The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1 is the fourth film of the series which means Jackson Rathbone and his fellow Twilight cast members have been answering questions about their characters and life on the set for four years. But Rathbone's enthusiasm for the films hasn't declined any since the first press junket for 2008's Twilight. In our exclusive interview in support of Breaking Dawn Part 1, Rathbone said he still loves discussing all things Twilight.
"I think it’s fascinating. It's not like we are doing the same movie over and over and over. This isn't the redux, this is the evolution of a story. This is one of those thing. I mean, to play a character that develops is always what I do. In any role I pick, I don't pick a character with a through-line; I pick a character that develops and changes, has its ups and downs almost like a roller coaster ride. I love that aspect of it. I love the fact that we’ve had different directors for each film, and that there’s a different reception by critics and fans alike. Everybody is subjective in the way they view art, art is subjective in its basic nature. So, I love it."
Strumming a guitar and looking totally relaxed, actor/producer/musician Jackson Rathbone talked about Breaking Dawn's storyline, Bill Condon as director, and Jasper's evolution over the course of the Twilight book/film series.
Exclusive Jackson Rathbone Breaking Dawn Part 1 Interview
The films have not only had different directors but have each had a different tone than their predecessor, which changes things up for you as an actor. Is their one in particular you prefer over the others?
Jackson Rathbone: "Honestly, to have a preference of tone when the tones are all different - that is really hard. I think they each hit on a certain atheistic value to me as an artist that I can’t really compare them."
And you also can't compare the directors.
Jackson Rathbone: "You can compare them, but they are all so varied and different. Catherine [Hardwicke] has more of a production standpoint. Her shots are visually filled, you know? They're almost like Phil Spector said the 'wall of sound,' she has this wall of visualization. Chris Weitz has this glossy feel to his films, very postcard-ish. It’s beautiful and it's almost nostalgic in the way he shoots. David Slade is very technical and visceral director. You feel like you can almost smell what you’re seeing; it’s tangible. I think with Bill Condon it’s very much an old-school, kind of very, very elegant Hollywood look. Even when it gets into the more horror aspects of Breaking Dawn Part 1, there's that old school. It’s really wonderful. I can definitely compare them in that aspect and say what I think their strengths are."
Can you talk about their approach to directing actors?
Jackson Rathbone: "They are all different. Bill was amazing because he is just such a gentle giant of cinema, he really is. He knows what he wants yet he is always opened to ideas. It's amazing. I’ve lived with Jasper so long now that I feel like it’s so easy now to step into the character. It really is. It feels like it’s a part of me. I know him inside and out. I’ve gotten to play him as a human now and I gotten to show how he evolved into who he is."
Do you like how Stephenie Meyer wrote Jasper and how he actually did evolve over those four books?
Jackson Rathbone: "Oh, definitely. Like I was saying before, I love characters that evolve. I can’t stand characters that just stay one way. Honestly, had Jasper been written that way I probably wouldn’t have taken the role. I wouldn’t have been able to be a part of this amazing experience. But that’s what I like, and I won’t take a part that I don’t like. I won’t take a role that I don’t feel that I can portray correctly and something that I enjoy. So luckily it was written in a way that I like to play characters."
We needed more Jasper in this movie. Were there scenes of yours that didn't make the final cut?
Jackson Rathbone: [Laughing] "Yes, there was a scene where Jasper follows them on their honeymoon. They are out boating and then Jasper comes by and I go, 'Oh, hey guys, how’s it going? Nice to be here, just staying in the villa down the way.' Then we go out for drinks and there is a Hangover moment. There is an entire section that is very reminiscent to the movie The Hangover that was cut out of the film. I mean, honestly, there was another film in and of itself."
That’s the R-rated version that will come out on the DVD.
Jackson Rathbone: "Oh no, that was the G-rated version, yeah. When Jasper parties, he parties like Barney: full of love and smiles."
And you're also producing now?
Jackson Rathbone: "I am. I set up my own production company, PatchMo Entertainment. About a year ago we finished a movie called Girlfriend, which I produced, acted in and composed the scored for with my band, 100 Monkeys. I just did a web series, the first show ever on Facebook, that we launched with Cambio."
Aim High - I like it.
Jackson Rathbone: "Thank you."
But the episodes are too short.
Jackson Rathbone: [Laughing] "It’s a web series. It’s too short? Thank god for people like you with attention spans, but there are people out there who don’t have attention spans."
So you've got to make them just six minutes.
Jackson Rathbone: "You’ve got to have six minutes. It is also new; it’s a new format, a new ability to focus in on a project, something quick and to the point."
Why a web series? Is social media important to you?
Jackson Rathbone: "It’s important because I don’t own a TV. I watch every kind of media on my computer. If it’s a film or if it’s a television show, I view it on the internet. I view it on my computer. If I have a TV, it's more for a computer monitor than anything else. I find that's more and more prevalent, especially in America."
"Honestly, in America we are the entertainment leaders. American television shows are all over the world. American films are all over the world. Very rarely do we get a show that comes in and influences us, but it happens and it’s amazing. I love The Office. The Office is still one of the greatest, running longest shows on TV and that’s BBC. It’s intriguing to me that we're the forefront of entertainment. For me, that idea of people losing their televisions and moving more to the internet, I want to be at the forefront of that. I’m already developing a couple of other projects that I’m taking to different companies to see the level of interest. I want to keep moving; I want to keep moving forward in the direction of what modern entertainment will be in five years."
And your band is also moving in that direction?
Jackson Rathbone: "We are getting involved more with social media. We actually had a young director named William Schmidt follow us on our last tour, and he shot behind the scenes. We let him have access to everything. Our best and worst moments are captured on video. He’s going to be touring with us to Europe as well. And we're going to figure out how to release it either as a web series or a new social media structure of an independent band in the modern climate where record companies are falling and independent music on the rise. Just exactly what it takes to be a young band in this day and age."
Are you going to have any say in what footage William uses?
Jackson Rathbone: "I’m going to try to stay out of it as much as possible. Honestly, I live my life in a way that I know that even if someone were to follow me with a camera, I wouldn’t be disappointed. I wouldn't have my mother worry about because, you know, I’m not Keith Richards. As cool as he is, I’m not Keith Richards. I’m not worried about something like that coming out and harming our reputation. I act in the press the way I act in my personal life. I’m a southerner; I’m like an old-fashioned guy."
* * * * * *Additional Breaking Dawn Part 1 Interviews: Robert Pattinson / Kristen Stewart / Taylor Lautner / Peter Facinelli / The Cullens / Stephenie Meyer / Bill Condon