Let me set the scene as Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner talked to us in Beverly Hills about the Twilight Saga: New Moon, the latest film in the Twilight franchise: Big hotel ballroom. Me, dead center in the front row.
Lautner comes in looking buff, very adult and stylish in black slacks and trim gray tweed jacket over a crisp white dress shirt and, of course, his newly sculpted muscles. Rob is his usual casual self. Pieces of the actor's wild hair are poofing up to a little peak on the top left of his head, and his jeans, black leather jacket and plaid shirt (that look as if he just grabbed it out of the dryer and lost his iron -- like we care), give him that adorable, rumpled, absent-minded mega-hottie look that the team-Eddie folks love so much.
Pattinson looks at the huge pile of tape recorders in front of him and says, "It's like an armada!"
SheKnows: Hi, Rob. Let's get the important things out of the way first. There's a fight between Edward and Jacob. Who wins -- and who would win between you and Taylor?
Robert Pattinson: I don't know. I did hear the other day that Taylor had agreed to an interview in which the interviewer was going to fight him. I don't think that I'd ever agree to that. And looking at Taylor's martial arts videos from when he was, like, 9, I really wouldn't want to do anything. Maybe if I had some kind of weapon. Edward and Jacob? I don't know. I think it's actually a fact that Edward would win, if I've read the books correctly. So I guess I can hold onto that for my ego.
SheKnows: Okay, Taylor, same question.
Taylor Lautner: Oh, man. I don't know between me and Rob. He does a lot of boxing in his time off. It might be a good match-up. We were actually discussing this on set. It's funny, like who would win in a fight between Jacob and Edward? Because there's a scene outside Bella's house where Edward grabs my shoulder and he's mad at me. Jacob doesn't take that, so he rips his arm off. And we're having this discussion -- it got really deep. We were like, "If I were to poof into a wolf right now, what would happen? Who would win?" We're usually with our pack, so if I'm without my pack, am I going to be weaker? Honestly I don't know. That discussion is still up in the air. We should probably get Stephenie Meyer on the line and ask her.
SheKnows: Rob, what was going through your mind in Italy when you were about to reveal yourself in the sunlight?
Robert Pattinson: My thoughts at the time, or now ? I just kind of came to a realization about that scene today. I guess it's one of the moments that I've really felt closest to people's emotional attachment to the character. There were so many extras there who were Twilight fans who had flown in to be in the town square. Just taking that step off, that one step into the light... it's been the one moment since the first ComicCon where I felt the whole weight of anticipation and I guess, responsibility as well, to all the people who were so obsessed with the stories. It was a good moment. It was very nerve-wracking. I felt probably the most in-character that I've ever felt in the whole series at that moment.
SheKnows: Taylor, you have a lot of opportunities in the film to show off your new physique. My favorite was when you take your tee-shirt off…
Taylor Lautner: And wipe her blood?
SheKnows: Can you talk about that scene and others like that?
Taylor Lautner: I start laughing so hard every time I see that scene. "You're bleeding? OK, let me fix it." [He pretends to whip off his shirt.] It's so embarrassing. Yeah. I mean, here's the thing: There's a reason that he's not wearing clothes all the time. One, when he transforms, all his clothes get shredded. He can't help it. And when he goes into the woods to get something to put on so he's not naked, it's just a ripped pair of jean shorts. He's also hot. He's 108 degrees. So that's another reason. The thing is, I love this character. I love this story, and putting on the weight and not wearing much clothing was required by the role. A year from now, if I love a story and I love a character that requires me to lose 40 pounds, I'm ready to do it.
SheKnows: When you showed up shirtless in the forest, how cold was it, and how challenging was it not to shiver?
Taylor Lautner: Yeah, the challenging thing is Jacob is supposed to be extremely hot, so he's not supposed to feel cold at all. And the worst scene for that was the rain scene -- the breakup scene where Bella first sees Jacob after his transformation. We're standing on this little hill right behind Jacob's house, and it was 35 degrees and pouring rain on top of us -- not regular rain tower rain, which comes straight from the springs. And the scene was very long. It took four minutes to film the scene, but we filmed the same scene all day long. So it was really, really rough. And as soon as we'd call "cut," we'd run over to a heater quick and wrap ourselves in blankets; we'd have like two minutes off before we'd have to go do another take. So the weather was definitely extremely challenging. I just had to take myself to another world so during the scene I wasn't sitting there shivering. It was hard. Sometimes I'd catch myself and I'd have to stop. I didn't [get sick]. I'm really surprised by that, actually. I thought for sure I was going to get sick.
SheKnows: Rob, can you talk about working with director Chris Weitz this time around? Did the booklet of his intentions he handed out help you?
Robert Pattinson: The syllabus that he gave at the beginning? Yeah. I mean I've never had that from any director. It was like 40 or 50 pages long, this thing, and this is in addition to a bunch of letters and emails and everything, trying to show that he's on the same page as us and that he's completely with us in making the film. He kind of didn't falter from that attitude throughout the whole movie. It probably sounds ridiculous how much praise this guy gets. I was just with his wife and him in Japan, and she was even kind of sick of it, but I mean he is like a saint. He's one of the best people I've ever met, let alone director. I think in a lot of ways it shows in the movie. There's a lot of heart, especially for a sequel and a franchise. He's just a great person to work with.
SheKnows: Taylor, did it ever feel like you were really in danger of not getting this role in this movie? Team Jacob was worried!
Taylor Lautner: Honestly, I knew where my character went in New Moon, and that's all I tried to stay focused on. I couldn't control things outside. I couldn't control the media. But I could control what I was doing to portray Jacob Black correctly. So that's what I stayed focused on the whole entire time.
SheKnows: Did that start with going to the gym and gaining 30 pounds?
Taylor Lautner: Absolutely. Jacob transforms a lot in New Moon, not only physically but mentally and emotionally as well. So it was a matter of getting to the gym and eating the right food and a lot of it. But also reading and studying the book and the character over and over again so I could have his character down as well, because he changes in many, many different ways.
SheKnows: Can you talk about those changes?
Taylor Lautner: Basically, my job was to continue what I started in Twilight, which was this extremely happy, friendly, outgoing guy, best friends with Bella. I had to continue that for the first half of the film, but as soon as I transform, I snap and I become a completely different person. I'm dealing with my issues, and it's really hard for me.
SheKnows: Rob, you were appearing in only part of the movie through Bella's visions. Did you feel isolated from your castmates, or was it nice to be on your own?
Robert Pattinson: Those scenes were the hardest. They weren't really at the time, but when I saw the first part of the movie... We changed it quite a bit in the edit and in ADR and stuff mainly because it's so difficult. It's not Edward. It's a kind of manifestation of Bella's loneliness and desperation. It was always very difficult because I was trying to ask Kristen (Stewart), "How would you play it" because it's her opinion. So I guess that was hard, but as for being alone, I've always felt a little bit aloof as the character throughout the whole series. I think that's how he kind of is. So I didn't feel anything particularly different.
SheKnows: Did you agree with the decision to make Edward a vision in the movie?
Robert Pattinson: I was always very worried about that because, even before we started shooting, people were asking questions, like "Do you think people are going to be worried about not having enough Edward in it?" He's not in the book. I was so worried that it was just going to be random scenes. There was talk at the beginning of showing his back story in South America, going around moping or something. That would've been terrifying for me and catastrophic for the film as well. But I fought as far as I could to keep it as limited as possible, mainly because it just doesn't happen in the book. But then at the same time it's scary just to do voiceover because it could well end up being very cheesy. So I guess there's a medium. Also, it was interesting because you're just not there. You're just playing a vision, and if you play it as realistically as possible, it becomes an interesting thing to try and figure out. So it was interesting for me at the time.
SheKnows: The last year has been a whirlwind for you, Rob. Are you more comfortable with all the fan stuff, gossip and hype a year later?
Robert Pattinson: I guess it's inevitable that you become more comfortable. You're still fighting against some things. The franchise itself -- there's nothing really scary about it. I like the people I work with. I generally have very few disagreements about the script or about anything when we're doing it, especially on New Moon. It just seemed so relaxed and easy. I've been on three different sets since January 14. I've had like three days off. I'm on set all the time, and I'm still on set, and I'm going to be on set all next year. So I don't really know. I don't know what (hype) is really like because I haven't had a sustained period when I've been off. So I still don't know how it's changed. I still feel I'm pretty much exactly the same, which is maybe not a good thing.
SheKnows: Kristen says her breakup scene with Edward, or at least right after it, was very difficult for her. What was that scene like for you?
Robert Pattinson: It's a strange thing. [There's] something weird about it because one of the main things that I felt (and what really helped) was [fans' anticipation] about what Edward and Bella's relationship is and what it represents to them as some kind of ideal for a relationship. So playing a scene breaking up the ideal relationship, I felt a lot of the weight behind that. Also, it took away the fear of melodrama because it felt kind of seismic, if that's the right word. Even when we were doing it, it was very much like the stepping-out-into-the-sunlight scene at the end. You could really feel the audience watching as you're doing it. So it was a strange one.
Up next….Lautner dishes his Eclipse of Edward… or is it?
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