We’ve gotten 1:1s with Kellan Lutz for almost every Twilight movie so far. For Breaking Dawn: Part 2 it was my job to do the final exit interview. We discussed the climactic battle scene and the arm wrestling match between Emmett and the new vampire Bella (Kristen Stewart). Lutz also told us about his projects in development, like the time travel drama Timeless and his new Tarzan film.
Kellan Lutz Interview:
How long have you been waiting to do the arm wrestling scene?
Kellan Lutz: "Since day one. Since day one of me reading the books, when I first read that book, I was excited because Emmett finally had a one-on-one scene with Bella, and not just human Bella, but vampire Bella, so I already knew once we got to that scene, hopefully we would get to it. Hopefully the fans would allow us to make New Moon and then Eclipse and then Breaking Dawn. So I just got more and more excited, and I didn’t want to count my cards yet because who knows if anything went downhill and we didn’t get to make the last movie. But once we got there and I read it in the script, I’m like, 'Yes, this is in there!' And then seeing how Kristen created vampiric Bella, I just knew we were going to have a fun time - and that’s what we did. We had a great time shooting it. I wish we could’ve spent a full day doing it just because I had so much fun doing that scene, but I loved every second."
It’s a pretty substantial scene. How long was it?
Kellan Lutz: "I mean, a couple hours because there’s not too much dialogue. You have multiple cameras and a big studio movie like this, we did it quite fast. I kind of wanted to do it all day because I was really looking forward to it, but we just had so much fun. And watching the movie it translated perfectly. It’s comedic."
Do you feel like Emmett has gotten the short end of screen time in the movie adaptations?
Kellan Lutz: "No, not at all. There are some scenes, like Emmett and the bear, the excerpt that Stephenie [Meyer] wrote, that I wish was there. Yeah, and I wish Emmett had the backstory or showed his backstory or more screen time showing the relationship between Rosalie (Nikki Reed) and himself, but he’s in there when he needs to be in there. He’s still a part of the family and very influential. Of course I’d love more screen time but by all means, I’m just happy to have worked with every director."
What were your thoughts on the monumental climactic confrontation scene in the snow?
Kellan Lutz: "I loved it. I mean, for me, I love action movies so any time we get to do action, do more stunt work, sign me up. Working with Jeff who was designing everything, doing the choreography, it was fun. That’s when the days go by fast, when you aren’t just repetitively saying your lines, but when you actually have action and you feel like you’re being active and you aren’t just standing there. I very much look forward to that and we did that for like about a month, and I was excited because it was different than the books. So, it was just great to do it."
It’s such a large section of the movie, how did that month break down? How many days were you front and center and how many were you part of the background?
Kellan Lutz: "Well, I feel like we focused a lot on wide shots, so you have a lot of the wides and then you punch in, so you’re there about the whole time. But then when they break in your scenes, they used me, I’m always down to do any stunt work so they used me when it was super wide as different characters for different fighting scenes, just because you would never be able to tell my face. So I’d put on a different outfit and get my butt kicked or beat someone else up. Yeah, my action scene was pretty big and again, I wasn’t there for everyone else’s action scene so watching the movie I actually got to get invested into it like I usually do, but you never know what’s going to make the cut and what other people do."
What other vampires did you double for?
Kellan Lutz: "Well when I’m doubling for someone it’s like extras, so it’s just to populate the arena. So it’s no one in particular. Everyone did, I think, most of their own stuff, unless it was too dangerous and then you had stunt doubles for it."
How does the industry look at you since you’ve been part of the Twilight franchise?
Kellan Lutz: "I don't know, I’m not the industry."
Have meetings been different now that people call you in?
Kellan Lutz: "Well, yeah, definitely so many doors have been opened. I’ve never had so many meetings in my life and it’s for great things and things that I go after. I’ve never read so many scripts and I love to read. I feel like I’m reading at least a script a day. It’s just great knowing what’s out there because now I’m getting into producing so now it’s kind of fun, me setting up meetings to meet directors to help produce my action movies. Then, me meeting with other producers. I like creating my own career. I think every actor should learn about producing and creating their own material, and just find stuff that they want to do."
Have you ever had a meeting where you find the people have the wrong idea or only want you because of something that’s not who you really are?
Kellan Lutz: "You know what? There’s an inner dork in me. I’m a science nerd. I love science and mathematics so it’s interesting when you’re in a meeting and you’re talking about that sort of subject. Like, there’s one that Phillip Noyce is doing called Timeless and it’s all about time travel. I love wormhole theory. I love Michio Kaku and Albert Einstein and Tesla and all these scientists. I even invent. I have my own little creations that I have. So when I’m talking about that movie with different producers involved, they’re like, 'All right, you know your stuff. Yeah, you’re smarter than you look.' And I’m like, 'Thanks, I think that’s a compliment.' That’s why I love these meetings so they get to know me, not just my one-lined character here and there. I love comedy but I love dramas and there’s many shades of Kellan, I guess. So it’s great to be able to meet these people outside of my character."
Is Timeless going to go?
Kellan Lutz: "Hopefully. Hopefully I get to do that movie. It’ll be great."
What will you play in it?
Kellan Lutz: "Well, the lead guy. It’s an amazing movie about love and loss. He loses his girlfriend and he’s kind of like this surfer guy who’s just totally free to life. She ends up dying and they got married. He ends up finding out that she’s worth four billion dollars. So her favorite book was The Time Odyssey. She’s like, 'If you could go back in time, would you create a time machine?' So he spends all that money trying to go back in time to tell her he loves her. And it’s special and he builds a time machine and he has no idea if he actually made it to the other side or not."
Is that an original story?
Kellan Lutz: "This is a movie that I’ve been following for years now. It came around about two years ago and I just jumped at it because my heart’s invested in it. I love this type of screenplay. Everyone has something that tickles their fancy so throw your name in the hat and you take your meetings. Phillip’s been a part of it for a while now and if he chooses to do this movie next, I’d love to do it. If not, I just want to see it be made. I’d see it."
Did you do a Tarzan movie also?
Kellan Lutz: "Yeah, yeah, I just finished that."
What new take is that on Tarzan?
Kellan Lutz: "An amazing new take. It’s so contemporary and modern. It’s tough to recreate Tarzan, especially they’ve made so many of them and then Disney made their animated one. This one’s motion capture which was so much fun to work on. No hair, no makeup. You’re just wearing a Power Ranger suit with taped balls on you and dots on your face with 60 cameras all around you. It’s like a glorified action movie in respect to Theater in the Round. The story is just so great. It was written so well. It’s clever, it’s funny and my Tarzan starts at age 5, so he has vocal ability. So when he starts hearing Jane speak, it’s like a foreign ability to him. It’s not something that he has to learn how to do, but he used to do it. Then it deals with eco-friendly issues also so it’s like the bad corporation trying to get this one secret I can’t divulge what that is, to harness that energy and then the good guys are trying to protect it."
Did you get to swing on the vine and do the Tarzan call?
Kellan Lutz: "I swang. Oh yeah, we had to make our own Tarzan call because the original one’s trademarked. So we had to change it just a little bit but that was fun. I’ve been a huge fan of Tarzan ever since I was a little kid, on the farm just messing around on the farm. Then swinging, we had ropes that we would swing and they’ll digitally put in vines. The hardest thing was wrestling a pool alligator blow up doll as a real alligator. You have to really react to like that anaconda. Then we have this swamp Venus fly trap that’s like 20 feet tall that you have to really act scared of and you’re slicing around air. There’s nothing around you so you have to create it in your mind where the vines are going. You’re reacting to nothing and then you’re reacting to everything. It’s the hardest acting yet the most fun because you get to create the world in here, and then they get to follow what you create and build it around what you create."
Is Tarzan the original action hero?
Kellan Lutz: "Oh yeah, dude. I loved Tarzan, He-Man and Hercules. Those guys, I think John Chu’s doing Greyskull which hopefully I can do. I would love to be He-Man."
We’ll throw your name into the hat.
Kellan Lutz: "I already have, trust me."
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