Nikki Reed & Jackson Rathbone Interview For ‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2′
After the birth of Renesmee Cullen (Mackenzie Foy), Bella (Kristen Stewart), who is now a vampire, finds herself enjoying her new life and abilities. However, the vampire Irina (Maggie Grace) misidentifies Renesmee as an “immortal child” – a child who has been turned into a vampire – and because immortal children are uncontrollable, creating them has been outlawed by the Volturi. After Irina presents her allegation to the Volturi, they plan to destroy Renesmee and the Cullens. In an attempt to survive, the Cullens gather other vampire clans from around the world to stand as witnesses and prove to the Volturi that Renesmee is not an immortal child. Upon confronting the gathered Cullen witnesses, the Volturi discover that they have been misinformed and immediately execute Irina for her mistake. However, they remain undecided on whether Renesmee should be viewed as a threat to vampires’ secret existence.
The hefty cast for ’The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2′ includes Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, Taylor Lautner, Peter Facinelli, Ashley Greene, Kellan Lutz, Jackson Rathbone, Elizabeth Reaser, Nikki Reed, Billy Burke, Rami Malek, Maggie Grace, Mackenzie Foy, Tracey Heggins, Judi Shekoni, Omar Metwally, Andrea Gabriel and Rami Malek. Set for a November 16th release, ‘The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2′ is based on the fourth novel in author Stephenie Meyer’s “Twilight” series. Academy Award winner Bill Condon (Dreamgirls, Gods and Monsters) directed both the first and second part of the two-part finale. My other ’The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2′ interviews can be found via the following links: Taylor Lautner, Kellan Lutz, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart (lots more to come).
What was the moment for you when you thought, “Wow, this ‘Twilight’ thing is going to be huge.” Do you remember that moment or what that thing was, or was it a series of things? Was there ever an inkling of that while filming the first movie?
Jackson Rathbone: It kind of just kept growing, in terms of that anticipation of what it might become. It was never the understanding straight away that, “Look at this, we’re going to be a part of this amazing franchise.” When we first signed on for ‘Twilight’ it was like joining a different take on a vampire story. Then as we were filming people started knocking on our doors and showing up, taking pictures of us. All of these fansites started popping up as well, fan fiction. You started thinking, “This is way different than other projects I’ve done! (Laughs) People haven’t even seen it yet!” And still, that didn’t really sink in until the premier, for me at least. Driving up with my family and seeing this amazing amount of people screaming and all of these reporters. I was out on the red carpet for like two and a half hours talking and signing autographs, taking pictures – it was intense.
Nikki Reed: It’s like, you can hear about something being successful, and you can say, “Oh, the movie made this amount of money on its opening weekend.” So you have an idea. But it doesn’t really feel real until you show up and see it and witness it. That’s what I think makes this whole experience unique, in that we’ve been very interactive with the fans, we appreciate and know the role that they played in the success of these ‘Twilight’ films. We’ve tried to give back a lot and tried to spend a lot of time with them.
For me, I remember very specifically the moment I thought, “Oh God, this is going to be something!” (Laughs) It was at the first Comic-Con, where Catherine Hardwicke, Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart attended. I was watching the news at home and I think it was Rob who got out of his car, I remember the news anchor was trying to interview him and the screaming was so loud it was distorting the microphones. I remember thinking, “Wow, was that for our cast? These people know about the movie?” It happened over night, when we were filming the first movie there was a few very exclusive fan clubs and groups, they only interacted with us online, they didn’t show up anywhere. But then I definitely had that moment of second guessing myself and thinking, “No, this can’t be for our movie. Someone’s playing a joke on us!” And I still feel like, not to ramble, but we experienced that same emotion as each film unfolds. I don’t think any of us ever had a moment where we were like, “We can do whatever in this, it will be successful.” We’ve always felt like there’s a real desire to please the fans, to work really hard for them.
Considering the down time in-between making the ‘Twilight’ movies, were you thinking, “I could have played my character like this, I could have approached it like this?” And how was it seeing Rosalie’s arc develop over the course of the films, from where she started to where she ends up?
Nikki Reed: The beauty of being an artist is that we all have regrets about performances at different points in time (laughs). You have to just remember that, that is a photograph in time and you have to walk away from whatever you did, move on and appreciate that performance – sort of isolate it. One of the most challenging things about playing Rosalie has been knowing personally who she is and all that she’s capable of, where she’s coming from. And Stephenie Meyer, she really wrote some multi-faceted, multi-dynamic characters. There’s so much depth to all of them. So there’s definitely been some frustrations along the way I feel, in not being able to explore all sides of who you’re playing – almost feeling defensive of your character (laughs). I’m really happy that we made it to the place we did, I’m really happy I got to show a more vulnerable and sensitive side to Rosalie. And also I found it really fascinating to watch how the fans closely associate you with whoever you’re playing, it’s very subconscious. Now being on the side of the protagonist, I think the fans are accepting me even more, that’s been great (laughs).
How about you Jackson? As the films are going along, the audience getting to know more about Jasper, how satisfying was that for you?
Jackson Rathbone: It’s interesting, whenever I look for the characters I want to play, I always look for a development, I look for an arc. Playing a flat-line character is the most boring thing I can imagine – and I’ve done it, and I don’t like it. With Jasper, I looked at the series, the books, and there’s an opportunity to show a character who’s really a part of the landscape. He really helps the narrative form of this young girl, Bella, falling in love, getting swept up in this world of vampires. Jasper comes into play as this certain side of the vampires, he sort of straddles the line between the new vegetarian vampire way of life, with that animalistic, feral urge to drink human blood. Then to go to that to ‘New Moon’ where he almost kills her, then ‘Eclipse’ we get to see a little bit about his back-story. Then finally in ‘Breaking Dawn’ he’s relaxed.
It was nice, it’s really nice to make choices in the first film and know that you can justify those choices later, that you can show people like, “This is the reason I chose for him to stand this way. This is the reason I chose him to have these awkwardly painful expressions on his face.” (Laughs) Those were choices on ‘Twilight’ that I had to own and describe and explain to people over the course of the next films. It’s an interesting development with that character. I’ve loved playing Jasper over the years. I’m really grateful for Stephenie and her writing, to be able to step into a character so lush as I was able to do with Jasper.
Did you have a favourite moment in ’The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2′? Was there something in particular that was fun to shoot or do?
Jackson Rathbone: Oh man, I do have a couple. There’s a really beautiful scene that Nikki has where she’s outside with the little baby, she has this expression that….in all the movies, it’s the most similar to Nikki’s personality that I’ve ever seen in these films. You get to see who Nikki Reed is in Rosalie for the first time, I think (laughs). That was a beautiful moment that I really loved. And then there’s the ending, that Bill Condon put together. Being a part of this series over a large part of my life – over half my life as a professional actor, it was amazing. That was really nice. I felt honoured and humbled at the same time.
Nikki Reed: From filming I felt such a weird connection to…I guess it’s just called being maternal, but I really love babies and I love children. I love being around them. So filming with Mackenzie Foy was just amazing, she’s so talented and she’s such a professional, and she’s such a child at the same time. She’s an innocent, normal child, I loved every second working with her.
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