Since the release of the first film, the Twilight phenomenon has just continued to grow exponentially. With the highly anticipated final installment, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2, hitting theaters on November 16th, fans will finally get to see the conclusion of the romantic epic that has entranced millions worldwide.
At the film’s L.A. press junket, actress Kristen Stewart talked about playing both the human and vampire sides of Bella while shooting the last films, which props she kept, when she realized just how big this phenomenon was, embracing the stunt work in this last installment, what it was like to play a mom, how she feels about these films being finished, whether she’d be open to doing another film franchise, and whether or not she’d like to live forever. Hit the jump to watch the press conference or read the full transcript.
In addition, we posted 6 clips and over five minutes of behind-the-scenes footage from the final Twilight film. Click the links to watch. Also, here’s our coverage of the Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner press conferences.
Question: What was it like to play the human and vampire side of Bella, at the same time?
KRISTEN STEWART: I was really lucky to have played human Bella for so long. The best aspects of every vampire, with all of their gifts, what makes them really special is just an enhanced version of what they were when they were human. So, I really did get to play a really well-rounded version because I actually got to take those steps for real. If you were to take the fact that she becomes a vampire completely away, it’s just a more realized version of who she’s been the entire time. I think that’s why it really touches so many people, too. It really does represent that stage of life where you’re bubbling over with something you maybe can’t put your finger on. I’m not a huge fan of the girl thing, but she’s a girl who has faith in herself enough to not ignore those feelings and find out why they’re even there. People think she’s nuts, the entire time, and that she’s losing it. She’s making very odd decisions, but they’re fully informed by feeling. Now, it all makes sense. She can stand up and go, “I told you! It was worth it! We held on for a reason.” It’s really satisfying. It’s like breaking her in, like a car. How fast does it go? It was fun.
Did you keep any props or costumes, as a momento?
STEWART: Yeah, the rings. The rings were really important to me. Her mother gives her a moon ring, in the beginning. It fully and completely reminds me of Catherine Hardwicke, every time I look at it. Other than that, she’s not really into stuff. There weren’t a lot of props, so that was probably it. The rings were really, really extremely important to me.
At what moment did you realize how big this thing was going to be?
STEWART: It’s grown so much, even recently, so I don’t know if you ever realize the extent that it’s gotten to, but Comic-Con, for me, was the first time I was ever hit with a wave of human energy that was like, “This is not a normal movie.” It felt like something that was so very much our own. That first dose of looking up and seeing that something that’s really affected you does the same things to other people is mind blowing. It’s the coolest thing about the job, actually. It’s really exciting. I’m incredibly overwhelmed, admittedly, but it is the greatest part of the job.
In getting play Bella as a vampire, you got to do some kick-ass stunts. Did you embrace that?
STEWART: I broke my thumb the first or second day of our really intense, action-y type stuff. That was really frustrating. But, it was fun. I got a little taste of it when we were in Italy. The physicality was so important then, and it finally became important again. I don’t know. I’d been on the sidelines for so long, just itching. I thought, “I could do that pretty well. I think I could do that pretty well.” I was bursting to do it. I think that’s why I broke my thumb.
Bella’s life is forever paused at 18, which is so young. If you could pause your life at one moment in time, what age would you be?
STEWART: I’m not there yet. I don’t know yet. I can’t wait to get to that point, but I don’t know. Somebody recently asked me that and I couldn’t answer them either, so I do apologize. It’s the most boring answer ever. It’s probably so telling that I haven’t gotten to that point yet.
How did Bella’s journey parallel with your own journey, since you’re close to the same age?
STEWART: I don’t know. Without taking any of the truth out of this, it’s so general. It’s about that period where you’re like, “Wait, do I go with this or is that crazy?” I think the most adult way for me to answer that is, absolutely! You question yourself along the way, constantly, and I don’t think you should ever stop doing that. You should constantly question everything. Push harder. I think it just gets a little easier. I don’t know. I definitely feel a little more realized. A lot more, actually. Maybe it’s just chance that we happen to be the same age. It’s a tough one because she lives so many years, in such a tiny little period of time, because of the story, so it’s hard to put yourself there completely. But, I think I’ve grown up a little bit, you know?
What effect have these movies had on your career choices?
STEWART: A question that I can’t answer is, “What do you want to do next? What is your dream role? Where do you see yourself?” It doesn’t make any sense because it’s such an outsider’s perspective. You’re going, “Why don’t people look at me like this?” Until you see it, what are you responding to? You’re responding to other people’s perception of you, which is so weird, and why a lot of actors do what they do, and I don’t get that. I think things have always fallen in my lap, and I’ve gotten incredibly insanely lucky to get the right feelings and meet people that share them. If I can keep doing that, I’ll be a happy girl. It’s always a pretty impulsive thing because you can read a fantastic script that it might not be in you to do. One thing that I don’t think I do is play characters. Once you start claiming that you can do something that you’re not, you’re crazy. I think scripts can really surprise you. You go, “Wow, I did not know that that response could come from me. I did not know that I had that in me.” And so, the process of making the movie is just finding that and digging a little deeper. I think maybe I’ve played parts that are really similar to me because I’m young. I wanted to explore things that were more apparent to me. Now, I’m getting to the point that I want to dig a little deeper. You can shock yourself a little bit with this, and that’s what I’m alive to do.
What was it like to see the montage that sums up everything you’ve been working on, all these years?
STEWART: I actually saw it a while ago and I wish I had better words, but it’s crazy. It’s so crazy! You typically just don’t get that opportunity to look back. My favorite thing about it is that [Bill Condon] understood. He really put his finger on what drives this thing. He didn’t shy away from anything. This thing is romantic. That’s what is attractive about it. It is so stirring. I think if anyone was going to try to be cool about it, it would be a shame. Bill lent himself to it so fully, and I think you can see that. You can tell that he’s a huge fan of the story and everything that’s been going down. It’s a nice little knife twist, as well. I think it’s really great.
Did playing a mom come naturally for you, and did it make you look differently at your own mom?
STEWART: I don’t know. I think that it might be something that you’re born with or not born with. Some people have really, really strong natural instincts and desires to be a mom. That was one of my favorite things about the story. From day one, there was never enough about that in the script for me. Luckily Stephenie [Meyer] has really been heavily involved. She was on set, every single day, and it was something that we were really together about. It was one aspect of [Bella] that I was really excited to play. Vampires have slightly more animalistic natures, and what better way to show that? I have a great relationship with my mom, and she can be a bit feral when it comes to being a mom.
Are you ready to have your own kids?
STEWART: I can’t wait to be a mom, but I can wait.
What sort of bond do you share with Rob Pattinson and Taylor Lautner over this experience, that only you guys can understand?
STEWART: It’s nice to not be alone in that. There are a lot of people that are exceedingly famous, and I think they feel the same way. We share the movies. Another really common question is, “How is it going to be to walk away from this?” I genuinely feel like I don’t have to walk anywhere. That’s what I love about this job. I wouldn’t have done it in the first place unless it was something that I would always carry, and I think they feel the same way. They tell me they do.
Are you glad these films are finally done?
STEWART: I’m so happy that the story is told. You have no idea. Usually, you’ve got five weeks or five months to get the schedule and go, “That day is coming up. Now that day is coming up.” We had five years. The fact that this thing is out and it’s not weighing on us anymore, I’m super excited about that. I don’t want it to sound like I’m excited to be done with the experience because it’s such a particular time. It’s a feeling, and I will definitely miss that, but I feel like it’s not going anywhere. It is strange. But, things shouldn’t stay stagnant. You’ve got to move on.
Would you be open to doing another film franchise?
STEWART: It’s hard to sign on to something before you know what it’s going to be. My guess is that probably not. It’s just really rare to find something that lends itself to that. I would also probably want to know where it was going. I don’t know. I’ve never been a huge fan of any comic book. As of now, probably not, but never say never.
With the holidays coming up, what would you give Bella?
STEWART: Oh, Bella, what do you want for Christmas, girl? I don’t know. What do I want to give her for Christmas? Bella’s not a big fan of stuff. In fact, she hates presents, so I would mail her something.
Is there anything that Bella has done that you’d love to do?
STEWART: I would love to be able to run that fast. That would be fun. We were really able to get close to most of the experiences that she had. We wanted to push it as far as we could. But then, when I was standing on the treadmill, being dragged behind a truck in the woods, I was like, “I know this isn’t going to make it into the movie because it’s fairly ridiculous.” Honestly, one of my favorite parts of the entire series is that first hunt.
Would you like to live forever?
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2 opens in theaters on November 16th.