The “Twilight” phenomenon has become so huge in pop culture that many people who haven’t read the books (which were written by Stephenie Meyer) already know what’s going to happen in the movies that are based on the books. So it’s not giving away any spoilers to say that “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1” is about vampire Edward Cullen (played by Robert Pattinson) marrying his human sweetheart Bella Swan (played by Kristen Stewart) after she graduates from high school and how their unborn baby causes major conflict.
While on their honeymoon, Bella gets pregnant. Her pregnancy is life-threatening since the unborn baby is physically destroying Bella, and because the birth of the baby could reignite a war between the vampires and werewolves in Bella’s hometown of Forks, Washington. Edward and members of his family have mixed feelings about whether or not Bella should continue with the pregnancy (which she keeps a secret from her own family), but she is determined to keep the baby. Some members of the family are on Edward’s side, while others are on Bella’s side. Meanwhile, werewolf Jacob Black (played by Taylor Lautner) is still in love with Bella, and he faces a decision in which he has to choose between loyalty to her and loyalty to his Wolf Pack family.
The “Breaking Dawn” book has so much to tell in the story that movie version of the book had to be split into two parts, but both parts of the story were filmed back-to-back. (“The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 2” will be released in cinemas in November 2012.) Here are interviews that the “Breaking Dawn” cast members did while filming the movie. Giving their insights on the story are Pattinson, Stewart, Lautner and those who play members of the Cullen vampire family: patriarch Carlisle Cullen (played by Peter Facinelli); matriarch Esme Cullen (played by Elisabeth Reaser); Alice Cullen (played Ashley Greene); Jasper Hale (played by Jackson Rathbone); Rosalie Hale (played by Nikki Reed); and Emmett Cullen (played by Kellan Lutz).
Interview with Robert Pattinson
Can you describe Edward and Bella’s honeymoon and what it was like to film it?
Pattinson: Bella and Edward take their honeymoon on a beautiful island in Brazil, which actually wasn’t an island, but it was in a very beautiful place. It starts off quite nice, and then it just gets progressively worse. [He laughs.] Their honeymoon gets cut quite short when Bella finds out she’s pregnant.
Brazil is kind of chaotic. The first couple of days when we got there, it was amazing. We were in the most amazing environment. And then almost everything that could go wrong went wrong. We were in hurricane-force winds and monsoon rains — [he says sarcastically] which is great when you’re supposed to be having an ideal honeymoon.
How does the relationship between Edward and Jacob change in “Breaking Dawn — Part 1”?
Pattinson: Edward can’t have a totally whole friendship with him, because Jacob doesn’t want one, really. And Edward doesn’t really want one with him either. But they’re kind of forced into almost living together.
And eventually, they kind of bond because they both really want the same thing for Bella. They both just want her to be OK. And they both think she’s being kind of crazy in making the decisions that she’s making. And Jacob is one of the people who wants to push Bella in the other direction as much as Edward does. So they kind of bond over that.
What can you say about the wedding scene in “Breaking Dawn — Part 1”?
Pattinson: The wedding scene is kind of a relatively momentous moment for the [“Twilight”] series. It’s been building up and building up. I think Edward’s proposed to her about 50 times by now. At least he doesn’t have to propose anymore! [He laughs.]
What do you think about Edward’s reaction to Bella getting pregnant?
Pattinson: When he creates this creature inside Bella, it’s very difficult to love something when you don’t know what it is. When he grows to love it, the love his life starts being killed by it almost immediately and rapidly declines. And so he has to make a decision, really, between Bella and the baby. And it’s always going to be an almost impossible decision to make.
Interview with Kristen Stewart
Bella is very nervous about her wedding and honeymoon. Can you explain what is going through her mind?
Stewart: Bella is absolutely certain that she wants to spend forever with Edward, but there’s just something about marriage that she’s apprehensive about. It comes from the way she was brought up. There are a few beats that happen before the wedding occurs that send her into this anxiety that she brings into the ceremony when she first starts walking down the aisle. There are a few looks from Edward that are kind of unclear to her.
Can you talk about the different reactions that Bella and Edward have to Bella being pregnant?
Stewart: Bella obviously wants to have the baby. And Edward is just terrified of it and thinks it’s going to destroy her, and he thinks it’s just ridiculous that she thinks she’s strong enough to have a vampire baby, because he thinks it’s just Satan’s spawn, because that’s how he feels about himself … He thinks that she’s ridiculous for wanting to keep the baby, but he doesn’t want her to die. He can’t let go.
What can you say about Bella’s wedding dress?
Stewart: Considering how much pressure and weight has been put on this dress, it was really scary, right up until it fit perfectly. I loved the whole concept. It’s beautiful. I love it. But once I see it on my body …
Literally, the day we did a close-up before the dress was ready, when it was just me and Charlie before I walk out, it didn’t fit me. And I was like, “Oh man, this is just going to be one of those things that slips away from you.” You just want to die afterwards. But I love it. I think it’s beautiful.
How will people view Bella and Edward’s relationship in “Breaking Dawn — Part 1”?
Stewart: I think you’re never going to question if Bella and Edward are going to stay together. And it’s never been that way. For me, that feels like the point that really slams people.
What was it like being “pregnant” for this movie?
Stewart: Pregnancy was rough. It was hard, only because once you’re in the [pregnancy suit], it’s hard to get out of it. It’s not as heavy as I thought it would be. Basically, what I had to do most of the time was just wear a belly.
Interview with Taylor Lautner
How does Jacob change in “Breaking Dawn — Part 1”?
Lautner: Toward the beginning of the movie, he’s the same Jacob he always has been: He’s jealous, he’s still into Bella, and he’s still hot-headed. Throughout the movie, he matures a ton.
What is the turning point for Jacob in “Breaking Dawn — Part 1”?
Lautner: So Bella comes back from her honeymoon, and Jacob comes over to the house to say hello. He actually doesn’t know that she’s going to be at the house. He’s excited to find out that she’s come back, but then she breaks the news that she’s pregnant. And that was quite shocker for Jacob. And once again, he loses it.
What do you think about the changes Jacob goes through in “Breaking Dawn — Part 1”?
Lautner: It was awesome for me as actor to try and bring alive the old side of Jacob and now the new mature side. But as an audience, and even for me, to watch Jacob transform like this, it’s cool but it’s weird. Jacob starts out the movie as this young teenager, liking this girl that he can’t get. Throughout the whole movie, he splits with his pack, he realizes that this is not supposed to happen, and he has to become a man, and do the right thing.
What will be the most exciting thing that audiences and “Twilight” fans will see in “Breaking Dawn — Part 1”?
Lautner: I think the most exciting thing that they can expect from “Breaking Dawn” is seeing all of the characters in a different light. All of the characters change so much from the beginning of the movie ‘til the end. And I think that’s going to be really exciting to see.
For people who don’t know the “Twilight” books, why is Bella’s baby such a problem for the wolves?
Lautner: Bella having this baby … is just very complicated. It breaks the treaty. And it definitely causes a lot of stir among the pack. And eventually, it tears the pack apart. Jacob has always been a part of the pack, and he’s led by Sam. And when the split of the pack happens, Jacob is forced to grow up and become his own man and his own wolf. That forces him a lot to mature right there. And that’s when he decides to get friendly with the Cullens and help them out.
What was it like have Stepheinie Meyer (author of the “Twilight” book series) on the movie set?
Lautner: Stephenie is great. I can’t thank her enough. She created these characters. Having her on set for these movies has been amazing, because whenever you need anything, have any questions — and let’s face it: this is probably the most confusing, complicated [“Twilight”] movie yet — it’s been awesome to be able to go up to her at any given moment and ask her anything. Of course, she has all the answers. She’s awesome. We have a lot of fun. She’s actually a little prankster. She’s actually quite funny. So I got a lot of fun with her, and I think everybody’s grown pretty close to her.
Interview with Ashley Greene
What can you say about Alice Cullen’s involvement in Bella and Edward’s wedding?
Greene: Alice has planned a pretty over-the-top, beautiful decadent wedding. It’s kind of along the lines of “A Midsummer’s Night Dream.” She has everything planned out to a T, down to what everyone’s going to wear and what Bella is going to wear on her honeymoon. She kind of has everything taken care of.
How would you describe the fashion of the bridal party?
Greene: Alice is from the 1920s, so I kind of thought that would be really fun to have that inspire her looks. So Michael [Wilkinson], who’s the head of wardrobe, had a seamstress come in, and we created this 1920-ish dress and coordinated the hair and makeup with it. And then the rest of the outfits are not so 1920s-inspired, but they all work well together, but they’re all very specific and unique to each character.
Can you talk about what happens after the wedding?
Greene: The wedding goes pretty wonderfully. They leave for their honeymoon. And because Alice can see the future, she kind of sees that something isn’t right. Something kind of bad is going to happen, so she calls to talk to Edward or talk to Bella, and finds out in fact that [Bella] is pregnant with a half-vampire child, which I think is very confusing to all of us, because we didn’t even know it was possible. So Bella and Edward are kind of forced to cut their honeymoon short, and they have to rush home, and we have to figure out to do and what this half-baby, half-vampire wants — or if it’s going to be completely evil or this wonderful being. It kind of turns from a fairy tale to chaos.
For people who haven’t read the book “Breaking Dawn,” why does the story go from a fairy tale to chaos?
Greene: In [“Eclipse”], we [the vampires and werewolves] kind of came and formed this alliance. Everything was civil, and then this baby comes along and disrupts everything once again, because Bella wants to keep this child. We want to keep her alive and want to enable Bella and Edward to have their child. The Wolf Pack sees it as a huge threat because it’s going to be a vampire baby, and it’s unpredictable, and they think it’s going to be a huge threat to the treaty because it’s not going to be able to follow it because it’s not going to know any better.
Can you describe “Breaking Dawn” director Bill Condon?
Greene: Working with Bill has been so great. I can honestly say he is one of the most patient, kind, really talented directors. And he’s super-collaborative. And I think he’s so talented as a director. And it’s just been really humbling and fun to be able to work with him. I can say, hands down, that I would love to do another film with him. Ten other films with him!
Interview with Jackson Rathbone
Why does Bella and Edward’s bay change the dynamics between the Wolf Pack and the Cullens?
Rathbone: In “Breaking Dawn – Part 1,” we really show the alliance between the Wolf Pack and the Cullens, because the Cullens are trying to keep this baby alive, whether they feel positive about it or not. And the Wolf Pack is split up over whether they should take out the Cullens, including the baby, because it’s a breach of contract for a vampire to impregnate a human or to even change a human [into a vampire].
It becomes this whole debacle, and they have to get along and fight side-by-side and fight against each other. It’s a really interesting piece. I’m really excited about getting into the more visceral elements of the filming process — having to fight off the wolves, I think is going to be pretty fun.
Can you talk about the sacrifices that the Cullens make to protect Bella and Edward’s baby?
Rathbone: The Cullens go through a long period where the wolves have sanctioned them off in their own home. The Cullens aren’t able to go out and feed, which makes them being around Bella even more painful. So they’re trying to look out for her, but all they’re thinking of is getting their next meal.
They’re starving to death. Their power and their strength are diminishing, and the wolves are out there being stronger. Every day that goes by, the Cullens are getting weaker. It’s a tough spot for the Cullens to be in.
How would you describe “Breaking Dawn” director Bill Condon?
Rathbone: The guy has got a track list that is pretty phenomenal. So to have him joining our ever-growing directors of the “Twilight” franchise is a great way to put a close on the series. It’s been a privilege and honor to work with Bill. He’s a wonderful guy. He’s sweet, relaxed. And that energy really permeates the set.
What do you think about Stephenie Meyer, the author of the “Twilight” series, being on the “Breaking Dawn” movie set?
Rathbone: It’s been great having Stephenie on set every day. She’s really stepped up here on “Breaking Dawn” Parts 1 and 2 as a producer. We’ve seen her beautiful face on set everywhere. Everywhere we go, she goes. I think it’s wonderful, because it’s hard to take a story that’s in a book and portray it accurately in a film. To have the author there really helps guide the process — not only the actors, but I’m sure the directors and producers as well.
Interview with Nikki Reed
How would you describe Rosalie Hale in “Breaking Dawn – Part 1”?
Reed: Bella and Edward get married. And Bella gets pregnant. Oh boy! And I sort of step in and take care of the situation. I guess I actually do become Bella’s caretaker because it’s a really excruciatingly painful pregnancy, because this thing inside of her is growing rapidly, and no one knows what it is. There’s that element of suspense.
Rosalie didn’t like Bella in the other “Twilight” movies, but in “Breaking Dawn,” she becomes Bella’s ally to keep the baby. Can you talk about that change in the relationship between Bella and Rosalie?
Reed: I truly believe that Rosalie’s priority is this baby. So yes, she’s definitely developed a relationship and a bond with Bella. And Bella has a special place in her mind, because she’s like the incubator for this magical thing. But her priority is this baby, so I think Rosalie is doing anything and everything she possibly can to make sure that Bella stays alive. In that sense, [Rosalie] and Bella are on the same wavelength. It’s all Bell wants too: for this baby to survive. [Bella] is willing to kill herself as well for it.
How is it working with “Breaking Dawn” director Bill Condon?
Reed: He has the answer to every question. He’s more prepared than anyone I ever worked with. The attitude that he has and the energy that he exudes, it drives our set.
And how would you describe the love triangle between Edward, Bella and Jacob in “Breaking Dawn?”
Reed: Jacob obviously cares for Bella, so he’s not going to let anything happen to Bella. And at this point in time, I think he is very angry and resentful of the whole pregnancy. I think he’s even more angry at Edward, actually. He’s not going to let anyone harm Bella. He ends up sort of guarding our home.
Interview with Kellan Lutz
Weddings are mostly planned by women, so to what extent is Emmett Cullen involved in Edward and Bella’s wedding preparations?
Lutz: Emmett loves it. Alice is the one who’s super-excited because she loves throwing parties. Emmett, my character, dos all the heavy lifting. And he’s just really, really excited for Bella to become one of the vampires. Obviously, a wedding is a fun place. [Emmett] enjoys them.
Bella’s pregnancy is the source of conflict in “Breaking Dawn — Part 1.” Can you describe the Cullen family’s reaction to the pregnancy?
Lutz: They find out that she is pregnant, which we [vampires] didn’t know we could do that. So that’s kind of a big problem. And the thing in side of her is growing increasingly larger and faster. And we are really unsure of what it is because we’ve never heard of it. So it causes a lot of red flags to come up.
What do you think about Stephenie Meyer, the author of the “Twilight” series, being on the “Breaking Dawn” movie set?
Lutz: I really enjoy when someone creates something and still loves it and still wants to be a part of it. I don’t feel like it’s something she has to do, like she has to be here. She wants to be here. That really shows an artist’s or a creator’s passion for their project. So it’s really nice to have her here.
What is it like to work with “Breaking Dawn” director Bill Condon?
Lutz: He’s just the nicest guy. I’m very fortunate to work with him. As I’ve been working with all these directors — because I’d like to direct one day — I kind of watch what they do. Bill is very talented. He’s always happy. He always knows what he wants. He’s very personable. He can work with the actors. And I think that’s really important, especially in a long movie like this with so many actors. He’s thought everything out.
Interview with Elizabeth Reaser
Where does “Breaking Dawn – Part 1” begin?
Reaser: “Breaking Dawn – Part 1” begins with an invitation to a wedding. At this point, Edward and Bella have gotten engaged. And I’m planning a wedding with Alice, which I’m very excited about. And we’ve had many ideas and meetings about it for years now. We’re super-excited. It’s a magical, amazing event. It’s really the first time that I’ve gotten to be part of a huge wedding. So I’m very excited.
They consummate the marriage, and she gets pregnant. Bella Cullen gets pregnant, which we didn’t even think was possible. I had never heard of a vampire getting a human pregnant. It’s just unheard-of. And basically, the fetus, the baby is growing at an extraordinarily fast rate. And we have to get her back to Forks to deal with this.
How does Esme Cullen react to Bella’s pregnancy?
Reaser: I’m very excited to be a grandmother. I’m very hopeful about this baby and this whole situation, whereas there are certain people in our family who are not supportive of this baby and Bella’s choice to keep the baby, when really, I believe it’s her choice. That’s why I’m supportive of her, regardless of the fact that I’m really excited to have a grandchild.
The relationship that we have with the wolves is already a very strained relationship. Not for me, personally. I love them. I think they’re all great. But it’s just an age-old strained relationship. Now, everything changes when Bella gets pregnant.
And basically, Jacob breaks off with his pack, and ends these lifelong relationships. It’s a hugely courageous and honorable and humbling thing that he does. It’s really amazing. So we’ve banded together. And he’s very protective of Bella, obviously. He always was.
So he’s sort of living at her house a lot. It’s fun for me because I get to feed someone, which I love because no one in my family will eat food. And so it’s been a real pleasure having him around.
A lot of “Twilight” fans are anticipating what Bella’s childbirth scene is going to be like in the movie. What can you say about it?
Reaser: The birth is terrifying. And I think we all knew it was going to be really scary. I’ve been very hopeful about this situation from the beginning, but it’s terrifying. And we don’t know, after the baby is born, if Bella is going to live or die.
Interview with Peter Facinelli
As a doctor, how does Carlisle Cullen view Bella’s pregnancy?
Facinelli: Bella gets pregnant. We have no idea what this creature is or what’s inside of her. None of the machinery I have as a doctor can actually read inside the embryonic sac. So this could be some kind of demon child. This could be a vampire. It could be human. We have no idea.
So we’re flying blind. And it becomes a tug of war between Edward and Bella. Bella wants to keep the baby. Edward wants to get rid of this because he doesn’t know what it is and it could potentially kill her.
Carlisle is a doctor, and he wants what’s best for his patient. So if there is harm coming toward Bella with this baby, then my character wants to dispose of it and get rid of this child. But he has no control over that.
A lot of people predicted that “Breaking Dawn” would have to be split into two movies. What did you think when you first read the “Breaking Dawn” screenplay?
Facinelli: When I got the scripts to these movies, there were 250 pages. It was heavy! And I looked at it and I was like, “Whoa, this is pretty daunting to think that we’re going to be shooting all this.” And I sat down with Bill [Condon], and we had a discussion about Carlisle, Carlisle’s journey and where he is in this movie.
I said, “Bill, you have a huge road ahead of you. Good luck because it’s not going to be easy. It will be very satisfying, but we’ll be in the trenches in there with you.”
And I have to give him credit. He’s our general. He’s our commander in our battle to getting this movie done. It’s a beast to slay, and he’s there every day, gung ho, 6 o’clock every morning until we wrap.
For more info: “Breaking Dawn” movie website
RELATED LINKS ON lodeplus.com:
“Twilight” Comic-Con panel
“Twilight” Tokyo press conference
“The Twilight Saga: New Moon” Comic-Con panel
“The Twilight Saga: New Moon” Comic-Con press conference
“The Twilight Saga: New Moon” Munich fan event
“The Twilight Saga: New Moon” Munich press conference
Interview with Robert Pattinson for “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” (Los Angeles press conference)
Interview with Kristen Stewart for “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” (Los Angeles press conference)
Interview with Taylor Lautner for “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” (Los Angeles press conference)
Interview with Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner for “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” (Los Angeles press junket)
Interview with Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Nikki Reed, Kellan Lutz, Ashley Greene and Jackson Rathbone for “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” (Los Angeles press junket)
Interview with Peter Facinelli, Elizabeth Reaser, Nikki Reed, Ashley Greene and Jackson Rathbone for “The Twilight Saga: Eclipse” (Los Angeles press junket)
Interview with Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Lautner and Bill Condon for “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1” (Comic-Con press conference)
Interview with Ashley Greene, Nikki Reed, Elizabeth Reaser, Julia Jones and Boo Boo Stewart for “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1” (Comic-Con press conference)
Interview with Robert Pattinson for “Water for Elephants” (Los Angeles press junket)
Interview with Robert Pattinson for “Water for Elephants” (Los Angeles press conference)
Interview with Kristen Stewart for “Adventureland”
Interview with Kristen Stewart for “Adventureland” (DVD release)
Interview with Kristen Stewart for “The Runaways”
Interview with Kristen Stewart for “Welcome to the Rileys”
Interview with Ashley Greene for “Skateland”
Interview with Peter Facinelli for “Loosies”
“Twilight” news and reviews
“Breaking Dawn” news and reviews