Bill Condon Interviews with Hit Fix and Moviefone - Talks About Rob and Kristen

Was there any actor who surprised you?  

I think people will be surprised by everybody.  In general, Kristen has such a huge journey to take and to watch her become this fierce, protective, powerful mother figure? I think that will surprise people.  Taylor surprised me with his commitment and the dark places he goes to in this movie.  And Rob, I think there is some sense that he has relaxed into this part and finally willing to show more of himself. His own charm, wit and grace are in evidence in this movie.  It surprised me in how relaxed he seemed in something he's fought a little against before.

So, something that would give any director pause would be the fact you're the fourth director these actors have worked with.  In TV, where directors come and go, you always hear the actor saying, 'Eh, the director just tells me where to stand. I know the character.'  How open were the actors to actually taking more direction than you'd expect?

Well, I don't know about more, but certainly exploring with me and they were incredibly open.  Y'know, I keep calling this 'Twilight grows up,' but in a way it is. All of the characters take tremendous steps in this story and that's part of what turned me on to the material, to collaborate with Kristen Stewart as she goes from being the Bella we know in the first three movies to being a bride, being someone who finally has sex, gets pregnant, gets sick, gives birth, dies, become a vampire, becomes a warrior?  Just think of that journey.  I guess for none of them it was just playing the same old thing.  Jacob becomes a man in this movie. He moves away from being the third leg in a triangle and breaks free of that and his background and his family and his pack and becomes his own person.  So, that was a journey all the actors were eager and open to collaborate on. 

Read the complete interview on HitFix

You mention the performers experimenting in the dailies. I think it would be fair to call you an actor's director -- the films you've directed have gotten stars Oscar nominations five times, and Jennifer Hudson won -- but Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner grew up on these movies; they're maybe set in their ways and what they think the characters are. How do you come in and direct them for this last run?

I did not find any of them set in their ways. It felt like they were eager to explore. Part of the advantage I had was that after a lot of anticipation in three movies, now a huge number of things happen. These characters change so dramatically. When you think of where Bella stars, which is where she's been for all three movies, and by the end she's this fierce warrior-hunter-maternal-goddess. All the steps that get her there -- it's a huge amount of change. The same for Jacob and Edward. They grow up more than anything.

Catherine Hardwicke [who directed 'Twilight'] has a genius for getting inside the brain and is so in touch with what it's like to be a teenage girl. I couldn't imagine doing that first 'Twilight.' But I can imagine doing this one because it's more adult concerns happening in this story.

Read the complete interview at Moviefone

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