Thursday, November 19, 2009

Anna Kendrick and Kellan Lutz talk Twilight: New Moon

My interviews with Anna Kendrick and Kellan Lutz appear in this week's WE.

Undying and undead love: Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and Bella Swan (Kristin Stewart) in Twilight Saga: New Moon.

Undying and undead love: Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson) and Bella Swan (Kristin Stewart) in Twilight Saga: New Moon.

Credit: supplied

New Moon Rising

By Andrea Warner

Twilight fan or not, chances are you know that vampire Edward Cullen’s (Robert Pattinson) undying love for mortal Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) gets the sequel treatment this Friday, November 20, when The Twilight Saga: New Moon hits a full fifth of all the movie screens in Canada.

It’s been just four years since the first book in Stephanie Meyer’s four-part Twilight series was published, and one year since the first Twilight film opened and became an instant blockbuster. In that time, the film’s leads have become part of Hollywood’s elite. Even supporting cast members became overnight celebrities, with other film and television offers pouring in.

Kellan Lutz, who plays Edward’s vampire “brother” Emmet Cullen, has parlayed his success into a role on 90210, and has several other projects in the works. But even he admits he had no idea what he was getting into when he signed on for Twilight.

“I didn’t know it was a book series,” Lutz laughs, in an interview with WE. “I thought the script was cool. They wanted me to audition for Edward, and I was like, ‘No, he’s too depressing.’”

Anna Kendrick, who plays Jessica Stanley, Bella’s best friend, is generating early Oscar buzz for her role alongside George Clooney in the forthcoming feature, Up in the Air. She has certainly benefitted from the Twilight exposure. But, due to the first film’s popularity, filming Twilight and New Moon was like night and day. It wasn’t just the locale changes (New Moon filmed in Vancouver, Twilight in Oregon) or the upheaval when Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke was replaced with Chris Weitz; it was that everyone associated with Twilight was suddenly super-famous.

“There were logistical problems,” Kendrick says to WE. “The added presence of fans and paparazzi made it interesting. Filming scenes where what you see is just Kristen and me walk down a street, but right outside the frame is just hundreds of girls watching — it made it a little tricky to get over that for the first couple of takes.”

Twilight fans have been among the most vocal and loyal in pop culture recently, calling themselves Twihards and starting Twilight conventions (or, according to many fanboy complaints, taking over established conventions altogether). Advance ticket sales for New Moon’s opening day have, as of press time, reached $1.5 million, and fans are clamouring to see how the film’s central plot — a brewing love triangle between Edward, Bella, and werewolf Jacob (Taylor Lautner) — unfolds.

Even the film’s stars have found themselves caught up in the ‘Who Should Bella Choose?’ conundrum.

“I’m hardcore Team Jacob,” Kendrick says. “Obviously, Edward Cullen is kind of too perfect to exist in real life. It’s a fantasy, an escape for these girls.”

“I can’t really say much about [what draws women in], because I’m a guy, and I don’t really understand women 100 per cent,” Lutz laughs. “But I think anyone can relate. You want what you can’t have, in a way. The Jacob character — everyone thinks that’s great in the beginning, but it gets too old when someone’s like, ‘Oh, I love you, you’re amazing.’ You want the bad boy.”

Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter who Bella chooses, as the fans have already devoured the books, and simply want to see how their favourite characters come to life. And those fans will be right back in the same place six months down the road, when Twilight: Eclipse opens — to likely decimate box-office records again. See you then.

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