|Q: How difficult was it for you, as your characters, to work with Kristen as a vampire, as opposed to working with her as a human being|
Elizabeth Reaser: I mean, I think it was a lot of fun. There’s a scene where she almost kills Taylor. And I believed in the moment that she was strong enough. She really was so committed, whether she was a vampire, vampire Bella, which is completely different, and she was scary, she was a real force.
Peter Facinelli: It’s like a whole different person. It was kinda cool. She’s grown to be so mature, and confident and strong. Really, it was like dealing with a different person altogether. Like, Bella is usually weak and frail. Not weak. But frail as far, you know, a vampire looking at her, and we always felt the need to protect her, and I didn’t feel the need to do that. I felt like this was a woman who could hold her own.
Elizabeth: She could kill us.
Q: But then was it weird for you? Because one day she would be vampire Bella, and then the next day she’d be back to being human Bella. Because you were filming both films simultaneously? Was that odd?
Nikki Reed: Yeah, and not just human Bella; like human Bella falling…
Elizabeth: apart? (everyone laughs)
Q: And then the next day she was beautiful vampire Bella…
Nikki: That was bizarre.
Elizabeth: Yeah it was weird to see her disfigured like that because it looked so real. It came out great.
Q: And to flip it, is there something that Elizabeth and Peter learned from the younger cast members?
Nikki: I taught her (Elizabeth) how to cook.
Elizabeth: That’s true! I never cooked before in my life, and now I actually make rice and some vegetables.
Nikki: She cooked meals for me.
(Elizabeth shakes her head)
Nikki: You did!
Elizabeth: I was not at the level that you were at, but just even that I would go to the store and buy vegetables and actually bring them home and cook them. None of that ever happened until I met Nikki Reed. But truthfully though, in terms of the work I feel like I was stealing from everyone. I mean, I think Nikki has a commitment when she’s in a scene, and she brings such an energy into the scene, it is unlike anyone else onscreen. And it’s something that is so specific to her. What she did with Rosalie and her creativity, and the way she thinks about the scene and her character, she puts a lot of work into it. And as far as… I’m thinking of the people sitting here, with Peter I’m always listening to the way he talks about these characters, and sort of like stealing his theories, because, again, he’s someone who I really admire, and being in a scene with him, you really can’t half-ass this, you really have to show up and you do the best job that you can, especially because, like Nikki said, we are a team. And you cannot let your team down.
Q: So to take it one step further, have you learned anything from your character that surprised you?
Peter: I always say I put a little bit of myself in every character, but I also take a little bit from the character and I walk away with it after I play it. With Carlisle, I think he taught me a lot of patience.
Elizabeth: That is his superpower.
You know the moments the fans get the promo head shots were like “Oh!” Is there a certain movie that made you think “Wow, I look hot!”?
Nikki: I had some real moments with Peter about this. I was like, “Just be honest”.
Peter: I think you looked good in Eclipse.
Nikki: You did?
Peter: I did.
Elizabeth: Yeah, I think that was my favorite wig.
That was the best, when you got to dye. That looked great.
Nikki: I wanted to go with that one and someone else came in and said, “No.” I was a little disappointed, but you always put your faith into the other creative directors there and you believe that they are going to do what’s best. It is really bizarre… I don’t know about you guys (to Peter and Elizabeth) but my process as an actor is that I try not to obsess over what I’m going to look like, I mean I do(laughs) but it’s not the focal point, you know? That was such a priority I feel like for a lot of us in these movies, it was like “What do we look like?” It’s not always what we should look like or what we think we can look like.
Elizabeth: My approach was to always try to simply it. Less of everything – less hair, less make-up, less lashes, less artifice as much as possible. But it was tricky because I had a wig, then I had to dyed hair, then I had brown hair, then I had really dark hair, then I had some highlights…I still don’t know what my hair was supposed to be. I would love to hear what Stephenie Meyer thinks about that. But that’s the weird thing about movies, you know? Sometimes it just gets out of control. There’s so many people!
Nikki: So many people!
Elizabeth: And the next thing you know…you got a thing on your head.
Peter: It’s not your job as an actor… (makes weird hand gestures around his head). There’s a hair person – that is their job (everyone laughs). My job is to bring the character to life; their job is to watch out for your hair. So you’re in constant battles with that person, because you’re, like, “I wanna look good”. They’re trying to make you look a certain way, and I’m like… at a certain point you have to be like, “Ok, that’s their job and you have to let them do their job”. There were times when I looked in the mirror and I looked like a cross between a ‘Ken doll’ and Ronald McDonald.
Nikki: Is that because of what I said that time?
Peter: You might’ve put that in my mind.
Nikki: But you know what? I think it’s fair to say that we switched department heads for hair and make-up for every single film. Which is a really hard thing to do to actors because every time we came in we had a new person with a new vision.
Peter: A new person we had to trust.
Elizabeth: And they had a lot of challenges.