In another Twilight Examiner exclusive, I had the pleasure of speaking with Edi Gathegi, who plays Laurent in the upcoming The Twilight Saga: New Moon! In this interview, Edi talks about his experience on the set of New Moon, watching New Moon with Stephenie Meyer, and his take on the Billy Burke/Robert Pattinson affair!
Are you excited for everyone to finally see New Moon?
Edi: I am! I’m very, very excited. I think it’s gonna be pretty awesome. I talked to Taylor the other day, and he’s actualy seeing the final cut right now as we speak. (Oct. 30th)
Have you seen that yet?
Edi: I saw it a month and a half ago, and now it’s the final cut. I didn’t see the final, final cut.
I spoke to Billy Burke a few days ago, and he said that the film came out beautifully.
Edi: Billy Burke is one of my favorite actors from that movie.
Billy also let me in on the secret of him and Rob having an affair going on. It has been amazing they’ve been able to keep it a secret.
Edi: [laughs] I knew about it! Yeah, I saw Rob trying to hypnotize Billy with his eyes. [laughs]
Had you ever heard of the series before auditioning?
Edi: No, I hadn’t. Before my audition, I didn’t know that the books existed. As a matter of fact, I was so thrown off by the material that I didn’t even really want to go to my audition. It was supernatural, so I really didn’t have any interest in that. But when I got the part and read the books, I was so glad that I went into my audition and did a good job. Because it’s more than just a supernatural story. It’s a romance, and it’s beautifully done, too.
Have you become a devoted fan of the books after getting the part?
Edi: I have, I have.
Which is your favorite book from the series?
Edi: I say this a lot. I love Twilight, because it’s the first book we read that hooks us into the series. It’s the reason why we fall in love with the entire Saga. It introduces the characters so well, and then you start your journey. So..Twilight. For my character specifically, I like New Moon.
Stephenie Meyer actually said you scared her in New Moon.
Edi: Yeah. Well it was sort of a joke. I told her that my goal would be to scare every 14-year old girl in the world….she laughed at me. She was like “Edi, I’m sorry to break it to you, but you’re so sweet and we know you and we love you. You have a baby face, so I don’t think your going to scare anybody.” I think she was speaking mainly from a place of knowing me personally. When she saw the movie, she said, “Edi, I have to tell you, you got me. You were creepy, so congratulations, I think you’ve got skill”.
Well, I can tell you personally from the trailer, you’ve definitely nailed the creepy look.
Edi: Yeah. I love the new look that they gave Laurent. The instant I wore the super-red contacts and had my skin paled out, I just sort of instantly transformed.
Were you shocked when you first saw yourself in full hair and makeup?
Edi: Yeah. For Twilight, yeah I was. It was such a huge transformation. I liked it because if I buy myself as a different person, it’s easy for me to commit to whatever the circumstances are. It really helps with my psychological transformation. A lot of time I like trying to find out what the character looks like, how they walk, what they sound like. And then go to the emotion after that.
What is your favorite memory from the set?
Edi: Oh, there’s so many great memories. Um, my favorite memory…..Working on the movie was priceless. It was one of the greatest experiences of my career. I would have to say just the general cast camaraderie. How everyone just gelled together, and really appreciated each other, and I am really grateful to be a part of the magic. So I would say most memorable moment was having dinners with the other cast members.
You had no problem seeing Kristen as your prey? What did you do to get into that mindset of the character?
Edi: Oh yeah. Zero. I mean, when Chris yells “action”, Edi’s gone and Laurent’s there. What Laurent wants to do, is he wants to eat Bella, so that’s what I wanted to do. [laughs] The first thing that I thought to myself is, “There’s nothing in this world that I cannot do. I’m powerful, and I’m hungry right now. What I want to eat is standing right in front of me.” [laughs]
What drew you to Laurent’s role?
Edi: I love playing bad guys. They are so fun, and there’s something great about being able to be bad. Because I’m not that way at all. So when I get to play those characters I get to have fun and do what can’t be done. So I was going for that aspect of it, and I’ve never understood vampires. I get them to some level, I just didn’t understand them. But I’ve learned that vampires are sort of the best version of a superhero. Not an actual hero, but another version of these characters that we all wish we could be. To have super strength, super speed and all of that. I learned that I get to play that all together, and that’s awesome. It was really cool to get to play a vampire.
You worked out with Taylor a bit when he was bulking up for New Moon. Did you two form a bond?
Edi: Oh yeah. He’s one of, if not the sweetest kid that I know and I’m just so impressed by him. I’m a hard worker, and I take my craft very seriously. At such a young age, he does the same thing and I’m impressed by that. I don’t think that I had that kind of work ethic at his age; I definitely know I did not. I had to learn it, and he’s got it. I guess it’s from all of the years of martial arts and whatnot. But yeah, we developed a bond. I’m proud to call him a friend of mine. I’m very excited to see his career just open up. Hopefully we stay friends for a long time.
Do you know that there are thousand of theaters that are already sold out for opening night?
Edi: Is that true? Wow.
What has been your favorite role so far?
Edi: I’d say Cheese in Gone Baby Gone. It was really fun. Ben Affleck really impressed me.
Do you have any projects in the works?
Edi: I don’t have anything that I’m attached to right now.
Will you be looking to play another mythical creature in the future?
Edi: Probably. I hope it’s a superhero. [laughs] It’s just fun. I want to play a gun-wielding, building-jumping, action dude. That would be fun.
On another note, how was it working on the set of House?
Edi: All in all, all things considered, I think that was my favorite job experience. Going to work every single day for three months was great. Bonding with the other four new interns, or hopefuls for the position, Olivia Wilde, Peter Jacobson, Anne Dudek, and Kal Penn. We all just clicked, the five of us. And it was interesting they didn’t do a mix and match to actually put 5 people that had chemistry together, they just kind of trusted that we’d all get along, and we did. It was a genius combination, and we’re all friends to this day. It was a lot of fun, I love that show.
Any personal message to your fans?
Edi: To those of you, few and far between out there. [laughs] Keep supporting me; I really, really appreciate it. I’ll continue to try to put out good work and do my best with every opportunity that I get for you guys to enjoy.
You can follow Edi on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/iamedigathegi, and of course watch him on the big screen when New Moon opens in theaters everywhere on November 20th!