Forget Indy, Iron Man and that Harry Potter kid. In the eyes of the latest die-hard fans to hit Hollywood, there’s no doubt that “Twilight” is the most anticipated movie of 2008.
Calling themselves twi-hards, these folks have pored over every page of Stephenie Meyer’s best-selling books about the forbidden romance between a teen girl and an immortal vampire. Now, cameras are rolling on the flick’s Portland, Oregon, set.
If you’ve been bitten and smitten, you’ll hang on the every word of Rachelle Lefevre, the impossibly sweet 20-year-old actress who has taken on her biggest role yet as flame-haired baddie Victoria. If not, here’s your chance to get an early primer on what everyone will be talking about at the end of the year. (Also, head to the MTV Movies Blog to read Lefevre’s answer to the film’s first sorta-controversy.) In the first-ever interview from the set of “Twilight,” Rachelle spoke about her favorite line, hanging with the Cullens, and answering back to the twi-hards who think her casting sucks more than just blood.
MTV: We recently ran a story with Kristen Stewart talking about “Twilight.” The old record on the MTV Movies Blog was 600 comments; that story now has 1,600 comments!
Rachelle Lefevre: [She laughs.] I’ve noticed. Twilight’s got some avid — and rabid — fans.
MTV: And every other comment is: “OMG! Kristen is so beautiful!”
Lefevre: I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many people [write] “OMG” in my life.
MTV: People are just now beginning to realize how big this “Twilight” thing is.
Lefevre: We are too.
MTV: So how did you become aware of it? When you first got the script, was it just another gig?
Lefevre: There were three things about it that made me want to go for the audition: The first one was that [director] Catherine Hardwicke was attached; the second was that the role was to play a vampire; and the third was that I could do an adaptation of a book that’s a trilogy, with the potential to explore a character, hopefully, over three films.
MTV: So you’ve always wanted to play a vampire?
Lefevre: [She laughs.] I have, actually! It appeals to me. I wrote Catherine a three-page letter on why I thought I should get the part. And most of it was about how I thought that vampires were basically the best metaphor for human anxiety and questions about being alive. I also said I wanted to do something that appeals to both a younger and an older audience.
MTV: At the center of the books is the forbidden romance between Edward and Bella. And much like “Titanic” or “The Notebook,” it’s constructed to appeal to several generations.
Lefevre: Yeah, absolutely. … She’s not a vampire, and I love this idea that she can’t be with him for all these reasons. It’s the “Romeo and Juliet” thing that we love, that romanticism of “What am I willing to do?” and “What am I willing to sacrifice to be with the person I love?” Like “Titanic” or “Romeo and Juliet,” these are movies where there’s something that gets in the way of the romance, where you really have to sacrifice something in order to have it. And in this case, it’s her life, so what can be more romantic than that — potentially having your life threatened every time you’re with the guy?
MTV: You begin filming this week. What have you been doing up there until now?
Lefevre: I’ve spent a few weeks in Portland doing rehearsals, and it’s amazing. The other actors are ridiculously committed to these roles. We’ve had cast dinners where we go out, just to bond — especially for the actors playing the Cullens . I think it’s really important to them to be a family.
MTV: Are the Cullens sitting in the corner eating by themselves, like they do in the book?
Lefevre: [She laughs.] Well, it may evolve into that once we begin filming, who knows? But in the beginning, Catherine is very organic, and she really wants us to have it in our bodies about what it would be like to be a vampire. I remember that in your article, that Kristen [Stewart] pointed out that it’s not just that these people are vampires. They have supernatural abilities beyond living forever. They have super strength and speed and hearing and agility. So Catherine really wanted us to feel what that would be like. And so there’s been a huge emphasis on having the vampires work together and rehearsing together to get this cohesiveness.
MTV: And there’s also tons of stunts. What kind of training have you guys received so far?
Lefevre: Oh my God, my favorite has got to be the wire-work. They put you in a harness and put you on wires, and you’re flying through the air. It’s really amazing. … We also do this thing called “riding the magic carpet,” which makes you look like you’re moving extremely fast. … They make you walk at incredible speeds, on an incredibly fast-moving thing, so that the effect is like you’re walking with no effort at 30 miles an hour.
MTV: Tell us about how you see the character.
Lefevre: I play Victoria, who is in the book. There’s not a lot about her backstory in the first book, but what I can tell you is that she’s a nomadic vampire who is very, very feline and just pure instinct. This is a woman who is half-cat and is extremely powerful and enjoys her power. And she’s got this flaming-red hair, which I kind of have.
MTV: She’s a tough cookie.
Lefevre: Let’s just say that hell hath no fury like a vampire scorned. [She laughs.]
MTV: Would it be appropriate to say that she is James’ henchman?
Lefevre: They travel together; I will say that. They travel and feed together. … You wouldn’t want to meet a vampire in a dark alley, but I think you particularly wouldn’t want to meet Victoria.
MTV: Now, these vampires have no teeth, right?
Lefevre: There are no teeth, no fangs.
MTV: For someone who always wanted to play a vampire, didn’t you feel a little gypped?
Lefevre: Yeah, I did. That’s the only thing I really wanted, was to put in teeth. [She laughs.] But there is something about no teeth that I find even scarier now, because if you think about it, think how hard and how aggressively you’d have to bite someone. Think of how aggressively you have to bite somebody to draw blood. Think about that for a minute. It’s a lot scarier than you initially imagined, and probably not as neat and tidy as those two little holes.
MTV: I like that.
Lefevre: Yeah, these aren’t gentle, “you may feel a little poke”-type of vampires.
MTV: What’s the one line in the script that you can’t wait to deliver?
Lefevre: Oh, well, Victoria has a line where she very aggressively says, “I love it when men chase me!” And it can be taken so many different ways. I find that line, as a woman, to say that in a really empowering way, is kind of sexy.
MTV: Ever since we announced your casting, there have been so many fan comments posted about you — some good and some not so good. I know you’ve been reading them, so I thought we could have you address a few. An MTV Movies Blog reader named “Shada,” for instance, posted: “Rachelle Lefevre doesn’t look scary enough to play Victoria.”
Lefevre: What would I say back? Well, I would say that every picture she’s ever seen of me is taken out at an event, where I’m probably happy to be there. How could I possibly look mean? Maybe she should come to my house and see me at 7 a.m., before I’ve had a cup of coffee. [She laughs.]
MTV: Someone named “Alexia” said: “Victoria looks fabulous and could definitely portray evil.”
Lefevre: I would say, “Thank you for your confidence. I hope I don’t let you down!”
MTV: And then there’s “Rachel,” who wrote: “Victoria looks too nice with her freckles and stuff.”
Lefevre: [She laughs.] I would say that freckles equal Pollyana. And I will say this for all us freckled people, all of us red-headed, freckled gals: I intend to represent!
Check out everything we’ve got on “Twilight.”
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