What would you say is the one major thing that has changed about your life since starting the franchise?
I’m traveling a lot more than I used to and interacting with a lot more people. The fan base on this, I don’t know how else to explain it … it’s a cultural phenomenon. People will actually hop on a plane to see you. Sometimes I do these charity events, and people fly in to come and see me. I’m just really, really impressed with [the fan] dedication to these books and to the movies. I’ve always had a fan base with the work I’ve done, but never as rabid as this.
You seem pretty dedicated to them, too, judging by your Twitter page.
You know, I love connecting with the fans because I’m a fan of the books myself. They’re all so dedicated and wonderful to me that I love to be able to give back. So if stopping for a picture or signing a book of theirs puts a smile on their face, then that makes me happy, too. I kind of go out of my way to make sure—if there are fans hanging around the set—to try to stop and say hello to them before I get in the van. It takes five minutes to make people happy. I love interacting with them.
You’ve been working steadily since your early twenties—the same age that some of the Twilight cast members are now. Have you been able to offer any advice to any of them, especially at a time when they’ve suddenly been thrust into the spotlight?
I’ve had some conversations with some of the cast about careers because I’ve been working for fifteen years. They’re just starting out with their careers, and for a lot of them this is their first big break. I think they look to me and ask, How do you sustain that? It’s still a mystery to me, too! I feel very lucky. For me it’s about longevity and not about just one movie. It’s got to be a scary time for them because this movie is giving them lots of opportunities. It’s up to them to steer this journey into a career, and not just be part of Twilight and be gone. I look at them, and it’s got to be pretty scary to have that much on their shoulders pretty quick, but I think they’re really talented, really smart, and I think that they’re going to be fine.
What has this done for your career?
I’ve done a lot of movies and different roles, and this is another role that I love to play. I look forward to continue doing a lot more. It’s definitely broadened my fan base even with my own kids. For a long time, they didn’t get to see any of the work I’ve done because of the mature content.
Have any of your daughters seen Twilight?
All three of them have seen it! They’re ages twelve, six, and three. They love it. The 12-year-old has read the first two books, so she loves the movie. My 6-year-old loves it even more; she wants to watch it all the time! Now the 3-year-old, because the 6 year-old likes it, wants to watch it all the time, too. I asked her what she liked about it and she said, “I like the scary parts.”
Have they met the cast? Did they get excited?
My kids are pretty unaffected. They don’t get too star-struck. To them it’s just “Dad’s friends,” which is kind of nice.
Peter Facinelli, as Dr. Carlisle Cullen, tends to a temptingly bleeding Bella (Kristen Stewart).
How does New Moon differ from Twilight?
You know, Twilight was an independent movie. It was shot very documentary style, the way Catherine [Hardwicke, Twilight’s director] shoots. It has a rawness to it, which I think is nice. New Moon’s a little bit crisper, it has a little bit more of a studio feel, but it still has that edge.
What’s it like playing the same character for three different directors?
That gets interesting. It’s exciting in one way because every director brings their own flavor to the movie. Each director’s personality is different so you kind of have to adapt to their way of working, but I’ve had really good experiences on all three. Sometimes it’s nice working with the same person over and over because there’s a familiarity, but I’m used to working with different directors. On Nurse Jackie we get different directors on each episode. I like it because they bring different ideas and make you think of things you might not have thought of before—pushing you to look at it from different angles. I think it’s harder on the directors to come in and try to make these movies as grand asTwilight was and take on the responsibility of getting the story accurate in terms of telling it from the book. Then they have a whole cast that they haven’t dealt with before, so I think it would be more daunting for the director.
You have so many new cast members coming into it, too …
Our group is such a great bunch that we’re all so welcoming. It’s like broadening your family base. With open arms, we were there waiting. They came out to dinners with us and just became part of the family.
Speaking of family, will you please give me one word to describe each of the Cullen clan actors starting with Kellan Lutz?
Ok. [Laughs] Goofy!
Pixie-ish, she’s like a fairy—she’s so light on her feet. Bubbly, that’s the word.
Mmm, Rob. Rob’s a good one. It’s hard to narrow down to one. So many words come to mind! Brooding, tortured … but he’s a good kid. What’s the word for a solidly good guy?
Solid. He is. He’s solid.
Finally, what your word of the day?