New Moon‘s Michael Sheen is known among Twilight fans for his friendly Twitter presence – send him a Tweet and you’re likely to get a cheery, or even cheeky, response. But becoming one of theTwilight Saga’s most popular cast Twitterers wasn’t Sheen’s original plan. He came to battle an imposter, but stayed for the overwhelming Twilight-driven love.
In an exclusive chat with the erstwhile Aro, who’s already earned fan adoration for his role in November’s New Moon, Sheen told us how his now-55,000 strong devotees prevented him from ditching Twitter months ago. (A vote of confidence by fantasy author Neil Gaiman didn’t hurt, either.)
Since then, Sheen posted juicy dispatches during filming — he was the first to describe Dakota Fanning’s Jane as “an evil Red Riding Hood” and described his Aro look as “a cross between the Blue Meanie, the Childcatcher and Nick Cave. But with red eyes.”
Below, Sheen talks about how his fans kept him on Twitter and shares his thoughts on those pesky anti-Twilight detractors. (And if you’re not following him, do it already by clicking on Sheen’s Twitter page now!)
Your Twitter following is so huge! It’s probably safe to say that much of your followers areTwilight fans.
When it was announced that I was going to be in Twilight, I think my Twitter following went up by about 7,000 fans – so I think it might have something to do with that.
A week after being announced as New Moon‘s Aro, you joined Twitter, and your first post read, “Someone is pretending to be me. The f***er will rue the day…” Can you explain what that was all about?
The only reason I went on Twitter was because there was someone pretending to be me who sounded like such an idiot, so it was reflecting badly on me. My auntie, who was already on Twitter, let me know there was this person doing this, so I had to go on and say, “This is me.”
When it comes to celebrities, there are so many fake accounts that it’s hard to tell who’s real and who’s not…
I spent a couple of weeks trying to convince people that I was the real me, and it became sort of a “Twit-off” with this pretender. It was Neil Gaiman who eventually made the big difference when he announced that I was the “official” me. I always intended to end it then and not do it anymore, but I just got hooked on it.
It’s incredibly addictive, isn’t it?
It kind of is, and I also find it really useful and entertaining. To share things, to let people send me things that I’m interested in… if I’ve watched or read something that I really enjoy I’ll share it with people there. And also, if I have anything I need to find out about, I’ve got this resource of about 50,000 incredibly well-informed and interesting people to ask the question to.
Now that you’re involved in the world of Twilight as an actor and as a father of a Twilight fan, how do you ensure that the Twilight world is taken seriously by those who might dismiss it superficially?
Well I can’t, really. I take it seriously, but it’s up to other people how they respond to it. I have no control over that. I just want to do as good a job as I possibly can for Stephenie Meyer, who wrote the stories, Chris Weitz, who directed the film, and for my daughter, who’s the person who got me into it in the first place. So if people don’t respond to it, that’s up to them, but I don’t think anyone’s going to be too worried about that. I think there’s quite enough people who are into it.