Following in the footsteps of co-stars Kristen Stewart, Rachelle Lefevre and Anna Kendrick , 21-year-old stunner Ashley Greene checked in recently to give us an update direct from the set of “Twilight,” an adaptation of Stephenie Meyer’s best-selling vampires-in-high school book series by the same name. In the film, Greene plays Alice Cullen, a vampire who has some dark visions and lives among the living.
(For more from Greene — including a bit of casting news — head to the MTV Movies Blog.)
The actress was eager to talk about her new gig and reveal some major plot developments from the upcoming movie. And she also had a little something to say about throwing fastballs, sucking blood, fan acceptance and backlash and the only controversy you’re ever likely to hear involving Rachael Leigh Cook.
MTV: How are you holding up so far?
Ashley Greene: Not bad. We’re shooting outside, and we are ready to move on to the next shot. It’s fun, and it’s gorgeous out here. We’re in Oregon, but we go back and forth to Washington, because there are a few sets.
MTV: At what point did you become aware of the “Twilight” phenomenon?
Greene: I realized it was a book series, but then I was looking on IMDb and saw a bunch of entries already. I read the books once I found out about the project. My managers told me about the meeting, and there was no script, no breakdown. So I bought the book and read it in a day and a half, and I got hooked and read the full three before I even got cast.
MTV: I did the same thing.
Greene: They’re great! I can understand why there’s such a big fanbase around it. I made my mom read them, and she loved them too.
MTV: What’s the one scene in the book that you can’t wait to see on the big screen?
Greene: Well, the film’s a little different from the book. But script-wise, of course I’m really excited about the fight scene.
MTV: The big fight at the end?
Greene: Yeah. It’s a new experience to get to do that kind of stuff, even though in the book, the fight scene is a little different than in the script.
MTV: What kind of fight training have you had?
Greene: The first two weeks I was in Oregon was strict training, [and] there was no shooting. There was a lot of baseball, because there’s a baseball scene. Then we did wire-work, and a lot of stuff to get us into the feeling of moving like a vampire. There were a couple of dance and movement classes.
MTV: Ah, yes, the iconic baseball field. Tell us about that.
Greene: The baseball scene is in the book, and it’s a pivotal scene in the story. Bella [Stewart] realizes that there’s danger being involved with vampires, and we go out to this clearing to play baseball, and it’s superhuman and fun, and that’s where the bad vampires first enter the story.
MTV: Did you have to learn how to catch and throw?
Greene: Yeah. I’ve never played baseball in my life, so it was a lot of training. I’m actually pitching overhand fastballs, so you can imagine someone who has never thrown a ball in her life! It was scary at first. We weren’t sure if we were going to have to use a double, but I’m getting to do it, and that’s what we are actually shooting today. It’s our third day covering the pitching.
MTV: Are you even getting it over the plate, or are balls just flying all over the place?
Greene: They were like, ‘It’s OK if it doesn’t go in the right spot,’ but I’ve surprised myself out there the last few days. The pitches are going in the right spot, and I’ve only hit the camera a couple of times.
MTV: The cameraman must hate you.
Greene: I know! … He’s like, ‘It looks good. Throw it at the camera!’ They’re more concerned with the speed than the aim.
MTV: In the books, the various automobiles are very important. Which have you seen so far?
Greene: Bella’s truck is awesome. I’ve gotten to see all the Cullen cars, and that was pretty cool. I didn’t see mine yet. I think Dr. Cullen’s car is kinda badass. It’s a Mercedes, and Jackson [Rathbone, who plays Jasper] and I were sitting in it and were like, ‘He got the good end of the deal!’
MTV: How faithful are you staying with the character of Alice as described in the book? How tall are you?
Greene: Uh, that’s the biggest complaint about me actually; I’m 5-foot-5. I’m much, much taller than Alice is described, but who is 4-foot-10 anyways?
MTV: That’s hilarious.
Greene: Yeah, we’re trying our best to balance that out, as far as the height thing is concerned. The way they’re putting the cameras, it’ll be movie magic, I guess.
MTV: And how about your hair? Some people are complaining that it’s too long.
Greene: My hair is pretty short. It’s not super-short, but it’s pretty short. They released a picture of the whole cast, and it was pretty short in that. It’s actually shorter than that now.
MTV: Your set was recently infiltrated by a group of women who call themselves the Twilight Moms. What do you think of middle-age women crashing the set and snapping pictures?
Greene: It’s crazy! I mean, it’s great, because I think everyone came into it being like, ‘We have a young following, and we have some die-hard fans.’ But then, we find out we have these moms with jobs and kids and lives that actually adore the story just as much as the teenage kids!
MTV: Which of Alice’s characteristics excites you the most?
Greene: Well, she can see the future — that’s pretty freakin’ cool. Everybody wants a superpower, right? I also love the fact that she’s such a good-hearted character. She could definitely be an evil, menacing, dark character, but she’s not. That’s a really great trait to have. I wish I was that optimistic in real life.
MTV: She also takes great pride in being a vampire.
Greene: She does. Alice doesn’t remember her past, and I think if anyone has looked into it, she was thrown into a mental institution, because that’s what they did in the 1920s when you weren’t normal. And straight out of that mental institution, she comes to this family that just adores her and loves her. And everything is great, and she has everything she could ask for, and she’s got her soul mate, Jasper.
MTV: It must be unusual creating a decades-old romance for the ages between two actors in their early 20s.
Greene: Oh yeah, our characters have been together forever. The great thing about Jasper and Alice’s relationship is that it’s very mental too, so we don’t even really have to touch the whole film. It’s a very mental, deep connection. Jackson and I aren’t gonna have that deep connection in three months, but [our characters] don’t even need to speak. We know each other inside and out, and we are extremely protective of each other. The only time we really touch is when it’s a crucial moment in the film, or if I’m seeing a vision and he’s worried about me.
MTV: How are they filming your visions?
Greene: Right now, the visions are me basically trying to portray things through my eyes and face.
MTV: How does an actor pretend she’s seeing things?
Greene: Well, I have to create a whole vision in my head, an actual one. There’s a couple of different scenes where I have visions, and they’ve filmed them a couple different ways, so I’m not sure how they are going to do it. We went through a couple of things, but it’s not going to be a grand, big thing when I have visions.
MTV: As you know, we’re all about “Twilight” over here at MTV News, and we’ve gotten a lot of fan comments aimed in your direction. Can I get your response to a few?
MTV: Kaggy posted this comment on our Movies Blog: “The most beautiful and well-managed of the Cullens are Alice and Emmett.”
Greene: Wow, that’s awesome! I like that comment. That’s funny, though. I’m flattered that they think that, and I think the whole cast is gorgeous, and everyone has their different opinions of everyone. I’ve been pretty happy with what I’ve seen posted about me. No one has flat-out said, ‘I hate her,’ or, ‘She’s awful!’ The big issue is the hair.
MTV: Well, that brings us to Alanna, who writes: “Alice’s hair isn’t short enough, and the clothes aren’t upscale enough.”
Greene: The hair thing is going to be the big issue. We’ve made it even shorter, but we do have to work with what looks good on me as well, and that’s the hard part of it.
MTV: And what about Alice’s clothes? The publicity shot has you in a puffy winter coat and black jeans.
Greene: I have the biggest wardrobe of everyone here. They have pulled so much stuff for me. I’ve had a lot of fittings, and we’re making this fairy-tale thing kind of modern but still going back to the 1920s. It’s a difficult wardrobe to do.
MTV: A bunch of people on our site keep writing that Rachael Leigh Cook should be Alice. What’s up with that?
Greene: Well, when I read the book, I could see that, and she’s the actress that Stephenie put on her site and said, ‘This is what I think she looks like in my head,’ so that’s natural that everyone else would have her in their head as well. But I’m supposed to be playing a 17-year-old girl, and I think Rachael would be playing a woman now, rather than a 17-year-old. She’s gorgeous. But if there are sequels, I’m going to be playing this young character for the next few years.
MTV: Dee said the following: “Ashley Greene looks Alice-y enough, but she doesn’t appear to have that same spark as what I would imagine.” What do you think that means?
Greene: That I can’t really see the future? [Laughs.] I don’t know. Hopefully, onscreen their opinion will change. With pictures, you can’t see our abilities and what we are doing. I will dig deep within, and I’ll find that spark.
Check out everything we’ve got on “Twilight.”
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