Photograph courtesy Patrick McMullan Co.
What has it been like working with different directors on the same character?
I like it. I think part of the fun of being an actor is getting to work with different directors and seeing their take on it, what they’re passionate about. They all have different ideas about your character. David [Slade] has a very interesting take on Esme. He’s really passionate about her, that she’s not just this nice, sweet gal; that she’s still a vampire and she’s still tearing up mountain lions in the middle of the night and drinking their blood. She’s still the wild beast in a way. It’s fun to think about that aspect of her character.
What did you do to prepare for Esme? How do you still work to develop her character?
When you have the material [of the books] there’s so much already on the page from Stephenie’s imagination. Most of it came from that; she’s got so much back-story. There’s so much on the Internet actually, which I found really interesting because they [the Twilight bloggers] write about your character, they write about all of our characters. I found it really fascinating—their take on it. Even on You Tube, they’ll have some kind of report on Esme or Carlisle and their relationship and it’s just been really interesting.
What is the one thing that has changed most since shooting Twilight?
Not much has changed. It’s been different up here in Vancouver—there have been a lot of fans. I’m a very private person, and I’ve never had that much interaction [with fans] on the street. So that’s been a whole different experience for me.
Is your career changing as a result?
I don’t know, I’ve always found that hard to determine. My career’s been a steady, interesting, weird, frustrating, fun journey at all different times. I’ve never really had that one thing where suddenly my whole life has changed. It’s been very steady.
You attended Juilliard. Did you ever foresee yourself being a part of such a cultural phenomenon?
No! I really wanted to do plays, since I was a little girl. I wanted to go to Juilliard and to learn, but then I really fell in love with doing film and television along the way. Even now, I can’t really fathom the scope of this movie. It only hit me in the last few weeks that it’s really a big deal. Two weeks ago it hit me how excited the fans are. It’s always very surprising. It continues to stun me.
Do you think you’ll make it back to the stage?
I hope so. I’ve been looking for a play for a while. The last play I did was at Williamstown; it was a play called Top Girls by Caryl Churchill. I was physically ill every night from being so nervous, but I’m looking to do [another play].
Are there any books you’re reading or music you’re listening to right now while shooting Eclipse?
I am just obsessed with Jay-Z, the new album; I can’t stop listening to it. I’m always dancing around my apartment to Jay-Z, and Nikki and I are just going crazy. I’m only reading newspapers right now because I’m so distracted. I can’t get my head inside a book. It’s been a little frustrating.
Have you seen New Moon yet?
I love it. I think Chris Weitz is an amazing director, and his sensibility—I wouldn’t even know how to articulate it—it’s just, he’s a very sensitive, interesting guy. The movie is so different from Twilight, the book is so different, so I feel he really captured it. Taylor is so amazing; he’s really grown into this character of Jacob. I was impressed.
What was your favorite scene to shoot?
I enjoyed shooting the birthday party scene. It was fun because it was dangerous.
Before you go, can you give me one word to describe each of your fellow Cullen actors starting with Nikki Reed [“Rosalie Hale”]?
Jackson Rathbone [“Jasper Hale”].
Kellan Lutz [“Emmett Cullen”].
Rob Pattinson [“Edward Cullen”].
Ashley Greene [“Alice Cullen”].
Peter Facinelli [“Dr. Carlisle Cullen”].
Kristen Stewart [“Bella Swan”].