As most of you know, this weekend was the press junket for “The Twilight Saga: New Moon” here in Los Angeles. Since so many of the cast were in attendance, Summit Entertainment divided up the actors by who they played in the movie. Since Michael Sheen (Aro), Jamie Campbell Bower (Caius), Dakota Fanning (Jane), and Cameron Bright (Alec) played the Volturi in “New Moon”, it made sense they would share a press conference. So if you’d like to read or listen to what they had to say about their characters and being in “New Moon”, hit the jump.
As always, you can either read the transcript below or click here to listen to the audio. Finally, look for my one on one video interview with Michael Sheen in a few days. It was a great interview that you’ll really enjoy.
Question: Dakota, as such a fan of the series, you’ve said in many interviews before that you were really excited about this so what were the highlights of playing Jane and do you get to do more in the next movie?
Dakota Fanning: I think the highlight of playing Jane was getting to wear that costume and to have the red contact lenses — I was really excited about that – and getting to play an evil character. The next movie I already finished doing, Eclipse, and it’s about the same. It’s still not very much in the movie.
What did you think when you saw yourself for the first time with the red lenses in?
Dakota Fanning: I know. It’s really scary. I think it makes anyone look automatically evil. But yeah, it was really fun. You get used to them after a while. You can see pretty good, but it’s still kind of weird.
Michael, I wanted to know what you were saying into that tape recorder, but secondly, I wanted to know about you finding your voice. You mentioned the Blue Meanie. Did it take you a while to come up with that or was that kind of an instant thought when you read the script?
Michael Sheen: No, it was from Stephenie in the book. She describes Aro as having a voice like feathers, so that made me think about what would it sound like if someone had a voice like feathers. And then, as I was starting to play around with it, I reminded myself a little bit of the Blue Meanie. You remember the Blue Meanie in Yellow Submarine and the hand that goes with it? And then I was also thinking about characters from when I was a kid watching stuff that really freaked me out and the Blue Meanie really freaked me out. The Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang – you know, “Lollipops” and all that. I liked the idea of a character who on the surface appears to be very friendly and thinks of himself as just being a sentimental old fool, a romantic at heart, and then he wants to eat your eyes. I liked that sort of idea so that was where Aro came from. And what I said into the tape recorder is between me and whoever owns that tape recorder. [Laughter]
Now that you get to play a vampire rather than a werewolf, was it more satisfying?
Michael Sheen: As I said earlier, the tailoring is so much better as a vampire. I’ve been observing vampires for some time now and I finally got to give my own fang, although we don’t have fangs, do we? But no, it was great to be on the other side for a bit.
Dakota, the fourth book hasn’t been written yet, so as a fan, where would you like your character to go?
Dakota Fanning: The last book, the fourth book, has been written so my character – we see all of us in that last one. I think it culminates in the final battle which is a really cool scene to read in the book.
Michael Sheen: Of course, there’s the secret Twilight film which nobody knows about where many, many things happen that you don’t know about. [Laughter]
Jamie, can you tell us and describe what the Volturi are for the group?
Jamie Campbell Bower: We are basically the vampire government, I guess. We’re there to sort of keep all the vampires in check. People keep describing us as evil. I wouldn’t say we’re evil necessarily. We’re the government and not everybody likes the government, which is fine. So, we’re there to keep everybody in check. Without us, like you were saying earlier, it would turn into complete anarchy. It would be vampire anarchy. So we’re there to keep the Cullens in check in particular. There’s me and Michael and Chris Heyerdahl who plays Marcus, Aro and Caius respectively, and we sit on these big thrones and then there’s you (Dakota) and Charlie (Bewley) and Dan (Cudmore). They’re our runners effectively.
Michael Sheen: It’s quite thrilling to have Dakota Fanning calling you “monster”.
Cameron, can you talk about your character and your relationship to Dakota and what kind of powers you have and what your character has to do?
Cameron Bright: Me and Dakota, we’re the henchmen but it’s kind of funny because Dakota is the most feared out of all the Volturi. She’s the one with the worst power and everything – well not worst like worst in a sentence. We’re the henchmen. We kind of do what they say. For me, as Alec, I’m the only one that isn’t quite afraid of her but I still am. Like I’m not afraid to say what I want, where everybody else is always kind of watching their words, as far the henchmen go. Felix and Demetri, they’re always – as soon as they say one thing bad, she just looks at them and they just shut up and don’t say anything. We’re brother and sister. That’s basically about it. That spells it out for you. Luckily, we don’t fight at all or else I’d be in trouble.
Jamie, how would you compare joining the Harry Potter phenomenon with the Twilight phenomenon? It seems like there’s a different set of rules with each.
Jamie Campbell Bower: The Twilight phenomenon cinematically is relatively young so there’s still a lot of growth there to go with the film and there’s still a lot of connections to be made between cast and crew and stuff, whereas with Potter they’ve been going for 10 years now. It’s a machine, Potter. You go in, you do your thing and then you go on, whereas with this, it’s a lot more finding out about everything and a lot more exploration to do in general.
Are you Harry Potter?
Jamie Campbell Bower: I am Harry Potter. [Laughter]
Can each of you talk about your character’s special power and if you had a special power in real life, what would you like it to be? Also, Cameron and Dakota, your characters are brother and sister. Which one is older?
Cameron Bright: I think we’re twins. (to Dakota) Aren’t we?
How many minutes older?
Dakota Fanning: Minutes older?
Cameron Bright: I don’t know.
Dakota Fanning: We’re like thousands of years old, I guess, so it doesn’t really matter anymore, I suppose.
Cameron Bright: Special power – I cut off people’s senses. And the special power I’d want in the real world would be to have any special power I wanted. My special power would be to have every special power in the world. That’s something really — I don’t know. I can’t talk.
Dakota Fanning: For me, my special power is that I can just look at someone and cause them pain. And, if I could have any power, it would be to read people’s thoughts.
Jamie Campbell Bower: I don’t have a power. Take from that what you will. And if I had a power in real life, probably something like the power of flight would be kind of cool – just to get from A to B much quicker rather than walking everywhere. It’s much faster.
Michael Sheen: My power is to be able to read people’s thoughts by touching them, and in real life, I would like to have the power to always look like I’m 3 centimeters to the right of where I actually am. [Laughter] Mock!
That was very specific and unusual.
Michael Sheen: I’m doing it now. I actually do have that power. More fool you!
So you’re over here then?
Michael Sheen: Yeah.
Is it challenging to play characters that are duplicitous because that’s kind of what you get into whenever it comes to the Cullens and also, is it fun to play characters that are so intimidating?
Dakota Fanning: Yes. [Laughs] Yes, it is fun.
Michael Sheen: We had to tone Dakota down. She was too evil. Her natural personality is too evil and we had to tone the volume down on the evil.
Dakota Fanning: [Laughs] Yeah. It was fun to get to play a feared character, you know, something different than what I’ve done before. And also, she uses her power not for good, which was another thing that was kind of interesting to me.
Since keeping schedules is so important, have you had to turn down any roles or have you seen that you’re getting even more roles thanks to the Twilight films?
Jamie Campbell Bower: I’ll just take what I can get. It’s nice to work. I didn’t have to turn down anything.
Cameron Bright: My schedule definitely filled up with really only the stuff for this movie – like the conventions. I went to Australia and Rome, and Jamie came to Rome, and a couple other people went to Australia and went to Chicago. It was just like doing a bunch of stuff to talk and sign autographs and stuff. To me, that’s amazing. It’s great fun. It gets me out of school. [Laughter] No, it’s great. Like Jamie said, we’re still waiting. Everyday it’s an audition and all that kind of stuff, so just waiting. Hire me. [Laughs]
Let’s just pretend that you could be the vampire government when the cameras stopped rolling also. With you on set, out of the cast would you have to punish any bad pranksters or jokers there?
Jamie Campbell Bower: I’d like to punish Chris Heyerdahl – not sexually. That sounded a bit naughty, didn’t it?
Cameron Bright: The way they talk on set, it would sound like it wasn’t. They talk hilarious to each other. I don’t know. That’s kind of weird – who would we want to punish – one of the random guards standing in the background of the shot.
Michael Sheen: You could punish Chris Weitz for some truly awful jokes now and again. On the whole, not really, no, they’re all a very sweet bunch, very law abiding. They wouldn’t [inaudible].
So now that you’ve entered into this Twihard machine for fans, how has that been for you, and also, were you obsessed with anything when you were growing up as much as fans are obsessed with this?
Michael Sheen: I haven’t really experienced much of the Twilight fan stuff yet. But, I did go into a store in L.A. to buy a pair of jeans and I went into the little cubicle to try my jeans on. It’s always a quite nerve-wracking time when I come out of the cubicle to look in the mirror anyway and I like that to be a private moment. As I came out, there was a woman shaking, going “You’re Aro, aren’t you?!” and I just hid in my cubicle again. Whooo! Anyway, I’m slightly to the right of where you are. [Laughter] That’s been really my only experience with that. Apart from also going into my daughter’s bedroom and seeing — she’s just got pictures from Twilight and New Moon everywhere — and seeing my own little picture which I think she did out of pity. [Laughter] Have Dad up there as well. That was quite a ball [bore?].
Is there anything you guys were obsessed with when you were growing up or still are?
Cameron Bright: No, not as much as some of the people I’ve seen with this movie. I like shoes. I guess you could say that, other than that, no, not really.
Dakota Fanning: I’m obsessed with baby names, with what people name their children. Just like friends, anybody. I know a lot of people’s baby names. [Laughs] But I just love names in general.
What’s your favorite?
Dakota Fanning: There’s too many. I’ve been planning my children’s names since I was like four. I have lists of girls, boys, and I have them from all different ages. It’s really fun.
Michael Sheen: I really like inappropriately named animal names – like my daughter is brilliant at naming things, animals that have human names, like she’s got a cat called Clive. I love that.
Dakota Fanning: That’s cute.
Michael Sheen: I love that. And a mouse called Bob.
Dakota, being someone with so much experience, do you get star struck at this point?
Dakota Fanning: Especially going into this movie with a cast that already knew each other really well because they’ve already done a movie together, you’re always kind of like the new kid coming in, the new person coming on the set, but they were just so nice and so welcoming, and just a really great cast so it was kind of hard to be star struck even though you’re such big fans of them and excited to meet them, but they’re just so nice and you become friends pretty quick.
I was curious if any of you guys have gone into Hot Topic and are just shaking your head at the amount of merchandise that you guys are involved with. When you signed on, did you know about the merchandise — your likeness and figures and posters and toys and all that stuff?
Cameron Bright: It was funny because when I showed up for New Moon, we did the photo session and they were like “Okay, we just want profile shots.” I was like “Alright” and then they were like, “Yeah, they’re going to be for the doll” and I was like “Wait a minute, they’re making a doll of me?” and they’re like “Possibly.” I was like, for me at least, that’s one of the goals to be an actor is to have an action figure with the pull string that says one of your lines. It’s just one of those weird things that I think would be hilarious to have on my bed stand and just have people walk into my room and go, “Seriously, you’ve got a doll of yourself?” and I’m like, “Yeah.” But no, it’s pretty crazy. We don’t have Hot Topic back home but we have a different store called Spences and you walk in there and it’s like “Hey Rob, hey Rob, hey Rob, hey Taylor, how’s it going?” It’s like everywhere all this stuff. I don’t know. It’s pretty crazy.
Michael Sheen: I lose days just with my Lucian figure and my Aro figure fighting. [Laughter] They have their tea parties together. They like to fight and then they come back. I’m losing jobs because of it.
Cameron Bright: It’s a love-hate relationship.
Michael Sheen: And then we have…Dakota, what was your doll? Dakota’s doll from…?
Dakota Fanning: Oh, Dreamer.
Michael Sheen: Dreamer comes over and we have a little chat. [Laughter] And then we fight.
Volturis playing dollies… Dakota, I heard you were the homecoming queen at your high school? How do you mesh the real school life that a lot of kids don’t have with acting?
Dakota Fanning: Right. Well, I’m a junior so you can’t be the queen, but I was a homecoming princess. I thought it was really important to have the high school experience. It was something that I wanted. I think it’s really great to have that balance of like a completely normal life and then a completely abnormal life. I really didn’t see a reason why I wouldn’t be able to do both and I was lucky that I was able to go to a school that lets me leave and everything. I don’t know if there’s a ‘how to’ guide as to how I balance it. It just kind of has happened and I have really great friends and great family and the best of both.
Dakota, you worked with Kristen again in The Runaways. So having worked together already, was it a little bit easier going into that with her after New Moon?
Dakota Fanning: Yeah, it was really great making The Runaways with her after New Moon. We became really good friends and really close throughout all the experiences we’ve had this year. I couldn’t ask for a better person to do three movies in a row with than her. It was really good to know each other so we weren’t complete strangers when doing The Runaways.
Cameron, you didn’t get to work in Vancouver even though you’re from British Columbia. You went to Italy to work on this, right?
Cameron Bright: Nope. I didn’t go to Italy. I got to work in Vancouver. She was the only one that got to go to Italy out of us four.
So all the interiors were done in Vancouver?
Cameron Bright: Yeah, all the interiors were done in beautiful Vancouver.
So you didn’t get to go to Italy?
Cameron Bright: At least we were inside because I’m pretty sure it was raining half the time. No, it was fun. I mean, it was just a hop over a puddle for me because I’m on Vancouver Island. I don’t mind working there at all. I mean, I go there and see friends and all that kind of stuff. It’s great.
Jamie, I’ve heard that the last two Potter movies were quite different from each other. Did you notice a difference working on Part 1 and Part 2?
Jamie Campbell Bower: They’re still working on it. They’re shooting simultaneously because they’ve obviously got lots of time scheduled and they have to do both side by side. Whenever they can, they will do that I think, but I haven’t noticed a difference.
What is your character in Harry Potter?
Jamie Campbell Bower: Gellert Grindelwald. He’s an old friend of Dumbledore’s, a possible lover.
How much is he in?
Jamie Campbell Bower: At the moment, I’ve only worked on it for about a week. I think I’ve got another week and a bit to go.
Is there more singing in your future?
Jamie Campbell Bower: I play in a band so there’s more music coming out.
Anything on stage or anything like that?
Jamie Campbell Bower: Not at the moment. Nothing at the moment. Maybe one day.