Over the weekend was the big press junket for The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. In case you missed our previous coverage, here’s video and complete transcripts of the Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner and The Cullen (Peter Facinelli, Liz Reaser, Nikki Reed, Jackson Rathbone and Ashley Greene) press conferences. While you may have thought we were done posting coverage, trust me when I say, I’ve got a lot more for all you Twilight fans. And up next is Dakota Fanning, Bryce Dallas Howard and Xavier Samuel. Like we’ve done for the previous coverage, you can either watch the video of the press conference or read a transcript.
During the interview the three talk about filming Eclipse and how they got involved, what Bryce Dallas Howard had to do with her hair, Dakota Fanning talks about school, what they have coming up, and so much more. If you’re a fan of the Twilight franchise, I’m sure you’ll enjoy hearing what they had to say. Hit the jump to check it out:
Q: Dakota, you are so very evil in this. What was that like?
Dakota: This is the first time I’ve gotten to play the same character in a different film. It was really great. I love playing this character. It’s a fun character to get to play. And, being a part of all that is Twilight is such an honor and still kind of surreal for me. I feel so lucky to be a part of it.
Dakota: She’s obviously not the nicest person, but it’s kind of fascinating to be able to play someone that takes pleasure in hurting people. That’s a weird thing to get to do and, obviously, something I’ve never done before.
Q: Bryce, how is it coming into this world for the first time?
Bryce: I had not only read the books, but one of my friends actually made this little pack of Post-It notes for me with Rob’s face, that said, “Live dangerously.” All of my friends were like, “Why are you so obsessed?” I was just like, “It’s so dangerous. Their love is so dangerous.” It was very fast and it was very sudden. To be honest, I was intimidated going into it, for a variety of reasons, but I felt so lucky to get to meet this group of people. It’s a group of people that have genuine friendships and are so deeply committed to doing justice to these stories, and who always put the character and the story first. Obviously, that’s translated, and I think that’s why the movies are as beloved as they are.
Q: Bryce, how did you approach your big fight scene with Rob Pattinson?
Bryce: There was a lot of fight training that happened to prepare for it. Actors are always nervous about not only hurting each other, but perhaps hitting each other’s face and ending one’s career. So, there was a lot of preparation that made us feel more comfortable, certainly. I just knew that, if I rustled his hair, millions of young women would want to kill me, so I was quite cautious for that reason. It was fun. There’s a point at which you’re wrestling for six consecutive hours that it just becomes absurd. You just can’t help, but laugh. It ultimately was great.
Q: All of your characters are more fully fleshed out in Stephenie’s new book, The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner. Did you all read that and, if so, did it influence your performance?
Xavier: I was given a secret copy, that was handed to me by David Slade himself. I felt like I had been given this really valuable document. It was amazing because it really fleshes out those characters and gives an insight into, particularly, the Riley/Victoria relationship that’s not necessarily present in the Twilight Saga. I just treated it like some secret information. It really informed a lot of the choices as well, and it’s exciting to read.
Bryce: Because it wasn’t given to me, I didn’t feel entitled to take it from Xavier’s room. But, I was like, “Can you read some of it out loud to me?,” and he did. He read all the Victoria parts.
Dakota: I did not get a copy. I was left out of that one.
Q: Since entering into the Twilight franchise, do your family and friends grill you about what happened on set and what the actors are like? Do you have to figure out what you can tell people close to you?
Dakota: You get the normal questions, but I people that are close to me, especially in school, are used to it by now, so it’s not such a big deal. They forget that I’m even in the movies, so I haven’t really had to deal with a lot of that.
Bryce: Since I was the resident Twi-hard in my group, I was ridiculed for it, and now it’s like, “Ha!” Now, they fully need to embrace it and support it.
Xavier: My mother has made it her personal mission to monitor all the information about me on the Internet. I’ve had a few strange requests, like, “Could you bring back a plastic cup that Rob sipped on?,” or, “Maybe you could sneak up to him quickly and take a lock of his hair?”
Q: Xavier, being new to the franchise, who was the most welcoming and how were you welcomed?
Xavier: I guess playing a bad guy who is an outsider, and being a foreigner in an already established family, you’re a bit intimidated, but I’m so grateful to be accepted so warmly into the whole family. Everyone was extremely down-to-earth. I’ve also become very good friends with Bryce. We locked eyes at the airport. We just had a lot of fun, and it was great to hang out with those guys.
Q: Bryce, how did you decide on your look for your hair in the film?
Bryce: Actually, quite ironically, I flew out on a Monday or a Tuesday to do the role, and that Friday before, I had dyed my hair really dark. My natural hair color is an orange-red, which is what is depicted in the book, but that Friday, I dyed my hair really dark and, by Monday, I had learned about it and flew out the next day. I showed up and they were like, “This is not the girl we hired.” Shooting had to start pretty quickly, so I wore a wig, which I was really happy about because it was really important to have continuity with the character. Even though my hair color was perhaps right, I felt that the texture and everything needed to be as exact as possible.
Q: Xavier, you auditioned by tape for this role?
Xavier: Yeah. VHS is very early ‘90s, isn’t it?
Q: Is this your first time in the States?
Xavier: I’ve been dividing my time pretty evenly between Los Angeles and Sydney. They only let me stay here for 90 days. But, yeah, I auditioned online. I did a tape in Sydney, and I’ve been doing that for American projects for quite a while, sending them off into the ether and not knowing who’s watched them or whose desk they land on.
Q: How do you feel about being part of the huge phenomenon that is Twilight? Are you prepared for the fame that comes with it?
Xavier: It’s certainly a baptism of fire. It’s a wonderful introduction to American film. It’s quite a different experience, working on an American film and coming from an Australian context because you could make 100 Australian films for the budget of any number of American films. It’s really been a surreal experience, and it all happened very quickly. I flew from Sydney to Vancouver, with four other guys, met David Slade, and then had enough time to go back to Sydney and get some more clothes, then fly back to Vancouver to start shooting. It all happened extremely quickly, but it’s been an exhilarating and wonderful experience. I’m very, very thankful.
Q: Dakota, you went from New Moon to The Runaways? How were those experiences different, working with Kristen Stewart on both of them
Dakota: During the summer, when we were doing The Runaways, we both had in the back of our minds that she would have to go do Eclipse pretty much right away. I came a month or two later, just for a week, to do my part. And, it was so weird, just seeing each other in different costumes and being different people because we got so used to seeing each other as Joan Jett and Cherie Currie, especially with her having the short black hair. She has green eyes in real life, so seeing her with brown eyes and long hair again was so weird. Obviously, our relationships were very different, in The Runaways and Eclipse. That was fun, but it was really, really weird, at first.
Q: Xavier, what did you do to establish your presence in the film?
Xavier: There’s a lot of competition for who’s the most evil. I had a lot of conversations with David Slade about how to approach Riley and not delve into the clichés of the stereotypical vampire thing. We touched upon that he’s still got human blood pumping through his veins and he’s a tragic figure, in a way. He’s been manipulated, to a certain extent. That was coupled in. Also, he has this extreme hatred for humanity because that’s what he’s been deprived of. He’s extremely jealous, but he also has a heart. I just wanted to do justice to the complexity that Stephenie Meyer has created.
Q: Dakota, do you know what you’ll be doing next?
Dakota: I don’t have anything that I’m working on right now. This morning, I took the ACT. That’s my plans.
Q: Does that mean college is in your future?
Q: Have you picked a school yet?
Dakota: Kind of, but not that I’m ready to mention.
Q: Bryce, what are you working on?
Bryce: I did a Clint Eastwood film, called Hereafter. I’m really excited about. It’s coming out later this year, with Matt Damon. It’s supernatural. And then, I did a comedy with Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Seth Rogen, which used to be called I’m With Cancer, but now it’s Untitled Comedy.
Q: Aren’t you also doing The Help?
Bryce: Yes, I’m doing The Help in a couple of weeks.
Q: Will that be faithful to the book?
Bryce: Yeah. The script really is, but it’s not been shot yet. Millions of things happen on a film shoot
Q: What is a supernatural Clint Eastwood movie like?
Bryce: To be totally honest, I’m getting the impression that they’re still being private and secretive about the process, so I don’t want to reveal too much because I don’t want to be the person that messed up and said something when they’re trying to keep it a secret.
Q: Xavier, what do you have coming up?
Xavier: There’s an Australian horror film that I did, called The Loved Ones, which is coming out. Watching the film is like peeking into a grotesque doll’s house. It’s really quirky and cool. And, I just got back from Berlin, where I did a Roland Emmerich film, called Anonymous, which contests the authorship of Shakespeare’s plays. I play the Earl of Southampton, who’s a patron of the theater and fights for what he believes in. He gets roped into a rebellion against the queen. There was lots of riding around on horses and going to the theater.
Q: Because this film is darker, did it feel like you were making a horror movie, when you shot your scenes?
Dakota: I felt like I was making a horror film, when there was a big fire pit and fake burning bodies in there. That was the only time it felt like I was making a horror film
Bryce: There’s definitely an epic scale to this movie and to this chapter of the Saga, that is probably unique and distinct to Eclipse. The story does culminate in this massive battle sequence, at the end. There are multiple threats, like the strife between the Wolf Pack and the Cullens, and there’s the Volturi, and Victoria is after Bella, and Riley is after Bella and the Cullens, and there’s a Newborn Army of vampires that now exists. It definitely became like an epic action film.
Xavier: David Slade has such a firm grip on the dark side of the film, I can understand how that might be the impression of the film. He’s got a really edgy, unique approach.
Q: What was the most challenging scene that you had to do?
Dakota: My one scene. Because I am in such a small part of the film, it adds pressure, just to get that one part right and do the best that you can. In that little moment that you’re in the film, you want to make it the best it can be, the scariest it can be and the coolest it can be.
Bryce: The most challenging part for me was the big fight scene. Because there’s so much build up to that moment, there was so much training that went into the choreography of that final battle sequence and I didn’t want to mess it up. I certainly didn’t want to punch Robert Pattinson in the face.
Xavier: I know it has so many devoted fans and, with that, comes a great deal of responsibility of really delivering your very best. The challenging thing is to always be on your A-game. Also, it’s hard to act with a piece of fur on the end of a stick. All that green screen stuff was interesting. You have to create that world in your head, as opposed to actually having it there. And then, being bounced around on wires like a puppet was challenging.
Q: Bryce, you approached Stephenie about the voice for Victoria. As a fan of the books, how hard was it to approach her?
Bryce: Yeah, it is intimidating to talk to Stephenie, although she is not an intimidating person. She’s a really, really lovely woman, and a very warm person. It wasn’t that I wanted to do anything different at all. It’s just that Stephenie wrote in the book, very clearly, that when Victoria spoke, she had a surprisingly high voice, almost like a little girl. So, I wanted to know more of what she envisioned, in terms of that, so it didn’t seem silly and I wasn’t doing a caricature of what she had written, but rather an honest depiction of what she had written. That was just something we had a brief conversation about.