With “Twilight: New Moon” set to hit theaters on Nov. 20,Kellan Lutz is a hot commodity on the Peoria entertainment scene. The actor, who plays Emmett in the popular vampire franchise, will appear at Saturday’s Rivermen game against Rockford. Lutz, 24, will sign autographs from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday in Carver Arena.Fans are asked to arrive early. The game starts at 7 p.m., and tickets are $20 for lower bowl, $15 for upper bowl at the box office, Rivermen.net or by calling 676-8700.
Ahead of his appearance, we talked to the former Abercrombie model who telephoned from Los Angeles during a break from filming “Eclipse,” the third movie of the series, which is due out June 30, 2010.
– Danielle Hatch/Journal Star
What can you tell me about “New Moon”?
As far as “New Moon” goes, it’s similar to the book. Taylor Lautner (who plays Jacob Black) does an amazing job and (director) Chris Weitz does an even better job of captivating the (werewolves) and making them real characters, in a way. It’s more of a manly movie.
What do you do to get into character, to get your mind into the vampire world?
For me, when I’m away on set, the energy I get from my workouts and the training I do – especially with filming “Eclipse” right now – helps put myself in the mindset of becoming Emmett. It’s a lot of testosterone buildup, I guess (laughs). A lot of times what helps is to do quick pushups to get the heart rate going.
In “New Moon,” when Jasper comes out in this whole rage sequence, it’s really nice to have your heart pumping during that scene.
What’s the craziest thing a fan has ever done to get your attention?
Well, it’s not necessarily crazy, but one fan made this action figure doll of me, like it was her personal Emmett. That was the coolest thing.
A kind of “out there” scenario was when a fan asked if she could handcuff herself to me. I thought she was joking but she whipped out handcuffs. It’s adorable, though. They are just so in love with the franchise and the books and the characters.
I’ve heard that you like to do your own stunts. What are some of the more memorable ones you’ve done?
I did a movie called “The Forgotten Ones.” The budget was really low, so we didn’t really have stunt doubles; we had guys that would help set up the stuff. It was shot in Costa Rica, and we weren’t able to have the best equipment. So there were scenes where I had to fall from a tree. I learned to not have any air in your lungs because once you hit the ground you knock the wind out of yourself. So I learned the hard way – when I couldn’t get up and breathe for a couple of minutes. That was the scariest stunt that I had to do.
With “Eclipse,” we’re doing some really intense (stunts) – ratchets and pulleys and magic carpets and stuff. It’s great to be allowed to do some more extreme things than some of the other actors.
You got your start in modeling. How hard was it to transition from modeling to acting?
The transition wasn’t too hard. I think it just takes being able to hold your own in front of a camera and to know what to do and what not to do. So I guess all the training with modeling – knowing how to work with the camera or to allow the camera to capture a certain essence that you’re trying to portray, that’s a big part of the acting world.
I did a lot of studying, because when I first started acting I thought, ‘I don’t need school for this.’ And I learned very quickly that I didn’t know what I was doing, and I was failing miserably and not getting callbacks.
Do you have anything to add to your fans?
I have been very fortunate – I think we all have, being part of the “Twilight” saga – to have loving fans. We were all weary doing the first movie, hoping they’d accept us. We’re just all ecstatic that they accepted us and support it and allow us to continue with the franchise. I love going and meeting all the fans from different places in the world, it’s just great seeing the love.
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Kellan Lutz will sign autographs from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday in Carver Arena. Fans are asked to arrive early. The game starts at 7 p.m., and tickets are $20 for lower bowl, $15 for upper bowl at the box office, Rivermen.net or by calling Ticketmaster at 676-8700.