Première : How long did it take to film both movies ?
RP: 8 months!
P: Not to quote her, but Kristen Stewart told us 6.
RP: I had to stay longer.
P: Were there some mornings when you got up and asked yourself: ‘I can’t believe we’re still filming this movie.’?
RP: For sure, I mean we spent two months shooting in the same room in front of a huge green screen.
P: I hope it was the sex scene!
RP: Nope! This one we wrapped in a day. No, we had to film scenes where nothing happens. We were trapped in this green screen room with fake snow all over the floor and we spent our days barely saying a word, looking each other in the , trying to look as intense as possible.
P: Nobody told you you were part of an experiment?
RP: That’s it exactly, ‘We’re going to put you in this green screen for 8 weeks, we’ll see which one will break down first.’
P: Did Bill Condon come on set with his Oscar beneath his arm?
RP: No, that’s not like him. But I don’t think he realize what he got himself into. He’s someone that doesn’t stress much tho or he’s really good at hiding it!
It’s funny, really. Everyone came to him screaming: ‘Bill did you see this? It’s nonsense!’ He’d just look at them and say ‘I know, it’s crazy.’ And the next second, he was gone.
P: It’s a way like any other of solving problems.
RP: You should have seen him. ‘I completely agree with you. It’s a disaster.’ And then he’d been gone for the rest of the day. Bill is hilarious and he put some of his sense of humor in the movie. The Twilight saga is not really known for its fun side but the previous directors seemed really attached to the angst aspect. The beginning of the last movie is the complete opposite: light, relaxing…
P: The first images of the trailer looked indeed bright and sunny.
Bill is an excellent screenwriter as well. Like Chris Weitz, who was more daring with New Moon. He wasn’t scared of drifting away from the book sometimes. In any other movie, when a line doesn’t work, we change it during filming so it flows better. But it wasn’t always possible with Twilight. If I was ever uncomfortable with a line, I was told ‘You have to say this. It’s in the book!’ Bill didn’t hesitate, ‘We’ll adjust, it’s my movie after all…’ *laughs*
P: You just made millions of fans angry.
RP: Too bad. It just reminds me of something I saw not too long ago, when I stumbled into a picture of a girl who had the famous line ‘And the lion fell in love with the lamb’ tattooed on her. I looked at it twice and she had ‘And the lamb fell in love with the lion’ instead. Can you imagine that, having a movie line ~engraved on your skin and it’s not even the right one?
P: In the first three movies, it’s always about repressing sexuality. In this one, it’s party time: midnight baths, sex scenes where the bed breaks, a rushed pregnancy… I don’t know if I can handle all of this at once.
RP: It scared me a little too, to be honest. When I heard about the last book and was said: ‘You’ll see, they sleep together all the time, it’s rough sometimes too. Jacob falls in love with a baby…’ I was dumbfounded. Summarized like this, you’d think it was the most screwed up story ever. But when you read it, it’s not as shocking/scandalous. For those who don’t know the books, I’m sure this movie is going to be by far the most interesting of the saga. We’re gone from the teenaged fantastic genre and enter a weird drama that ventures into horror at times. There are scenes were Bella looks like an alien. When the baby eats her from inside, she looks so thin and ghastly. Kristen had to wear this horrible makeup and when I’d see her come on set, I’d ask the crew: ‘'Are you sure we're filming Twilight?Isn't it supposed to be harmless and PG-13?'
P: I’m sure David Cronenberg is going to be pleased. ‘Robert just filmed the adaption of Cosmopolis by Don DeLillo.)
RP: I think he’s going to enjoy certain scenes, like the one where I open her up by biting through her placenta. It wouldn’t have been out of place in one of his feature films, he would have filmed it with a close-up of course.
P: With Breaking Dawn, I think you will attract a new audience. Beginning with those who will want to see it for the twisted plot.
RP: They’re going to get their money's worth. It’s hilarious, No movie this size dares taking those kind of risks. But since the craziest scenes are a big part of the story going forward, it was impossible to not have them included in the film. We would look at each other everyday and say’ I think we don’t have a choice, we have to film those weird stuff.’ There was no way we would tone it down.
P: So you became an 'oral Caesarean' expert?
RP: It was without a doubt the funniest thing I ever had to do. I’d raise my head up and I was covered with cottage cheese or whatever substance they put in there. Before filming the scene, Stephenie Meyer, a midwife, Kristen and I sat down to talk to a doctor to decide where I was supposed to bite if this situation would ever occur in real life. The doctor looked at us a bit puzzled and said: ‘I don’t think you could ever do this in real life.’ *laughs*
P: I’m getting more and more excited to see this movie…
RP: I’m eager too. I’m probably going to die laughing watching it.
P: Stop me if I’m wrong but I feel like the hysteria surrounding the saga is dying down, that you can now lead sort of a normal life…
RP: Not yet, no. In LA I have at least 40 seconds from the moment I arrive somewhere, before I get asked for my autograph. It’s Twitter’s fault. If this website didn’t exist, I’d be in peace. When I cross a glance at someone, they hurry to get their phone out. I know perfectly well that I’m screwed and that I’m going to spend a big part of my day shaking people off. It’s frustrating.
P: Is it true that you caused a riot in Brazil, when you filmed the honeymoon?
Yes, we did cause one at the airport that almost got us arrested. I still don’t know why but it was kind of scary. The immigration guy told me: ‘You’re in my country, we’re gonna play by my rules.’ ‘Whatever you want just let me leave your airport.’ *laughs*
P: How was it like on set on the last day of filming Breaking Dawn, when you had to say goodbye to 4 years of Twilight?
We were in Canada for the last day of shooting with the entire crew. A normal day on the set of Breaking Dawn, we were shooting at night, it was freezing and raining… When the first assistant announced the end with his clapperboard, everybody locked themselves up in their trailer without even having a last drink. But my last day, strictly speaking, came a bit later and it was amazing. Part of the crew got back together to film additional shots in the Caribbean. It was just Kristen and I, no worries… We were shooting in the sea so I didn’t have to have makeup on or wear my contacts. It was so hot, at the end of the day we all went out for cocktails on the beach, watching the sun rise. I then asked myself why we didn’t do this in those four years. Every difficult moment just vanished.
P: The first Twilight movie was a teenaged love story, the second a love triangle and the third, looked almost like a war movie. How would you describe Breaking Dawn?
K: It’s more a family drama. Contrary to the previous films, everybody is united in this one. The beginning of the movie sets up a ton that literally departs from the other movies, which in my opinion was what the saga truly needed. It’s fun, it’s light, we finally see the characters happy. Of course, it doesn’t last long…
P: I admit I have a soft spot for the first movie. I felt like the next two were just there to stretch the story in vain.
I understand and I agree, the first one had something. It was original and stands out by itself. I felt like the book was well represented, that Stephenie’s hand was visible. It’s the peak of the story we tried to build for 3 movies. It’s the grand finale with all the excitement that goes with it.
P: I read that Stephenie Meyer wrote the grand lines of the fourth book right after the first one, which could explain this ‘padding’ side of the second and third book.
I didn’t know about that. But it’s true that it wouldn’t be absurd in the sense that we could go directly from book one to the wedding in the fourth. At the same time, I remember Stephenie was writing the fourth book while we were filming Twilight. When I think back to that period of time, it seems so crazy to me. Nobody knew anybody, we were all different. I can see us again, actors, directors, screenwriters, going up to each other and said sort of shyly ‘Hello everyone.’ Now that we’re all so close, it feels weird.
P: You were 17 when you filmed the first movie. How did those 4 years of filming the saga changed you?
When you spend time on a project that asks for so much work, you have to feel invested; ready to defend it with your body and soul. That’s how I feel for all my movies. Twilight helped me share this passion with a bigger audience. Like everyone who reaches this level of fame, the saga is criticized a lot, but I realized that it only made me want to defend it even more. This experience helped me open up. When I was younger I felt things more strongly but I wasn’t always able to put it into words. I made tons of progress. In this field, every new project shapes you, helps you fight against your inhibitions little by little. I was a teenager when I started and I think you get better as you learn to know yourself, to make your body your own. It’s after you gain this control over yourself that you’re able to lose it when a scene demands it. Like every movie, Twilight made me grow up, maybe a bit faster than the other ones.
P: Between two movies, you filmed The Runaways and in Welcome to the Rileys. Strong and independent characters…
It wasn’t a conscious choice. Seeing as I’m a natural introvert, I guess I have to compensate by playing those kind of roles. But I’m really not against the idea of playing more weak and vulnerable characters. It would be fascinating.
P: Did some days seem long on the filming of Breaking Dawn?
It was repetitive sometimes to such an extent I felt like I was filming again scenes from the previous movies. It doesn’t mean they’re not crucial to the story but some days I felt like Bill Murray in Groundhog Day. Especially when we had to stay quite some times in a house in Louisiana, Baton Rouge. We filmed all the inside scenes before going outdoors. It was intimate scenes with lots of feelings, dialogues; we filmed them all one by one endlessly. I thought it would never end, especially when you, like me, are used to independent movies that are made in 5 minutes.
Then we left for Canada, where it was freezing. Instead of being happy to finally be outside, we were dying to go back inside to get warm. The timing couldn’t have been worse. Even when we filmed the honeymoon scene in Brazil it was raining season.
P: What were the key moments of filming for you?
The ones the fans are waiting for the most: the wedding, the first love scene, the birth scene. To finally put them on tape was cathartic.