LOS ANGELES – From Winnipeg, Canada to Erie, Pennsylvania, from 13-year-olds to 53-year-olds, hundreds of “Twilight” fans camped out at the Nokia Plaza where the “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” recently premiered just to get a glimpse, an autograph or a photo of their favorite “Twilight” stars in a coveted spot on the red carpet.
The third installment of the popular franchise, which stars Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner, was screened as part of the Los Angeles Film Festival at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live.
Around 500 fans, who set up tents and waited for more than 90 hours just to see their vampire stars, even brought their favorite “Twilight” paraphernalia with them – blankets, towels, photos, posters, t-shirts, fans, among others.
We interviewed the “Twilight” stars at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles and got a glimpse of how the stars of the blockbuster series have grown and matured.
Donning a shorter cropped hairstyle, Robert, who portrays Edward Cullen in the David Slade-helmed movie, revealed that the easiest scene for him was when his character proposed to Bella Swan (Kristen) in the meadow.
He said, “Probably the easiest scene to do was when Kristen and I were in the meadow and I was asking her to marry me and stuff.”
As for the most difficult one, Robert admitted, “It had to be the tent scene where the three of us were inside the tent. I was so tired already when we were shooting that scene and I kept forgetting my lines. I was just absolutely exhausted when I did it. I could not remember my lines and I was just all over the place that day. I was getting so stressed out all the time. After about five takes, Kristen, who was supposed to be asleep on the floor, sort of looked up and tried to make me laugh the entire time. So the entire scene, I was trying to stop myself from laughing.”
Asked what he looks for in a wife or a girlfriend, Robert disclosed, “I haven’t really thought about it but she has to like dogs (laughs). I also do not like people who shout a lot (laughs). That drives me crazy.
Yeah must like dogs and no shouters. That’s about it! (laughs)”
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Kristen, on the other hand, was dressed in a colorful mini dress and was more relaxed than before.
The 20-year-old poised actress explained how she chooses her films. She said, “I choose my films instinctively and I really do not know what’s going to be a hit and what other people are going to take to. It’s not really what I’m concerned with. I do not give myself that added pressure.”
In “Eclipse,” Kristen is literally carried around by a shirtless Taylor (Jacob) and protected by both Robert and Taylor. Was it frustrating for her not to kick butt instead, we asked.
“Right,” she replied. “That’s what’s so frustrating for Bella because she’s like ‘Okay, there’s really nothing I can do.’ If they were all humans, then she would definitely be like in the fight. There’s even a line, ‘Is there anything I can do?’ She’s running around the woods like pricking her finger to put scent down which is just like a joke and she says, ‘If this is all I can contribute then I want to be thorough.’ I am totally not like that but I feel like that’s good because Bella’s not either.”
She admitted it was hard to hold back and not do anything. “I could probably be certified like absolutely insane at this point because I’ve gotten so into the head space of ‘Twilight’s’ reality,” she said. “But I wouldn’t because there are vampires there and there are wolves. If there was even a moment where she could do something, she would do it but there’s really never any point. Yeah, I get frustrated. I wish I could have done all the fight training and stuff that seemed fun.”
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Confident and mature for his 18 years, Taylor talked about how the cast has become close over all these “Twilight” movies.
“Rob is very funny,” he disclosed. “I am always laughing with him so that’s a major reason why it’s so hard to be his rival. Rob is hilarious. We get along great. We are good friends.”
“Kristen and I are super close,” he added. “We talk about anything and everything. During downtime, we’ll either throw a football around or she’ll throw a grape and I’ll catch it in my mouth (laughter), oddly enough (laughter). You get really bored on the set sometimes so you get creative. But she’s very athletic so I have fun with that. I’m usually the practical jokester but I think I’ve behaved myself pretty well on the sets (laughter). I haven’t cut loose yet. I’ll change that up for ‘Breaking Dawn’ (the next installment in two parts). Don’t worry about that. We get along well and we’re super close. I don’t know how we would film this franchise if we weren’t as close as we are. It would be a nightmare.”
Asked how he has maintained his buff physique that he displays most of the time in “Eclipse,” Taylor said that he continues to eat properly and exercise. “I still eat leafy vegetables and go to the gym regularly,” he revealed. “The most interesting thing that I’ve found is it was pretty difficult to put that muscle on in the first place but it’s actually just as hard to maintain it. I’ve been busy so whenever I can’t get into the gym or whenever I can’t eat every two hours, I lose it like that. I’ll drop five pounds and then it takes a long time to put it back on again so it’s important for me to stay on it so I can maintain it because it’s pretty hard. It’s still a lot of work.”
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Bryce Dallas Howard, the lovely daughter of filmmaker Ron Howard, is a welcome addition to this movie as she portrays the evil vampire, Victoria.
Bryce, who has a three-year-old son Theo with actor Seth Gabel, revealed that she accepted the role of Victoria because “I had read the books actually before I saw ‘Twilight.’ I was almost practically a ‘Twi-Hard.’ That’s what people call us who love the books (laughs). After I got the call to do the role, 48 hours later, I was on a plane to go shoot it. I love the books and I love the character. I was really enticed about the prospect of getting to spend a period of time investigating the psychology of Victoria.”
Asked why this series struck such a chord with moviegoers, Bryce explained, “For me, when I read the books, to be honest, I had never read anything like it – for example, the depth of feeling that Bella goes through. Actually, one of my guy friends who is heterosexual read the books and said, ‘I’m having a crisis right now because I’m in love with Edward Cullen.’ Stephenie Meyer has just really tapped into something profound with her writing, where she’s just been able to illuminate this epic love on the page.”
“There’s not many authors who have done that,” she continued.
As for the three “Twilight” stars, Bryce observed that they are handling their popularity very well.
“There’s a lot of excitement about the three leads as actors and as individuals,” she said. “They are all very humble people. They are not caught up with themselves at all. They’re very grateful to be a part of these stories. They feel the attention that they’re getting is because of the characters that they’re playing, not because of who they are. That’s a testament to their humility. They’re dealing with their popularity really well.”
Formerly a Manila journalist, Los Angeles-based Janet Susan R. Nepales is a member of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.