Leah Clearwater’s Julia Jones opens up on her “really good job,” new opportunities and – yes! – working with Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart.
World, meet Julia Jones. Julia is one of the most sought-after new additions to the Twilight cast, having just wrapped filming for Eclipse. Jones plays the complex role of Leah Clearwater, the scorned and lonely female in the La Push werewolf pack.
A 28-year-old, Ivy-educated Boston native, Julia Jones spoke exclusively with LimeLife upon returning to Los Angeles from the Eclipse sets in Vancouver. Here we kick off a highly-coveted two-week series where she shares the shocking story behind landing the part of Leah, the ways your life transforms when you’ve starred in the biggest film franchise in the world, and the inside truth about Twilightcast relationships.
Twilight and LimeLife fans, get in…
LimeLife: Julia, you’ve just played this amazing role in Eclipse and we can’t wait to hear about it. First though, can you tell us from where else we might know you?
Julia Jones: Probably the most notable thing was that I did a recurring role on ER. I appeared in their final season [as Dr. Kaya Montoya], so it was pretty cool to be a part of something that great and large as it was closing. Everybody was appreciating it, so it was a good time to be involved.
LimeLife: We heard that there were open casting calls for Eclipse. How exactly did you score the part of Leah Clearwater?
Julia Jones: The casting director I’ve had a relationship with for a number of years. She actually just called us up and I went in and auditioned for the director David Slade and for her, and came back about a week later and read for some people from Summit and David again and some of the producers. And then I waited for about a month before I heard anything, and you’re right, in that time they were doing huge casting calls and going up to Canada. I think they accepted tapes from anybody so really anyone in the world could put themselves on tape and potentially be seen by the casting people.
LimeLife: Okay, so basically you were tapped on the shoulder to audition for the biggest cinema craze of our time. What kind of relationship did you have with the Twilight series at that time?
Julia Jones: It’s interesting because I hadn’t read any of the books before I got the audition. I of course was aware of it, I have good friends who have been – I think “obsessed” is the right word – for quite some time. (Laughs.) Then when I got the call for the audition, I actually had a very serious visceral reaction. My heart started beating fast, it’s a very unusual thing but I think on some level I think I sort of felt like I knew that this was going to be something important and probably life-changing.
LimeLife: Julia, you were cast with a pretty dynamic and somewhat complex character. Can you tell us about Leah Clearwater?
Julia Jones: Yeah, totally. First of all she’s the only werewolf who’s a female, which is in itself a very cool thing, but she has this complicated backstory where she is heartbroken because the head of the pack Sam Uley left her for her best friend and her cousin. So in addition to that she’s dealing with all the changes that you have in your body when you become a wolf, and as a girl there’s really nobody who knows what’s happening to her – she’s really alone and out there and heartbroken at the same time. And it makes her very angry and mean, and really she’s just in a lot of pain and she doesn’t know how to ask for help so she lashes out.
LimeLife: What did you bring to Leah’s character? Did you relate to her?
Julia Jones: The heartbreak is a very universal emotion and most of us have felt that – I have. So that was clearly part of it. But also just being so caught up in what’s going on in your world emotionally that you can’t connect to the outside world, that’s something that’s a hard thing. Anytime you go through something dark and painful, it makes you want to just withdraw from the world, except you can’t. I explored what that’s like a lot when I was preparing.
One of the fun things that I got to bring to her was just being a tomboy and hanging out with the boys. I was always a huge tomboy growing up and I was always competing. I was the only girl in my football league, and they were so mean to me! (Laughs). And so a lot of that was easy to draw on.