Friday, June 12, 2009


metro news has a 5 part piece on new moon, which includes interviews with taylor, chris weitz, kristen, rob, and this behind the scenes look (warning - spoilers):
Within the lush emerald landscape, Hollywood is hard at work. While caterers are preparing snacks and warm drinks for the 80 teenage extras, director Chris Weitz is preparing to film the first sequence of the day. “Action!” he finally yells, and another long day of shooting begins.

As the extras disperse and pretend to be heading toward the makeshift school building, Kristen Stewart, reprising her role as Bella, is greeted by her four best friends singing her happy birthday as she gets out of her truck.

“Cut! Let’s do it again!” yells Weitz. After shooting the scene three times, the director asks for one more, “just for safety.” And it’s in the can. The enormous crew huddles around, preparing for the next sequence.
read the other two spoilers (it's worth it) and all the individual interviews after the break .

Metro goes behind the scenes on set of the New Moon
The clouds are low, the sky is grey and moody. It’s a perfect day for the vampires to come out — or at least the cast and crew of New Moon, the follow-up to last year’s hit film Twilight.

Young fans surrounding Burnaby Park in Vancouver are the borderline between the real world and the one conjured up by Stephenie Meyer, author of the popular Twilight book series.

Within the lush emerald landscape, Hollywood is hard at work. While caterers are preparing snacks and warm drinks for the 80 teenage extras, director Chris Weitz is preparing to film the first sequence of the day. “Action!” he finally yells, and another long day of shooting begins.

As the extras disperse and pretend to be heading toward the makeshift school building, Kristen Stewart, reprising her role as Bella, is greeted by her four best friends singing her happy birthday as she gets out of her truck.

“Cut! Let’s do it again!” yells Weitz. After shooting the scene three times, the director asks for one more, “just for safety.” And it’s in the can. The enormous crew huddles around, preparing for the next sequence.

This time, Taylor Lautner joins Stewart on set. This scene is crucial — and so is Lautner’s character, Jacob, in this second instalment in the series.

In Twilight, he was Bella’s friend and a shoulder to cry on; in New Moon, with her love Edward gone away, the two become closer and he reveals some surprising facets of himself, including supernatural powers and a very muscular body for which the actor trained for months.

Ready? Action! Jacob fastens a necklace on Bella. “It catches bad dreams,” he tells her. But Bella only dreams of Edward, played by Robert Pattinson. The British actor is leaning nearby on a car, a figment of Bella’s imagination. She is continually haunted by memories of this impossible love.

As the cameras roll for the third take, Lautner forgets his lines. “Sorry, I’m totally lost,” he laughs. “Cut, reset!” orders Weitz. The cast had a 5 a.m. wake-up call. Lautner outdoes himself in the fourth take. “That was my favourite!” enthuses the director.

The heavy atmosphere of the Vancouver weather seems to temporarily lift as lunch break is declared. Even vampires get hungry, and Pattinson joins us for a quick bite and chat. In full vampirical make-up and sporting yellow contact lenses, we almost expect him to bite us instead of his food.

His role is minimal in New Moon, yet crucial nevertheless, as we see in the next sequence.

Stewart, standing on a platform to reach up to the tall actor, leans in for a kiss. Is it real or is Bella’s imagination playing tricks on her again? Fans will have to wait until the movie’s November release to find out.

New Moon’s Taylor Lautner bites into meatier werewolf role
For a while, there were rumours the Twilight character of Jacob Black would be recast for New Moon, but actor Taylor Lautner is back in the role. It’s a juicier one this time, with more for the actor to get his teeth into. Not only does his relationship with Bella — played by Kristen Stewart — develop, but Lautner also went through an impressive physical transformation.

Q. How is it back on set?
A. It’s good. I’m really excited to be back with the whole team again and our new director, Chris Weitz. It’s been a lot of fun so far and the movie’s looking great, so I couldn’t ask for more.

Q. And you have a huge role this time…
A. It’s a little bit bigger, yeah! It’s exciting because I’m excited to bring alive the new Jacob Black for the fans.

Q. You look like an '80s rock star with your long hair!
A. Sometimes I look in the mirror and I don’t recognize myself. It’s an actual wig. It’s glued to my head in the front and it gets itchy sometimes. You can see the lace if you look close, but it doesn’t come across on camera. It gives me a totally different look. I don’t even look like myself. But it’s fun.

Q. The biggest change is in your body though. You gained 30 pounds of muscle for this role, is that right?
A. I did, yeah. When I was filming Twilight, I knew where my character was going in the rest of the series, so obviously I knew I had some work ahead of me! So as soon as I stopped filming Twilight, I got back home, hit the gym and worked very, very hard, and here I am filming New Moon, 30 pounds heavier.

Q. And doing your own stunts.
A. So far. Let’s not jinx it, but basically you get an evaluation at the beginning of filming. They took me to a gymnasium to see what I could do. They put me on some dirt bikes to see how well I can do. I think they’re just figuring out how much they’re actually going to allow me to do. So far, I’ve been able to do everything, so I’m hoping that doesn’t change too much, 'cause the stunts are a lot of fun.

Q. Did you have a trainer?
A. Yes, I did have a trainer that I used the whole time and I owe him a lot of thanks!

Q. How is it working with Chris Weitz?
A. Chris is amazing. He’s extremely talented and he’s done a lot of amazing work. Everything is looking fantastic so far for this and I know it’s gong to continue to. But at the same time, the set is so calm and relaxed and we’re just having a really great time. Sometimes you wonder, “How is he doing this? How is he creating this beautiful work and we’re just all having a blast doing it?” Chris has definitely taken control and he’s a blast to be around.

Q. What is the biggest challenge this time around?
A. It’s actually the same biggest challenge we had for the first one and it’s the weather. It’s really funny because I think the Twilight saga is the only movies where we have to stop filming when the sun comes out. So whenever it’s sunny, we have to either go to an interior shot or just stop filming.

Q. Let’s get to your character, Jacob. He is actually in love with Bella…
A. Jacob’s love for Bella is really intense. He will always be there for Bella, no matter what. Even if she’s with another guy… or a vampire!

Q. How did you prepare for your role?
A. I did a lot of study for the first film. Before I even started filming Twilight, I studied up on all of the Quileute tribes and legends and myths and everything about them. And when got up to Portland, Ore. to film, I was able to meet with about ten Quileute tribal members. I got to talk to them and what I really learned is that they’re not much different than me, and that was very unexpected.

Q. Do you ever discuss Jacob with Stephenie Meyer?
A. It’s really cool because she comes up here every once in a while for her favourite scenes. At the beginning of filming, she gives a list of her favourite scenes that she wants to be up here for. You've got the best person in the world to ask for advice. So if you have a question, you can just walk on over and ask her.

Q. What’s your most exciting scene in New Moon?
A. It’s so hard to choose. Like I said, I really enjoy the stunts so I had a lot of fun doing the dirt bike sequences. I got to hop on the bike and go really fast and come to a skidding stop. It’s really cool. And I also like a lot of the more serious scenes, the pivotal scenes in the movie, like Jacob and Bella’s breakup scene, which is the first time Bella sees Jacob after he has transformed into a wolf. And it’s really emotional. I felt bad for Jacob just reading the books, but now that I’m actually living this character, I feel so bad for the guy! It’s really sad.

Q. Is Jacob an outsider like Edward?
A. Yeah, I’d say a little bit. Jacob is a really interesting character because he definitely feels like an outsider because he doesn’t go to the same school as everybody else, he’s on the reservation. But Bella brings him out of that. Also, Jacob brings Bella out of this huge depression she’s in. She wants to kill herself, she’s so sad. Jacob is her sun. He brings her alive, out of this deep hole.

Q. Jacob likes Bella. Who kind of girl does Taylor like?
A. Somebody who can be themselves. Somebody who can just open up and be free and not try to be somebody different.

Q. Have you, Kristen and Rob become close?
A. Yeah, it’s a lot of fun. We all get along really well and I think definitely our chemistry offscreen is going to be transferred onscreen.

Q. What is a typical day on the set for you?
A. I have very early wake-up calls. I’m usually waking up at 4:30 or 5, and we don’t usually finish until about 5 or 6 at night. But we usually go out after, just explore the restaurants in town. It’s been a lot of fun so far.

Q. What do you do when you’re not on set?
A. Well, I’ve been so busy with the Twilight saga within the past year. It’s been crazy, but it’s been a lot of fun. We did tons of publicity. I got to travel to so many places in the world. I got to go to Australia, Tokyo… I got to go all over the place. So it’s been a lot of fun. It’s definitely keeping me busy though.

Q. Are you ready to change your life and not be able to walk in the street incognito?
A. I think so! I’m not sure yet!

Q. What would you be doing if you weren’t an actor?
A. I’d probably still be playing sports. I did football and baseball my whole life. I definitely like writing too and maybe I’d be trying to be getting in the directing field, but I’m glad that I’m an actor.

Q. Who are your favourite actors?
A. I really like Denzel Washington, Brad Pitt and Matt Damon.

Q. What about actresses?
A. It changed a lot. It used to be Jessica Alba for the longest time, and I’m kind of transferring to Megan Fox.

Q. All the hot babes!
A. Yeah, yeah, yeah! (Laughs)

Q. What kind of movies do you watch?
A. I’ll see a wide variety, but usually my favourites are action movies. I really like action drama movies. I like The Dark Knight, Iron Man, I like the Bourne series.

Q. Are you eventually looking for a role in an action movie?
A. Yeah, some day. I’d love to.

Q. Aren’t you involved in some sort of hip-hop performance art show?
A. No! That’s on some of my biographies. I need to get that off because I did it when I was 10 years old and I did it for about six months and I was done with it. And I can’t dance at all, so I need to clear that up!

Chris Weitz takes the Twilight helm with New Moon

After the success of Twilight last year, New Moon — the latest film adaptation of Stephanie Meyer’s book series — is one of the most hotly anticipated movies to be released this year. Leading the production is director Chris Weitz, who is taking his first stab at the franchise.

Q. How does it feel to take over directorial duties of such a successful franchise?

A. On the one hand, it’s exciting to take over a successful franchise. On the other, it’s daunting. There are so many fans who have high expectations for this film, but it’s made easy by the fact that I inherited this amazing cast who are certainly very talented. So half of the time, I’m just overjoyed to be a part of this and the other half, I’m nervous that I’m going to be hunted down and killed by a pack of 14-year-old teenage girls in about a year’s time!

Q. What was your reaction when you were first offered the job?

A. I was surprised because it happened very suddenly, and I had a week and a half to decide whether I was gong to do it or not. Then I saw the first film, I saw the case and I thought, 'This is going to be great, actually. Kristen, Rob and Taylor were great' - that’s what convinced me to do it. And I read the book and I thought I saw my way of making a good version of the book. It’s really a question of whether I can do justice to the book and to please the readers. That’s my job. It’s not to run away with it and just do my version of things. It’s to be faithful to their experience of reading it.

Q. “Twilight”, the first installment of the series, received some criticism for not being 100 per cent true to the book. Are you addressing some of these issues?

A. It’s impossible to be completely faithful to every single page of a book because movies don’t have enough time. So you end up cutting things and combining things. But I would say that we’re definitely using the book as our bible. My take on this film is the film is the book and Stephanie Mayer is my main resource for everything in this. I’m constantly checking with her to see if it’s something a character would do or a detail is right. You can never absolutely please everybody but my main intention is to satisfy the fans of the book.

Q. You’re a very visual director. What’s your vision for New Moon?

A. We’ve got an amazing visual effects team. The whole idea is to use the full palette of colors, to have our shadows be very dark and to have our colours be very rich so that we can experience the full range of emotional texture. The idea is that this will look like a Victorian narrative painting in a way, with those medieval jewel-like colours as well as very glossy deep blacks, and for the composition of the frames to be classical. In some ways, this is going to be a rather old-fashioned film. There are elements that incorporate the latest technology and there are things that are very dynamic in the action scenes. But it’s more Dr. Zhivago than Iron Man.

Q. Dr. Zhivago was a romance, much like Twilight…

A. Well, these books are wonderful romances and appeal to people’s sense of their lives and loves. At the same time, they’re also very grand in scope.

Q. Is it a way of aiming at older audiences?

A. I think that would be nice, too. Actually, I think there’s an older audience for the books as well -- which is the hidden demographic that people don’t acknowledge, that people’s mom’s are reading this as well! I want to render a version that satisfies the fans of the book but also appeals to an older audience as well. Alexander Desplats is going to do the music, which is another great thing for me. He’s someone I worked with before. I think he’s immensely talented. So the idea is to make something beautiful.

Q. Is the music very important in this kind of film?

A. It is. The book itself is a very internalized narrative and music can be extraordinarily helpful in conveying those kinds of nuances of emotion which otherwise what you would rely on is voiceover or people flat out stating what they feel, which they never, ever do. So it helps you avoid exposition and it can make it intro a really gorgeous nuanced affair. Films enjoy more senses that almost any other art form, so music is going to play a tremendous role in this.

Q. Could you tell us about New Moon and how it’s different from Twilight?

A. I think we get an opportunity to sort of expand our scope -- from the confines of the forest to Italy. Your sense of mythology of this world is deepened so that the story that underlies what was going on in the first movie becomes more and more clear. And there are a lot of secrets that were set up in the first book and the first movie that come to light in the second movie. So there are a lot of surprises in store.

Q. How do you keep the continuity of the story?

A. Well, we try to maintain a coherence so that nothing seems unrealistic or bizarre. One of the strengths of Stephenie Meyer’s books is that they manage to convey the normalness of people’s lives and the normalness of the main character, and yet feeds on all those supernatural and extraordinary elements. When we go to Italy [to shoot], we are dealing with this 2,000-year-old order of vampires. The key is to cast it and to design it in such a way that it doesn’t fall completely from the story, but it’s a beautiful and intricate part of the whole thing, while at the same time, giving you the sense that you’re opening up to this much bigger world. That part of the story is a reversal of the usual rules. Bella goes to save Edward. It’s not the guy saving the girl; it’s the other way around.

Q. Can you comment on some of your casting choices, like Dakota Fanning?

A. Dakota Fanning is playing Jane, who’s the most dangerous and evil of all of them. And it’s a part where she plays against type because you don’t think of Dakota Fanning as either evil or dangerous. But she’s an extraordinary actress and we’re lucky to have her. Michael Sheen plays the head of the Volturi, who are the law and order of the vampire world. I think he’s an extraordinarily accomplished actor and I just feel, again, fairly fortunate to have someone of his calibre.

Q. What is it about this story that resonates so much with its audience?

A. It deals with emotional occurrences that everyone has gone through. You’ve got all this supernatural stuff, but really what it’s about is falling in love for the first time, losing that love, wondering if you’ll ever be happy again, the restorative power of friendship, having to choose between the guy who seems the right guy or whether you’re going to hold out for the wrong person. This is true of girls, boys, men, women. We’ve all had the experience of falling in love or having unrequited love or being left and feeling miserable and hoping you can get someone back. All these things are universal.

Q. Stephen King wrote in a column that there is no substance, nor emotion in these books, unlike Harry Potter that he loves. What are the qualities of the books in your opinion?

A. The books address the feelings of love and loss that Stephen King isn’t particularly concerned with. (Laughs) I’m not terribly surprised that he says that. I would say, “physician, heal thyself.” Actually, the reason that they’re so successful is that people identify with the main character, with her sense of insecurity, with her sense of being singled out by someone extraordinarily special, with the sense of being broken up with, which is something everyone has experienced unless they are terribly, terribly lucky, and with the deep value of friendship as a way to heal. So I must respectfully disagree with Stephen King. (Laughs)

Q. How would you describe the books to someone who hasn’t read them?

A. I’d say it’s a story about heartbreak and reunion. It’s also a story about humans, vampires and werewolves at the same time. It has these elements which are all about human feelings and then it has elements which are magic, wonder, surprise and suspense.

New Moon's Kristen Stewart gets inside Bella's head
It is the role that catapulted her to stardom, and Kristen Stewart is about to reprise her part as Bella in the hotly anticipated sequel to Twilight — New Moon

What is it like to be back on set doing another Twilight film?

It’s a little bit surreal to be back doing a second one, just because it’s something that I thought about for an entire year and now it’s happening. But it’s sort of like I couldn’t wait any longer.
It’s hard. Usually you finish a movie and there’s a very long grieving process. You have to lose the character. You have to drop it from your mind or else it just continues to bug you. In this case, I couldn’t drop her completely and I worked in between, which is a strange sensation. It’s weird how easy it was to slip right back into it. I don’t know if it’s because I have such a reference, like the book, or because I knew that I just had to do it. I don’t know, but it feels good. It feels like I can finally release the pressure.

Isn’t that pressure kind of self-inflicted?

Yeah, I have that feeling on every movie that I do. It’s just that this one, I had to wait a year. Unless there’s something about the story or that character I’m playing that literally needs to be fulfilled -- like, consummated -- unless it’s actually lived through and physically manifested, it’s just a story and it’s not done. So until you actually bring it to life, you basically have the capability of murdering the character on the page. If you don’t do it justice, then nobody else is ever going to see those things and you’re never going to learn from those experiences because you didn’t do it right.
So yeah, the thought of having to live through something that I find so worthwhile, and then subsequently have people learn from that through your own experience, I would do anything. I would jump off a cliff for it. Oh! There’s cliff-jumping in our movie. Perfect! (Laughs)

What are the changes in this second installment? Your character Bella takes risks again…

Well, she loses what basically gives her the drive to do anything in her whole life. She loses the man she’s in love with, but she also loses her entire life plan, and she’s so young to have to be forced into a decision like that. It’s just a glorified, elaborate version of the worst breakup you’ve ever been through. All of a sudden you question everything. All of a sudden you know nothing and you’re dropped in the middle of a freezing cold ocean.
Oddly, we have a character that’s warm enough and bright enough to bring her out of that, and it’s truly gut-ripping. Because as perfect as Jacob is for her, she holds on to an ideal, the ultimate fiery love that she has for Edward even though it’s not comfortable, it’s not practical and it’s not a good idea. So it’s really a very strong thing to do. It takes someone who really trusts themselves.
So basically the movie starts out and everything’s great, and then it gets absolutely terrible, and then it gets maybe OK again, and then it’s" no, no, no, no – life is hard." It’s going to get hard again because he comes back again.

Is she introverted or just seeking an ideal?

It’s not that she’s incredibly introverted. She’s just yet to have found a connection that is truthful. She’s a seeker of the truth. She’s not one to get wrapped up in something that is a fantasy. She doesn’t set herself up for disappointment. So that’s what makes the story with her and Edward so compelling, in that this is a girl that normally wouldn’t do something this crazy.
So what does Kristen prefer, the werewolf or the vampire?
Kristen shouldn’t open her mouth (Laughs). Kristen is entirely torn. Kristen should stop using her name in the third person.

You were virtually unknown when you shot Twilight. How has your life changed since its phenomenal success?

My life hasn’t changed. Most circumstances I find myself in are different than they were a year ago, but I myself haven’t changed...however a normal 18-year-old girl would change in a year. But it makes things so much easier. I would do it for free every day [even] if nobody saw it. I cannot describe how good it feels to actually have something that is truly into your heart and soul actually affecting people. And that’s amazing. So that’s the biggest change.

Has success changed you?

It didn’t change me, it changed things around me a little bit...I’m so used to doing movies that nobody wants to see. To put your heart and soul into something for years of your life and have it actually affect people is probably the most satisfying, and that is a completely ineffective word to describe how satisfying it is.

Do you feel a responsibility towards the author's fans and the movie fans?

Yeah, absolutely. It’s a strange thing. You start something and you know that it’s going to take on a life of its own, but its already something so whole -- there are so many people that you’re going to inevitably either make happy or not. Everyone’s understanding of the story and love for it is going to show, even though there are little issues that everyone’s going to have because everybody reads the book differently. So of course we have a massive responsibility. Because of them, we’re able to do what we like to do.

What was it like coming back to a different director?

As an actor, you don’t work with the same director on every film. And this, it’s a continuation. It’s the same story but it is a different movie. I love Catherine (Hardwicke). She’s a dear friend of mine, but Chris (Weitz) – it just works out.
Besides all the technical, logistical reasons, Chris is so devoted and because he’s a man, there’s a common question. How is it having a man director? Is it a huge difference? You can’t make generalizations about people like that. He’s one of the most compassionate human beings I’ve ever met. Unfalteringly compassionate. He cares way too much for the story, and you need that. So he’s perfect.

How would you describe it to someone who hasn’t read the books or seen Twilight?

Anybody who’s ever been broken up with will probably watch this movie, and their temperature will probably go up.
How do I describe this? It’s a movie about ultimate devotion being ripped from you and thinking that your entire world that you’ve established is wrong. And then trying to get it back and realizing that it’s all OK. (Laughs) And vampires, werewolves, too, so that makes it even more exciting. Robert Pattinson is just so cute. So is Taylor Lautner. That’s what I would tell someone who doesn’t know about the movie yet.

You’re still quite young. Do you want to continue making movies or perhaps go to college?

I absolutely have no foresight. I used to think I had a lot when I was younger. I worked really hard in school to give myself options, and I’ve literally taken those options and thrown them down the toilet. Purposely – not to make that sound totally negative. It’s what I want. I want to keep doing what I’m doing.
It’s funny, people ask me all the time: “What do you do for fun? What do you do when you’re not acting?”
It’s a strange thing, acting. It’s a business, it’s a job, everything like that. All it is, is self-reflection. You just never stop caring about people and I’ve never stopped doing that, so I’m sure it’ll seep into other areas of my life. I want to write. I’m not going to school because I can’t take the structure of it, but I’m not going to stop learning.

Robert Pattinson talks to Metro about his newly found fame
Robert Pattinson melted the hearts of many when Edward Cullen first appeared on screen in Twilight. The young actor is back in New Moon, but still admits he is shocked with the phenomenon Twilight has turned into. Pattinson sat down with Metro to talk about New Moon, his own success, and his character.

How is the filming going?

It’s great. To be honest, I am surprised at how relaxed it is. I was really nervous before we started because there’s so much expectation now. But with this team, everything seems to work really well. Everyone knows each other. It’s one of the most relaxed jobs I’ve ever worked on. It’s really strange. It’s going really well so far.

Last time we spoke, you told me that you still walked in the street without anyone recognizing you. I’m assuming that’s changed now.

I don’t walk in the street anymore, and when I do, I’m in disguise. (laughs) It’s actually a relief being back at work.

Were you surprised that Twilight became such a phenomenon?

It never ever fails to shock me. Even here. Yesterday, there were 300 people outside the set. It’s just crazy. Every day, every single person I meet knows someone who has a very strong attachment to the books. It’s very difficult to put your head around. I can go through customs at any airport in the world — every customs agent is like, ‘Can I get an autograph for my daughter?’ Every single time! It’s crazy! I just hope it doesn’t change the way I think and stuff.

Which is your favorite motion picture vampire of all time?

I always liked the original Nosferatu. I watched 30 Days of Night recently. I thought it was really good. But I wouldn’t say that I was a vampire fan.

You must be offered a lot of roles now. How are you making your choices?

I judge things purely on the script. I’m booked up for this year. I’ve been doing the most different things you can possibly imagine. Every part is so different. I can’t say any of the parts I’m doing — they haven’t been finalized yet. But I don’t pick them in terms of genre; purely the script. If I like the script and I like the part, then that’s all that matters.

Are there differences in your preparation to play Edward?

I feel very familiar with the character. I’m a ghost, a figment of Bella’s imagination. I’m not really playing Edward. I’m playing a kind of disrupted memory, which is really strange. I’m trying to play him as if Edward’s constantly thinking that things are going to fall apart. It’s this idyllic relationship on the top. I’m very, very close to the surface. He’s so insecure about everything.

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