Izumi Hasegawa: How is for all three of you to be back at Comic-Con this year?
Taylor Lautner: It’s good. It’s exciting. I think last year Comic-Con was the big eye-opener for us, so it’s awesome to be back and embrace all of our fans again, for everything they’ve done this past year.
Robert Pattinson: You can’t claim ignorance anymore.
IH: In the book, even though you leave Bella, you’re very much an integral part of her thoughts. I know that can be a challenge to represent onscreen. How did you and director Chris Weitz try to accomplish this?
RP: Well, it’s Edward’s voice in the book, so I guess it would probably be cheesy if it’s just my voice. I mean, [laughs] they’ve done these dummies, hallucinations, semi-visible apparitions…
Kristen Stewart: They’re subjective. It’s like how she remembers, not necessarily how he actually is…
RP: Yeah. [Laughs]
IH: Taylor, can you talk about Jacob’s transformation in this movie and your personal transformation that you had to go through to play the role?
TL: When I was filming Twilight, I knew that Jacob’s character changed a lot, so if I wanted to continue portraying him correctly, I had a lot of work ahead of myself. So as soon as I finished filming Twilight, I started hitting the gym and I got a personal trainer, started eating a lot of food — good food, of course: proteins, good carbs, cut the sugars — and [laughs] it was a lot of work, but it was definitely worth it.
IH: Kristen, in the Twilight series, Bella’s story arc really starts to develop in New Moon — the second book and film. Was it more difficult to prepare for this role this time around, or vice versa?
KS: I wouldn’t say that one was more difficult from the other. This is definitely a severely emotional movie. Everybody knows about it, that’s the one big difference. This movie is not about discovery or falling in love, which is an intense emotion, but this is like lows, and there are high points for her too. She’s like a manic depressive, basically, and to have a character that’s able to pull her out of that is a hefty feat, which I think he pulled off. But for me, there was no difference. It was just sort of a heavier…there was more to think about. It’s like a more mature part strictly because she’s older — she’s got more to deal with.
IH: Can you talk a little bit about how you guys changed since we saw you here last summer?
RP: I’d like to think that I haven’t changed that much. I mean, within myself, I don’t think I’ve changed. When I walk down the street, I look down a lot more often. There’s something wrong with my neck… [Laughs] No, it’s kind of extraordinary. I don’t think any of us expected any of this to happen, and especially it seems to keep building and building — the magnitude of this franchise — and Comic-Con really was the eye-opener and it’s just gotten bigger and bigger. It’s an interesting thing to deal with.
KS: True. [Laughs]
TL: I think another thing — it’s kind of obvious — that’s changed for me is my schedule. I’ve been really, really busy, doing publicity and working on other things. It’s crazy. None of us saw it coming, and the past year has definitely been a ride for all of us.
KS: I cut my hair off. [Laughs]
IH: What would say are the highs and the lows?
KS: This is definitely a high. There has only been a couple of images from the movie that have been released, and they’ve all been received really well so I’m really excited for people to see some of it. It’s a little overwhelming to have so many people here, but I guess that’s good.
TL: I think it’s awesome ’cause this is our opportunity to come out and thank our fans for everything they’ve done for us in Twilight, and we get to embrace them again. We’re so thankful for them, so it’s awesome that we get to see them all waiting for us again a year later with the same…actually, definitely more passion and dedication, so it’s really exciting. A little nervous, but it’s good.
RP: Does that leave me with the lows? [Laughs] I think it’s still so young to me anyway that I can’t really claim anything to be a low. I pretty much live an almost totally identical life, apart from being recognized, so it’s not exactly the worst thing in the world.
IH: With all the attention and all the paparazzi following you, how do you manage to get anything normal done in your everyday life?
RP: I never do anything normal anyway. [Laughs] I just get other people to do it. [Laughs]
IH: How does this massive embracing of Team Edward and Team Jacob play into your performances?
TL: I think everything is kind of crazy about this franchise, and that’s why we love it so much and that’s why the fans do as well. But yeah, there’s definitely a lot of fans that separate onto separate teams. Sometimes it gets me a little nervous because I’m trying to live up to the fans’ expectations and trying to represent Team Jacob in the right way. I don’t want to disappoint them, so that’s why I work so hard to not only mentally and emotionally but physically change as well for this role, because this guy has got some pretty good competition, so I had a lot of hard work.
IH: How did you guys address that fact that Robert is not in this film as much as Twilight, which might be disappointing to fans?
KS: He’s in it…a lot.
RP: They won’t be disappointed either. [Laughs] I just watched the clip, which they’re going to play later, and I’m like, Do people forget immediately, and as soon as he comes back, they’re like, “Why is he wasting my time?”
KS: If he doesn’t go, you can’t miss him, and that’s what this movie is about. It’s like an empty, completely dark place where Edward is absent.
TL: But if he was absent, they would miss him very dearly.
RP: He’s just humble. [Laughs]
IH: Rob, the experience of working with a new director and the vibe on set, how has it been this time around on what’s a whole new project?
RP: It wasn’t just the director that made this one different. It was so different as well because we knew what kind of animal we were dealing with more, and I was much more of a supporting role in this one. So I started three weeks after they started shooting and I a lot of my first scenes were the apparition scenes, which involve me doing one word a week [laughs], so it was actually one of the most relaxing jobs I’ve ever done. Chris is a peaceful presence and I got on well with him. I had a pretty much stress-free job for three months. It was great for me. All the pressure was on Taylor. [Laughs]
IH: Taylor, when you see that trailer for the first time and watch yourself morph, what goes through your mind? You turn into a fan, I’m sure.
TL: I thought they did a pretty good job with the wolf transformation. I’m excited that there are werewolves involved now, because the werewolves definitely step up the action in the movie. There’s double the action in this movie than there was before, and then there’s also a different dynamic. Now it’s not just this romance between a human girl and a vampire, but it’s the beginning of a love triangle, so it’s exciting.
IH: How much of a final film have you guys have seen, and what was your gut reaction and feelings when you saw what you’ve seen?
KS: I think we’ve only seen the clips that are going to be shown today, and we saw them this morning.
TL: Yeah, we’ve seen just about the same as the fans have seen.
IH: Are you anxious to see the final movie?
KS: I think it’s a different kind of anxious. [Laughs] But yeah, definitely.
RP: I’m hoping we please them. It looks aesthetically so different, and the script was really different and it’s a completely different mood…
KS: The tone and pacing of it is different…
RP: So yeah, I’m really interested to see how it works out.
IH: In the New Moon movie, did each of you have a favorite scene when you were shooting — a scene that would stand out in your mind as your favorite one to shoot, and why?
KS: Well, your favorite scene didn’t turn out to be your favorite.
TL: Oh, right. Originally, I have a lot of favorite scenes, so this is a really difficult question for me. I liked a lot of the cool action scenes I get to do. I had a lot of fun with those…
KS: He can do backflips and things like that…
TL: [Laughs] Anyway, my original favorite scene was this really small scene, but I just thought it was kind of cute…
KS: What was it?
TL: It was the scene where I walk her up to her door and say goodbye to her, and I’m going off to fight in the woods and she’s worried — she’s scared for me. I thought it was kind of cute [laughs]. But I also like the breakup scene.
KS: Yeah, that’s my favorite scene. Well we call it a breakup scene because essentially, he basically tells me they can’t be friends anymore and he’s transforming, and if you ever said anything, if you ever, ever treated me like that, you’d kill me. [Laughs]
TL: It was also painful to shoot because it was 35 degrees and we were being poured rain on — by rain-tower rain, which is straight from the springs — so it was ice cold. It was bad, and I wasn’t really wearing much.
RP: I think my breakup scene was my favorite scene. Hopefully it’ll come off as having quite a few more levels than the relationship in Twilight. It was interesting. It was like a five-page-long dialogue scene. That didn’t happen at all in the first one, and it’s quite an interesting little moment. It completely bypasses all the supernatural elements of the story as well, which I found quite interesting.
IH: Why do you think people embrace these stories now — the themes, the characters, the subject, the darkness, the romance…?
KS: I don’t know. That’s the most common question, and we get that all the time.
TL: I think a lot of the characters are relatable and there are so many different ones, and people can relate to different characters and their experiences.
KS: It’s just like anything else, like any movie. You could say that about anything — you relate to the characters. I always say it’s because it’s first-person narrative and you’re so very much inside of her head that it’s closer to home. You feel like it’s not happening to someone else; you feel like it’s sort of happening to you.
IH: Can you talk about why teenagers love vampires?
RP: I think we’re the worst people to ask about it. The problem is that when I looked at it, I never looked at it as a vampire story, right from the beginning. When I try to play it, I try to eliminate the vampire element as much as I can and just see it as a tool to make their relationship a little more fraught. Right after the audition, I found myself bizarrely invested in the story, and I hadn’t even read the books at that point. I’ve gotten more and more attached to it. I’ve been talking about the script for Eclipse to people over the last few weeks, and I find myself getting very argumentative, which I’m not usually. They definitely have some kind of power.
IH: Which of the novels resonates the most for you as a reader or as an actor, and which are you most enthused about working in?
TL: My favorite book was actually Eclipse. I’m pretty excited that it’s got action. The action levels continue to build in this series, so I think I enjoy that, but also the fact that Twilight sets up the romance between Bella and Edward, and then Bella and Jacob’s friendship grows in New Moon. But in Eclipse, it’s actually the three of them physically together and we have to team up and make this decision to try and be friends to protect her. I think that is like the ultimate high point of the series, where it’s the love triangle in Eclipse, so I’m excited to get going.
KS: I liked New Moon in terms of how far I can push myself within the series. I feel like after New Moon, it’s sort of smooth sailing for her. She’s very solid and content and happy, but in the second one, she’s nothing — literally just lost. I got to find her again.
RP: I think New Moon was my favorite book as well, mainly because I like the juxtaposition… It’s such a hyped character, Edward, and there are so many people looking at him like a romantic hero. In New Moon, the way that I read it, anyway, he’s just so humbled. It’s a character who’s looking at Bella and thinking that he loves something too much but he can’t be around. He deliberately starts breaking up their relationship, which I think is a very relatable thing and I think is very painful. The fight sequence at the end — Bella ends up saving Edward as she does in every single one of the books, so it’s really funny how everyone looks at Edward as the hero, and he’s been continuously saved by the damsel in distress. I think he really realizes that in New Moon. Eclipse is really him trying to catch up with Jacob because he’s so out of the loop and he can’t speak in superlatives anymore. He’s accepted being part of the world and he needs to catch up to Jacob. So I always liked New Moon.
IH: Will each of you tell me the one Twilight question that you never want to answer again?
RP: “What’s it like kissing Taylor Lautner?”
TL: To growl. Actually, I get asked that more by fans. They ask me to growl for them and I really don’t enjoy doing that. [Laughs] So that’s for the fans. Please don’t ask me to growl. Just wait for the movie.
KS: You can ask me anything you want.
IH: Kristen and Robert, you have great chemistry on film romantically. Is there any chemistry off-camera?
KS: We talked about not going to personal questions, so why don’t we ask the next one?
IH: Did you read Midnight Sun, the book that tells the story through Edward’s perspective?
RP: Yes. That was more in relation to Twilight. It was more literally what the entire storyline was in Twilight, just from Edward’s perspective. I haven’t really looked too much at that for New Moon because, for whatever reason, I could connect a lot more to New Moon than I could to Twilight, but I could connect to sun in the morning — twilight is opposite. I don’t think I’ve really used that much. I guess it’s kind of gotten in.
Summit Entertainment's 'New Moon' is in theaters on November 20, 2009.