I mean, 'Stop over-complicating it.' She’s like, 'Just think here and now that’s all you really have to focus on, and it’s simple.' She said, 'It’s a lifelong bond between two people and that’s it. At this point the girl’s like what, ten years old? So it’s more of a protective thing like a brother sister and that’s really all it is.' And I couldn’t allow myself to think ahead, and go beyond that. So that’s kind of the zone I had to stay in. And I think Bill, our director, did a tremendous job with it because it is delicate, and I think the fans are going to be happy with it. I think it came together well."

Playing an immortal vampire has never been simple for Pattinson, and the obstacles of playing Edward Cullen in the fifth film were largely the same in past movies, according to the actor. "It’s a kind of a strange part," he explained. "Because on one hand, a lot of the audience projects their idea of Edward on to him without, you know, it doesn’t matter what he is, it’s like they want him to be a certain way, and then my kind of instincts to try and play it, to try and find the fallibility in him, and the weaknesses. So it’s you’re trying to play both these things at the same time, and it becomes very strange, I mean, because you’re trying to play someone who is seen by a lot of people as being like this perfect thing, but what is that? It doesn’t really mean anything, and so you’re trying to play an archetype on one hand, and then the character on the other. So I kind of felt insanely frustrated right up until the last shot, and then it ended."

While Pattinson was playing a vampire from day one, Stewart had the benefit of establishing her character as a human and developing her for four films, then playing the transition, as she said, "I was really lucky to have played human Bella for so long. The best aspects of every vampire, all of their gifts, everything that makes them really special is always an enhanced version of what they were when they were human, so I really did get to play an incredibly well rounded version of a vampire just because I got to take those steps for real. I think that she, I always say the same thing, but if you were to take the fact that she becomes a vampire completely away, it's just a more realized version of who she's been the entire time. I think it's why it really touches so many people, I think, too. It's like it really does represent that stage of life where you're full, pumping, full of, like bubbling over with something that maybe you can't put your finger on. And if you're the type of person, like in this case, not like a huge thing about the girl thing, but like a girl who has faith in themselves to not ignore those feelings and find out why they're there.  And people kind of think she's nuts the entire time. It's like Bella's always losing it. She's making very odd decisions and, you know, they're full informed by feeling. And I think that now it all makes sense and she can kind of stand up and go, 'Whew, I told you. It was worth it and we held on for a reason.' And yeah, really satisfying, really like a lot of fun. A lot of fun. It was also like breaking her in like a car as well. Like how fast does it go? And it was fun."

Despite her stunt injury, part of the fun for Stewart was in cutting loose with Bella's physicality. "I would love to be able to run that fast," she said. "That would be fun. And we really didn't get to—that's the one thing that we were able to really get close to most experiences that she has, we always wanted to push it as far as we could, but then when I'm standing on a treadmill being drug behind a truck in the woods and I know that this isn't going to even make it in the movie, because it's fairly ridiculous, and I just wanted to be able. And that's my favorite, honestly, that's one of my favorite part in that entire series, is that first hunt, is just like going. I didn't really feel like I could go. It was very frustrating. So if I could do that."

For months, scuttlebutt and speculation have surrounded just what will become of Twilight as a property now, in this age of ubiquitous reboots and franchise thinking.  For Pattinson, regarding the stories in such a way is beside the point, as he explained, "Franchise is a Burger King or a Subway, it’s not a movie. And people, people who start to say it, generally are the people who are making money off it, like, refer to it [as a] franchise. I guess they love it when something’s become a franchise. But as, as an actor, I think it’s scary. I mean, you really, really feel like you have no control. I mean it’s a huge juggernaut, especially when something becomes part of the kind of cultural landscape in a way. It’s really scary, because you get trapped, and you get scared of changing, which is the worst thing that can happen if you want to be any kind of artist."

That said, the end of the series naturally has audiences looking back, particularly on the first film, 2008's TwilightLautner, the youngest of the three leads, looked back on his experience with that production and was surprised to realize he had no recollection of meeting Pattinson, but recalled his earliest encounter with Stewart, saying, "Kristen, it was kind of awkward for me because I was showing up midway through filming. I was only in like two or three scenes in the first movie. And everybody kind of had, you know, relationships and everybody knew each other. It was already this family environment and I was kind of barging in. So I was nervous. I was also the youngest. And it was, actually it probably was a little awkward when we first did meet each other. We were filming a scene on the beach and the weather was insane. It was pouring rain, and there was wind, and I was wearing the nasty wig. It was just very uncomfortable but ever since then it’s been great."

"It’s funny, people were asking me how I’d feel when it all ends on the first movie," Pattinson said. "And I don’t think I’ve ever felt more completely bewildered, knowing that I only have a month of Twilight stuff left to do. I don’t know. I always, I’ve said since, I think the second one, it’s going to take ten years to really settle in my brain. So I’m four years into it. But yeah, I don’t think there’s any, I don’t think there is any analysis. I don’t think anyone knows why people like it. I don’t think even the fans know why they connect to it in the way they do. It’s a visceral thing."

Bewilderment aside, Pattinson does look back fondly on the films, particularly the first one, saying, "The whole first movie was pretty fun. I’d never really done a movie like it where there’s such a big cast of people who were around about the same age, and everyone didn’t really know what was going to happen with the movie, but there was a good energy, there was something, which people were kind of, like, fighting for in a way. They wanted it to be, they wanted it to be something special. Also, the people. None of us were really known, then, as well. So it was kind of, it felt like a big deal at the time, and it was exciting, it was really exciting, the first one, and the whole year afterwards. It was an exciting year."

Similarly, Lautner focused on the bonds he formed with his fellow actors. "That’s the biggest thing I’ll take from this is those relationships," he said. "We’re so close right now. They’re some of my best friends and that won’t go away at all. You know it will be more difficult because we don’t have the excuse to spend months and months, and day after day with each other, but you know our friendships will go on forever. I find it so amazing that this cast meshed so well, and like got along so well, and it really…we’re so thankful for that. We have a blast every time we film these movies, every time we promote them, and I really think that’s like a miracle. It was an amazing experience, and those relationships that are going to be the biggest thing that I’ll take from it."

"I’ve learned a lot," he continued. "I mean in the sense that I’ve just grown up a ton because I did start this when I was fifteen years old. So I mean that’s kind of just bound to happen, but you know it also is kind of at an accelerated rate. And also just working, I mean as an actor having the opportunity to work with some of the people in this franchise. I love the fact that we had different directors for each movie except for these last two. That was amazing, to play the same character, but be directed in a different way every time and have different input. So I mean it’s kind of an actor’s dream because of that, and to play one character for so long because usually when you do a normal film you play the character for three months, and then you say goodbye to them, and then you watch the movie, and you’re like, 'Oh I wish I could have done that differently. I wish I could have added this to it.' And with this you have four more movies to play with. So it is. it was an amazing experience."

For all three actors, Twilight entailed an almost immediate ascent to global stardom, and the end of the franchise means a new phase in their respective careers.  According to Stewart, though, it is immensely satisfying to know that the story has reached its conclusion. "I'm so happy that the story is told," she said. "You have no idea. Usually you’ve got five weeks, five months to look at a schedule and go, 'Whew, that day's coming up, that day's coming up.' We had five years. And so, you know, the fact that this thing is out and it's not weighing on us anymore, super excited about that. But I don't want it to sound like I'm excited just to be done with the experience, because to be honest, it's like such a particular tone, anything, you do an interview for Twilight, you go back. But anything, like reshoots, conversations with past directors, anything. It's just like it falls right back into that. It's a feeling, and I will definitely miss that. But again, I feel like it's not going anywhere. I feel like anytime something's brought up or you see someone, I mean, it is sad, it is strange. But it's normal, things shouldn’t stay stagnant. Got to move on."

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 hits theaters across the country on Friday, November 21st.

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