With the fourth installment of the Twilight Saga premiering November 18th, even the ensemble stars are quickly becoming household names. Along with veteran cast members Elizabeth Reaser (Esme Cullen), Ashley Greene (Alice Cullen) and Nikki Reed (Rosalie Hale), newcomers Julia Jones and BooBoo Stewart, who play the Clearwater siblings, rounded out the first panel of talent at Summit’s press room. Earlier in the morning, the group surprised unsuspecting—or, perhaps wistfully suspecting—fans by greeting them at breakfast. The cast appeared genuinely thankful for the Twi-hards’ enduring enthusiasm, and spoke excitedly about the next installment.
Below are some highlights from the press conference. Find the full transcript after the jump.
What the call that you’ve been cast is like:
- Elizabeth Reaser was intrigued by the chance to play character multiple times through a series
- BooBoo Stewart describes the weight of being cast in something already established
The weirdest fan encounters they’ve had:
- Requests for make-outs
- An outrageous “post-Brazil” Bella costume
New cast members they were excited to work with
- Nikki Reed cites Lee Pace and Omar Metwally as standouts
- Reaser mentions the excitement of the vampires becoming more international
If you’d like to listen to the audio, click here.
Q: Is this all of your first time at Comic-Con?
REASER: No I came two years ago. I’ve never really done it for real. We were out on the street doing this thing with fans. And that was amazing. It felt like, “OK, we’re at Comic-Con now.”
GREENE: This definitely started off a lot more interesting.
REED: I’ve been here before but it’s sort of blurry, I haven’t done any panels. I’m actually very amused and entertained by all the people on the street.
JONES: This is my first Comic-Con and I have this general sense that we’re in for a lot, thought I’m not sure what. Although, yesterday I was walking around and saw people dressed as all kinds of things, like…fruit ninjas. (Laughs). So I’m excited to be here.
STEWART: I came last year actually as a fan, but year, this is my first time I’ve done the panels and everything.
What is it like to get the phone call from casting that you’ve been cast in a Twilight film?
GREENE: Uh, amazing. I was extremely excited and called my mom and dad right away. For me, to have read the books and been a fan myself and then to be thrown into the mix it was really exciting.
REASER: When I got the offer I hadn’t read the books. So I didn’t really even know the scope of what I was entering into. But I knew Esme was a vampire and a vegetarian vampire and I thought that was really cool and was like “When is this going to happen again?” And also the idea of being in a series and getting to play a character over a long period of time was just so exciting.
REED: I think it would be different for all of us. We started at this place where no one really knew…I mean it sort of developed and unfolded. The excitement has just grown. I think the experience maybe, for you two [points to Julia James and BooBoo Stewart] is probably different for you two.
JONES: Yeah, it’s funny I’ve actually had conversations with cast members where you just go around the table and say where you were when you got that call, and a lot of people from the first movie—their reactions were just totally different. They were more like “Mmm.. I read this story about vampires, kinda weird.” The later cast members were just like… I personally just had this overwhelmed sense that everything was going to completely change overnight, and I had no idea how, which was kind of scary but very, very exciting.
STEWART: A month went by from the time I auditioned for it until the time I heard, so I was like really depressed…And then I got a call from my agent and it was pretty awesome. Because it was already so big when we were auditioning for it. New Moon was coming out when I auditioned for it.
What was the feeling like on the last day of the set?
REASER: It was such a complicated experience because we all, by the way, had different wrap days. I happened to be there… along with Kellan [Lutz] and Jackson [Rathbone]—we had this weird, sort of surreal experience of being left over in Canada, and it was a night shoot, and everyone else was gone including Bill Condon. I mean it was this weird thing. We had to finish all these stunts. Peter and I had a little dinner together in Vancouver and it was one of those things where you can’t really capture…it’s so weird to end something, and five movies—I don’t think it hit any of us yet. We were just sort of in shock. Happy to probably be going home, but I also feel like we knew we were going to be promoting the movie for a few more years so it’s not really over.
Do you think the Breaking Dawn movie will be the end of the Twilight Saga or do you think something will spin off?
GREENE: I mean who knows, fans are certainly passionate. So I guess there’s definitely an opportunity for it. But as far as we know… it’s finished.
REASER: I think Stephanie’s done with us. I think Stephanie’s moving on to different characters.
Because they’re shot out of order, is there a noticeable difference working on scenes from Part I to Part II?
REED: We shot them all together.
GREENE: Yeah, I think we all had to pay maybe closer attention. We had to know where our characters were at certain parts of the film. It got a little tricky.
REASER: I thought of it in terms of which uncomfortable shoes am I wearing today and that’s how I would know which movie I was shooting.
STEWART: Bill Condon was great on the set to make sure you knew what part of the movie you were doing.
Nikki, your character is not very fond of Bella, how much is she going to change in this movie with her relationship towards her?
REED: I think it’s kind of middle ground. Rosalie wants to be a mom so she finds a way to work through all of her anger so she can be that [mother] in a certain sense. But it hasn’t been that bad, you know. (Laughs). I think a lot of it is implied, but you don’t see that much of it.
Ashley, will you miss Alice?
GREENE: Yeah, I think there’s definitely part of me that will miss her. The nice part about this being on film is that it can kind of live on forever and it will always be a certain piece of my heart because I’ve kind of grown up a little bit playing this character. But I always try to look for the positive.
For each of what’s been your favorite line so far?
REED: “I was a bit theatrical back then…” Everyone laughed. I didn’t realize it was so funny actually until everyone was laughing. I feel like yours is in the first one, Reaser. It was probably one of the first scenes with Bella. You say something about Italiano?
REASER: I can’t remember! There was a scene that was deleted that Peter Facinelli and I did, a little sexy scene that was cut out. I remember thinking that was a good scene. I kept wanting it to be more sexy than Peter did and I kep thinking, “Oh, this is real hot…they’re going to do something else now…” and Peter’s like “No. No. No.” (Laughs).
JONES: Leah [Clearwater]’s got some awesomely mean one liners. I’m trying to think… I’m thinking of one and it has to do with Bella being dead already.
Before you came onboard with this series, were you found with the vampire / zombie genre in general?
REASER: I was always a fan.
GREENE: There’s something very seductive about vampires.
REED: I didn’t think much about them. I wasn’t a fan but I wasn’t not a fan. I mean I think it’s cool now.
JONES: I hadn’t really thought about it much. I was kind of nerdy in a totally different way… I wasn’t really down with pop culture. So, I’ve appreciated learning about them.
STEWART: I really like all the fantasy stuff… So yeah, probably.
One of the scenes the fans are looking forward to is obviously the wedding scene because it brought all of you together. What was it like being on set?
GREENE: I think at least filming wise, we do have the most fun whenever we’re all together. That was one of the great things about it. The wedding scene and the baseball scene.
REASER: And it was so beautiful, it really looks like a dream wedding. I don’t think I can say anything about it. I want to tell you about how amazing it was but I can’t!
STEWART: I just thought it was really cold outside. I was just sitting in the background… freezing.
We know that Boo Boo has had the experience of being at Comic-Con as a fan, but if you could go it anonymously what would you want to check out and would you dress up?
REASER: Id’ like to dress up as Batman.
REED: I just did a little short thing for College Humor where we play The Wonder Twins [from the 1970’s DC Comic] and we got to have these weird antenna things, it was really fun. I definitely was inspired for Halloween. I was like “I’m gonna really plan this year!”
STEWART: I’d have to go as a zombie. I love Halloween, like Nikki said, dressing up.
You guys mentioned going out to talk to the fans this morning over breakfast. Some of them were camping out since Monday. Is there anything you’d have that level of dedication for?
STEWART: I’d camp out to see Lord of the Rings
GREENE: I haven’t had something like that. That’s kind of why I have such a large respect for our fans. Kind of amazing that they’ve found something they’re so passionate about, and it’s great because we’ve put our soul into.
REASER: I think for me, if I knew the White Stripes were going to come to the tent. They [the fans] didn’t know we were even coming there, so for me, that’s amazing.
You guys have a lot of new actors that came in. Were there any that came in that you were particularly pleased to work with?
REED: Omar Metwally, definitely. (Munich).
REASER: The Egyptians were cool, in general.. There were all these international vampires all of a sudden! Very sexy, like all these sexy vampires walking around. Much sexier than us. And those nutty Romanian guys. Their outfits were very S&M inspired.
REED: Lee Pace. Mia Maestro
REASER: Christian Camargo. It was really fun. Great actors that Bill got.
STEWART: Oh! And Maggie Grace. It was sort of cool meeting her. When I found out she was in the movie Taken I was like, “Oh man this is cool.” Had to ask her about that one.
How was Brazil?
REASER: None of us were invited actually… Only the lovers.
Did you guys take anything from set, or if you didn’t what would you have liked to take?
GREENE: [Points to Elizabeth] You would take your wig from the first one, right?
STEWART: I took a lot of Craft Service…in my stomach. If I could have taken something, I would have taken my shoes. My shoes were really comfortable.
REASER: Lucky you!
What’s the weirdest most unexpected fan encounter you’ve had?
ONES: I saw a woman once who had a nightgown on and she glued cotton and feathers to her skin and painted bruises all over and her hair was all messed up. And I was like “What is she doing?” And I realized she was dressed as Bella…”Post-Brazil.” That wasn’t today though, that was another day.
STEWART: One time I was taking pictures and there was a lady, and after the picture she turned to me and asked if I wanted to make out. And I just…awkwardly walked away.
REASER: How old was she?
STEWART: She was…She was a lady.
REASER: So, you’re a gentleman. I think the weirdest encounters I’ve had is when people are talking to me about the young man’s bodies. Like when Taylor was still a boy and much older ladies would be like “How is his body?”
Ashley do you know what led to the latest shorter hair crop?
GREENE: At least for me, that was always what I had in mind, and Bill Condon had the same view, I think. We wanted to make it a little more modern. With every installment of the saga we were kind of trying to get it exactly right and tweaking it a little bit. But I was very excited working with Bill and working with the hair and makeup team and make Alice’s look a little more modern in this film.
Click here for all our Comic-Con 2011 coverage.