Interview: Taylor Lautner, Rachelle Lefevre, and Edi Gathegi from “Twilight”
Interview: Taylor Lautner, Rachelle Lefevre, and Edi Gathegi from “Twilight”

The Massie Twins recently had a chance to sit down with “Twilight” stars Taylor Lautner, who portrays Jacob Black, Rachelle Lefevre, who plays Victoria, and Edi Gathegi, who brings vampire Laurent to life.

The Massie Twins: Which city has been the craziest so far for your Twilight publicity tour?

Taylor Lautner and Edi Gathegi: Well, we hope Phoenix will be!

Rachelle Lefevre: Seattle and Denver were different, but they were equally as frenzied.

MT: Were you guys familiar with Twilight’s enormous fanbase before you signed on for the film?

RL: I was familiar with it, but I hadn’t read it. When I found out I had the audition I read it in two days and read the other two books following.

EG: I didn’t know anything about the series at the time of my audition, but I fell in love with Catherine Hardwicke the director, and when I found out they were seriously considering me for the part I picked up the books and read it and thought, “now I know why it’s so popular – it’s good!”

TL: I had no idea what Twilight was – never heard of it in my life. As soon as I got the role and found out how big it was I thought “what am I getting myself into!” Then I immediately read it.

MT: We weren’t able to see the film before this interview, and we’re probably the last people on Earth who haven’t read the books.

RL: I haven’t seen the movie either!

MT: (to TL and EG) Have you guys seen the final cut?

EG: Yup – it’s awesome.

MT: Did you tell Rachelle that they cut all of her scenes?

EG: Some of the interviewers were giving Rachelle her own spoilers, telling her how fierce she looked at the end. We’re trying not to give away too much.

RL: I read the whole script a billion times, plus obviously I was there to film my own stuff, but so much happens between when you leave the set and the finished film. All the post production, not just editing, but when they play with your voice, cut your lines in certain ways – so I don’t know exactly what to expect but as a fan of the stories, I’m really looking forward to seeing the Edward and Bella portion of the story, because I wasn’t there when it was filmed – so it’ll be totally new for me.

MT: What were the biggest challenges faced while making Twilight?

EG: The weather!

TL: Yeah – it was definitely the weather. I filmed a scene on the beach with my wannabe girlfriend and wardrobe had originally just picked out jeans and a t-shirt for us and we got there and there was sleet, hail, it was pouring rain, freezing cold 40 mile-per-hour winds, the tide was up to our knees. It was insane. We filmed the whole thing that way and we ended up wearing several pairs of socks, a couple pairs of jeans, sweatshirts, ponchos, beanies, mittens… everything. The weather was pretty challenging.

EG: I was coming out of the forest without a shirt on – and that wasn’t fun. And we were barefoot too. They put these little pathetic towels on the ground. I’ve got frostbite now!

RL: At some point you have to just say: “It’s the Pacific Northwest.”

EG: It was brutal. But it’s a small price to pay to be a part of something like this.

TL: Absolutely!

MT: Did you get to do your own stunts?

EG: Yeah, I pretty much got to do my own stunts. The magic carpet was the major stunt that I got to do. It’s basically Plexiglas on the ground and it’s being pulled by a truck. It’s similar to one of those people movers at the airport and it’s moving really, really fast. The people movers have nothing on this.

RL: (laughs) I never get over how you call it a people mover.

MT: There’s got to be a technical term for it.

EG: It moves so fast you basically have to start on your knees and learn how to walk again. By the end of the day you’re actually walking on it.

RL: I was walking the magic carpet with Edi and I had some wirework which was really cool.

TL: Which scenes did you have wirework?

RL: For the boat scene. We prepped all the wirework. We didn’t end up shooting it on that day – we had to restructure the whole thing because of the weather. We ended up filming it inside, but I spent two days doing wirework, preparing.

EG: They had this huge crane and she was going to fly over the water and land on the boat.

TL: But that didn’t happen.

RL: And then I had a half a day where they were teaching me how to do these leaps. They wanted me to leap from the dock onto the boat and they just had the boat out on the water. So they had me leap from the dock out to the boat over the actual lake with no wires. I learned how to free jump and propel myself without landing in the lake. Getting to do all of that was amazing.

MT: So there’s some Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon in there.

RL: That’s totally how I felt. I’m Michelle Yeoh! Although I don’t think I made it look as good as she did.

MT: (to RL and EG) Is it better to be the villain?

EG: My character is kind of in the middle, but it is so fun to access that dark fierce place, because you don’t get to do that in real life. It’s liberating. It’s also good to be the nice sensitive person – which is closer to how I really am.

RL: (laughs) I keep wondering if I’m going to change my answer. I have this impulse where I like to be the bad vampire. And that’s how I want to stay. But then there’s something in me – maybe it’s my human conscience – that says “do you really want to be inflicting all that damage or terrorizing poor Edward and Bella?” But at the end of the day I really liked playing Victoria because it was really empowering. It’s bizarre that I had to play a vampire to have that, but not a lot of female roles are written to be that independent, fierce and strong.

MT: (to TL) Other than the beach scene, did you have a favorite scene to film?

TL: This is going to sound weird, but the beach scene was my favorite scene. It was painful.

MT: It was a love/hate relationship.

TL: Absolutely. I was hating it but at the same time, looking back at it, it was a lot of fun finishing every take and huddling over a little heater, and having our hot chocolate to warm us up. It was my least favorite and my favorite.

RL: It’s always cute when you could see any of the vampires being all fierce, and then huddled with hot chocolate.

TL: This is not what’s funny: We did every scene, every angle, everything with the hideous weather up until about 2:00. Then the sun randomly appears and it stops raining and they say, “Let’s do everything again.” So we do everything again, and sure enough they use the nice weather in the film.

RL: So the fans won’t know how you suffered!

MT: Maybe we’ll see it on the DVD?

TL: Hopefully! (laughs) I did an interview under a tent and literally, while they were filming, this girl was in high heels and the wind blows and the tent comes up and flies over our heads and she falls down.

RL: I wonder if she let them air that.

MT: What went into vampire training?

EG: Most everything was in the books because she wrote these characters so specifically. You make something specific and you make it universal. My character didn’t have a lot of background, so I had to create my own. Mostly for fun, since you can’t play the stuff I came up with. I decided to toy around with the idea of having my character associated with Saint George from France. He was a revolutionary character, a general, a renowned lover, a fencer, and Renaissance man. I thought it would be cool if they were friends. A very regal, sophisticated, well-dressed Laurent.

TL: Your teeth are so white!

EG: So are yours.

TL: Why thank you.

RL: Well, now that we’ve established that (laughs) …

MT: How different is the written story from the final script?

TL: Obviously you have to condense almost 600 pages to a 100 page script, but I think they did the best job possible of taking a book and making it into a two-hour film. It’s hard.

RL: There are not a lot of really good adaptations out there.

TL: I think the fans are going to be pretty happy.

EG: Stephenie Meyer was a consultant. The people love her story and she’s stamping it with her approval. It’s so cool that they gave her that opportunity. I’m sure she wouldn’t have done it without that. She was on set a lot.

RL: And she had a cameo on the film. Real fans will know when it’s her and freak out. She was so critical of herself too. She’s rightfully proud of the books that she’s written, so to see her being nervous about being on camera was so funny!

MT: Did you guys get to improvise any lines?

EG: Does a baby eat candy? (laughs)

RL: For the most part we didn’t really improvise lines only because a lot of the lines were actually pieces of dialogue from the book. So rather than trying to make it new, one of our screenwriter’s goals was to incorporate as much of Stephanie’s actual wording as possible. When you know that it’s that revered you don’t want to play with it too much – it’s sacrosanct.

MT: It looks like our time is up. Can we take a picture with you guys?

RL and TL: Yes!

EG: Twins!