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'The Twilight Saga: Eclipse' Cullen Family Interview

Nikki Reed, Peter Facinelli, Ashley Greene, Jackson Rathbone & Elizabeth Reaser

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Ashley Greene, Nikki Reed, Elizabeth Reaser, Jackson Rathbone, Peter Facinelli Eclipse photo

Ashley Greene as Alice, Nikki Reed as Rosalie, Elizabeth Reaser as Esme, Jackson Rathbone as Jasper and Peter Facinelli as Dr Carlisle Cullen in 'Eclipse.'

© Summit Entertainment
June 12, 2010 - They play a close-knit family of vampires who don't bite people in The Twilight Saga, and gathered together for a press conference to discuss Eclipse, Nikki Reed, Peter Facinelli, Ashley Greene, Jackson Rathbone, and Elizabeth Reaser come across as being close off the set as well. The third film of the popular Twilight series finds the Cullens getting into the action more so than the previous two installments, with an army of newborn vampires to fight off and werewolves to fight beside. And at the LA press day for the Summit Entertainment film, the actors who bring the Cullen family to life (albeit they're playing the undead) talked about the film's tone, the action scenes, and working with another new Twilight series director, David Slade.

Peter Facinelli, Nikki Reed, Ashley Greene, Elizabeth Reaser and Jackson Rathbone The Twilight Saga: Eclipse Press Conference

Peter, you were the knight in shining armor vampire. How did you get around so quickly to save everybody?

Peter Facinelli: "Vampire speed. It’s interesting that you would say 'knight in shining armor'. It’s a matter of perspective because I sometimes feel like my kids don’t appreciate me, my Cullen kids. If you look at it from our side, he saved them, but if you look at it from a different point of view, it was kind of a selfish act in the sense that they didn’t have a choice in the matter. I know there’s at least two of them - I won’t name names [laughing] - they’re having a difficult time with me having transformed them. As Carlisle, it is a difficult thing. He goes back and forth between saying, 'Well, I tried to do something good there, but I’m not sure if I made the right decision because, again, they didn’t have a choice in the matter.''

For someone who hasn’t been a fan of the series, why would you recommend someone should go see this movie?

Ashley Greene: "I think because this one essentially has something for everyone, especially in Eclipse because the whole film is leading up to this battle. There’s a lot of action in this film. There’s a love triangle that’s been formed that only thickens in this one. You get a little bit of everything to heightened extremes."

Jackson Rathbone: "Definitely. They told us that in the third film of the Twilight franchise that the guys would get to have a lot more action and a lot more visceral vampire action, which is one of those things I think people are really going to dig. It’s what makes part of the darker side of the myth of the vampire world more exciting. I think it’s going to explode on the screen nicely."

Elizabeth Reaser: "I’m a fan of David Slade and I think it’s worth it just to see how dynamic what he’s done [is], from the very first moment with Xavier [Samuel]. Seeing all these new characters being introduced - Xavier and Bryce [Dallas Howard] who is not a new character, but a new actress and is so wonderful. You get to see their backstories. There’s so many amazing characters to follow that you can’t not get hooked, I think."

Nikki Reed: "It’s so hard when you’re the fourth in line answering that. I think it deals with universal topics, not only this really intense, 'I would do anything, literally die for you,' kind of love that I think we’ve all felt at one point or another. Also, young characters such as Bella, her insecurities and stuff. With this film in particular, you get to learn a little bit more about some of the characters - like Rosalie and Jasper - [the characters that] the fans of the books know about. When you’re dealing with a screenplay, you really have to focus on what’s important, which is the love triangle. The rest of us feel like we’re screaming and clawing to show something."

Peter Facinelli: "I think that there’s a misconception with Twilight that it’s just for pre-teen and teenage girls and that guys won't go see it. When New Moon came out, it had more action and guys responded to that. Although they didn’t really want to admit it... It’s kind of like guys driving around singing and listening to Barry Manilow in their car, belting it out loud and then someone pulls up next to them and they pretend like they’re not. Now, with Eclipse, the action has gotten even greater. For me, as a male, it’s my favorite book because I love the all the action. Yet you still have this love triangle that’s heated up even more."

"It hits on a lot of different things. It has themes of vengeance, which is universal. You have themes of alliances being formed between two different families or covens or species or clans or mortal enemies that are teaming up for a common good, which I think is a great universal message. With those universal messages out there, with a family that you can relate to in the sense that they’re bonded and joined up for a common good, with the action and with this love story, it’s got a lot of things going on for a lot of different people."

"I’ve had fans that are six-years-old up to 80. I’m hoping that they enjoy it. It’s my favorite book and I enjoyed it."

This is a family that rallies around one particular girl...

Nikki Reed: "I hate it."

Why?

Nikki Reed: "Actually, I think it says a lot about Rosalie that she’s willing to contribute. It’s really funny speaking from our characters perspective because we are such a family, and we actually all love each other and we don’t fight and that’s just the truth, as boring as it is. I think it says a lot that when it comes down to it the family is really willing to step up. Whatever makes us hesitant is put aside because we all come together. We are a family."

Elizabeth Reaser: "Edward has been alone for so many years, so I think we all…"

Nikki Reed: "So what?"

Peter Facinelli: "We just want him to be happy. As a family and as a unit, we just want him to be happy."

Elizabeth Reaser: "We’re so isolated, even as a family. We have each other, but we’re very isolated and there’s only so much room for intimacy and connection in all of our lives. We all have a partner and Edward doesn’t. For him to find that partner after all these years, it’s as important to us as it is to him."

Jackson Rathbone: "It’s got a Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner vibe. In a real family circumstance, you have your family members and relatives who bring someone to the table that maybe you don’t necessarily like or are confused by. Everyone reacts differently. Jasper wants to kill Bella. It’s his natural reaction. Having to accept something that your relative loves… If your loved one loves something, you have to love it too. You have to support it. As much as it causes you pain, if it causes them love, it’s worth it."

Peter Facinelli: "I think everyone has had a family member that someone’s dating and you’re like, 'Okay… if that family member loves them, then I need to love them too.' It’s another thing that’s relatable. I think of this whole thing like if you strip away the vampires, there’s a lot of human elements you can relate to. That being one of them."

Did you feel that you had to stick to what was there to create your characters or have you been able to bring a little bit of yourselves to each of the roles?

Peter Facinelli: "I feel like it was our obligation to interpret that character. The books are definitely my starting point. I tried to add different things to make it my own. But, definitely, I had my vision of who Carlisle was that I created from the books. That was always my bible for me of the character. But little things, like Carlisle adding the scarves. That wasn’t in the books."

"I went to Catherine Hardwicke and I said, 'I’d like Carlisle to wear scarves because I think it’s something [he'd do]. With the scarves thing, I thought a) it might be something cool because it might be a piece of fashion that he’s taken throughout the years and it stayed with him. I always look at Carlisle like a gentleman, and I thought the scarf thing would make him appear a little more gentlemanly. Then I thought on a subconscious level, maybe he’s afraid of having his neck exposed. I thought, 'Maybe he just doesn’t like having that neck exposed because he got bit there.'"

"There’s this whole journey of the scarf. When it came to the third one, I said to David Slade, 'Look, I like the scarves, but I don’t want them to become like Mickey Mouse ears where every time you see Carlisle he’s wearing the scarf.' Especially going to battle with the scarf would’ve been silly, unless he started using it as a weapon. So I said, 'Let’s lose the scarf, but let’s give it a purpose.' There’s a scene where I go to the werewolves and I ask for their help. At that point, I chose to take the scarf off. That’s me basically standing vulnerable in front of them, almost naked in Carlisle's mind, to ask them for help. From that point on, the scarf’s not there. Maybe in Breaking Dawn we’ll bring it back."

Continued on Page 2

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