BEVERLY HILLS — At last, a new dawn is breaking.
But first, let’s go back to when it started, how the Stephenie Meyer Twilight Trilogy became a global phenomenon in both print and film (over $1B raked in by the first four since 2008 when the first installment was shown).
Starring Kristen Stewart as Bella Swan, Robert Pattinson as Edward Cullen and Taylor Lautner as Jacob Black, the series kicked off with the story of 17-year-old Bella who moves to the small town of Forks, Washington, to live with her father and becomes drawn to Edward, a pale and mysterious classmate who seems determined to push her away. But neither can deny the attraction that pulls them together even when Edward confides that he and his family are vampires. To complicate matters, Bella’s friend Jacob is a werewolf, designed to kill vampires.
And then what happened? Ask the Twi-hard near you. Briefly now: Bella and Edward have gotten married and now have a daughter, Renesmee (played by newcomer Mackenzie Foy). That was in Breaking Dawn Part 1 (novel is too long so it has to be broken into two installments). In Breaking Dawn Part 2 (opening nationwide on Thursday, Nov. 15, released by Pioneer Films), Bella is finally a vampire. Of course, those who have read the book know what happens next. Suffice it to say that the final chapter of the Twilight Phenomenon…on film, that is…will leave you breathless and asking for more! But so sorry, according to Meyer nothing follows
Anyway, between Breaking Dawn Part 1 and Breaking Dawn Part 2, something very important has broken — the real-life fairy-tale romance of Kristen and Robert. A third party was involved and his name is not Jacob Black but Rupert Sanders, 41, and very much married, Kristen’s director in the recently-released Snow White and the Huntsman. In the wake of that, uhm, “lapse in judgment,” Kristen was quoted as saying, “This momentary indiscretion has jeopardized the most important thing in my life, the person I love and respect the most, Rob. I love him, I love him, I’m so sorry.”
In make-believe, Bella and Edward end up happily ever after, locked in sweet embrace and passionate kiss in what looks like a floral paradise, with the word FOREVER highlighted on the screen, picked out from a page of the novel. But forever is not enough, if ever possible, is it?
The big question is: Will Kristen and Robert let bygones be bygones and go the way of Bella and Edward in real life?
That was the question that journalists invited to the Breaking Dawn 2 junket last week were forbidden to ask. The following Conversation with Kristen and Robert was done separately at, as usual, a function room of Four Seasons. Now, does that mean anything?
You are welcome to read between the lines of Kristen’s and Robert’s (safe?) answers.
How do you feel now that the Twilight Saga has ended, sad or relieved?
Kristen (Heaving a big sigh): Well, for five entire years I had the same moments tapping me on the shoulder and telling me that, you know, I was not free to think of anything else but Bella Swan. Usually, we did that over a five-month period and so at the end of five years I’m…hmmmm, I wouldn’t say “relieved” because it’s slightly misleading because I don’t want people to think that I want it to be over. But I do believe that five years is a long enough time to live in that fantasy world, so it’s nice to walk away at this point.
Robert: I’m not sure if I should feel sad about it but it definitely feels strange. Once you play the character a few times, it really does become like second skin to you and when it’s done, you do miss it. I mean, not yet but I know that one day, in a few years time, I will see one of these movies on TV and I guess I will feel strange.
You were 17 when you shot for the first Twilight movie in 2008. How has the Saga changed you?
Kristen: It’s hard to credit one experience with a particular change in you. I started when I was 17 and I am 22 now, and it’s impossible to actually mark the changes in my life during the past five years.
Robert: I was 21 when I did the first Twilight movie and I am 26 now. Well, I’m kind of braver now; I feel that I can go a little farther. It excites me what I’m gonna do next.
What are your fondest memories about the Saga and what’s the best lesson that you learned from it?
Kristen: I guess I became a little bit more comfortable living. When you’re younger, you look to the future and you feel like, “God, am I gonna feel always a little bit unsure? Am I always going not knowing exactly what the outcome of this journey is?” I don’t think Twilight gave that feeling to me but I’m sure that it just put things on a little bit escalated scale.
Robert: Oh yes, I remember my audition. I think I sent a tape from England and then I was asked to come to L.A. I felt that I was so weird in the audition and I was sure that I wouldn’t get the part. I called up my parents and told them that I didn’t want to act anymore.
How was the audition with Kristen?
Robert: No, I didn’t know. I was barely prepared. I took half of Valium before doing it. Kristen and I were told to do four scenes, one of them the first key scenes when our characters first met each other and when they kissed. I was pretty nervous all throughout so I couldn’t believe it when I was told four days later that the audition went well. I said, “Thanks to the Valium!”
Isn’t it weird and surreal that so many people love you or they hate you even if they haven’t met you?
Kristen: I think you should be a little more concerned about how you feel about yourself rather than how people feel about you. Yeah, it’s weird, super-weird! Let’s be honest, it’s fun to disregard people who don’t like you and it’s even more fun to find people who are your fans with whom you have a lot in common; there’s something that attracts them to you, and vice-versa.
You did a lot of running in the Saga and you look pretty athletic and sporty. How do you maintain your kind of body?
Kristen (Breaking into smile): I don’t work out regularly. (And laughs!) Hmmm, I love stunt work that’s why I’m constantly hurting myself because I’m constantly throwing myself at things. Sometimes, I would tease myself, “Kristen, you’re not actually a vampire, you know!” You see some actresses…and I’m not thinking anyone in particular…you know, “You spend half of your life working on your body…!” No, I’m not like that kind of actress. I don’t do that.
What are your favorite scenes in the Saga?
Kristen: I have a lot of favorite scenes but to pick one…no! If you ask me what moments in the Saga surprised me, my answer would be very obvious; it’s the milestones, such as in the first movie (Twilight) it’s the first kiss and the last kiss, there’s the wedding scene and the giving-birth scene. There are just so many for me to name just one.
Robert: It’s definitely the last scene in the first movie where Bella and Edward are dancing. I always remember that scene.
What about the wedding scene? What was on your mind when you were doing that scene?
Robert: Oh that scene. I was kind of thinking how little involvement the groom has because everyone is looking at the bride and the groom is just kind of standing at the other end. It was fun, though. It was very beautiful!
Any role that you look forward to doing which is different from the Twilight genre?
Kristen: I haven’t found the next project yet. (She has just finished shooting On The Road. — RFL) I can’t be specific about what I want to do until it’s in front of me. Every one project doesn’t relate to the last or the one following it. Each project is different from the others. My expectation of myself is that I feel challenged when I’m pushed by the people that I’m working with, and if I could find those people I would be very happy.
Is there any chance for you and Kristen to do another movie together, not part of the Twilight Saga?
Robert: Oh yeah, I’d love to. It’s pretty likely that we would work together again.
Your co-stars said that you’re funny on the set, contrary to what people think that you’re quiet and serious. How would you like to do comedy for a change?
Robert (Blushing): My instincts for comedy movies are really weird, hahahaha! What roles do I want to do next? I don’t know. Maybe a horror movie. I’d like to do one that would really scare people.
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Meet Bella & Edward’s baby
Now going on 12, Mackenzie Foy was only 10 when she started shooting for Breaking Dawn Part 2 as Renesmee, the daughter of Bella Swan and Edward Cullens, described as “the young creature who magically changes” the lives of the Twilight characters, including that of Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner).
Initially, Bill Condon, director of the final installment of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight Saga, thought of using different actresses for the role of Renesmee or to go all CGI.
“When we started casting,” Condon recalled in the movie’s Production Notes, “it was clear that the role demanded some performance ability. As soon as we saw Mackenzie, especially the way she looked and her self-possession, so pretty and a good actress, we knew she was ‘it’.”
Mackenzie admitted that she was “a little bit nervous but mostly excited” during the audition.
“When I read the script,” she was quoted as saying, “what I liked about Renesmee was her being sweet and how she loved her family. Then I went in there and I just did what my heart told me to do.”
It was Mackenzie’s first time to be on a movie set and she impressed everybody right away.
“She’s stunning, she has this wisdom in her eyes that we thought we were going to have to digitally create,” said Wyck Godfrey, the movie’s co-producer. “Mackenzie is so great in her performance…she has a natural otherworldly quality to her.”
Mackenzie was the same age as Kristen when Kristen shot Panic Room where she plays the daughter of Jodie Foster (who also started as a child actress).
Kristen on Mackenzie: “She’s amazingly cool and I’m proud to have her playing my daughter…”
Robert on Mackenzie: “She’s very self-possessed for a really young girl; she’s really smart, really talented…”
Taylor on Mackenzie: “She’s the cutest little girl in the world, so funny and so talented and so smart…Everybody loves her…”