SANTA MONICA, California — There aren't many people out there who can claim to have hung out with Miley Cyrus, Jamie Lynn Spears, Aly & AJ and Edward and Bella. But at the tender age of 18, rising star Christian Serratos has already proven adept at keeping one finger firmly on the pulse of teen pop culture.
Next month, the affable young actress — whose previous roles include TV guest spots, a Disney Channel movie and a recurring gig on Nickelodeon's "Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide" — will make her feature-film debut in one of the fall's most highly anticipated films. And before the movie's November 21 release, she had to swing by the MTV studios for her very own "Twilight" Tuesday, to tell us all about the bookish Angela Weber, her "I heart Edward" pins, Coldplay videos and her desire to get bloody in the sequels. (And in the MTV Movies blog, Serratos tells us which actors she'd like to work with next.)
MTV: How did you become involved with "Twilight"?
Christian Serratos: Well, I'd heard of the books, but I didn't have any idea they were turning them into a movie. And when I found out, I was stoked. I read all the books; I couldn't put them down, and I just fell in love.
MTV: Did you read them all right away?
Serratos: Well, we only got one of each book. So me and my mom had to trade back and forth. When one of us was done, the other one got to read it. ... We were both like, "OK, don't tell me what happens — but hurry up!"
MTV: Did you already know you were playing Angela?
Serratos: I initially went in for Jessica. I did the auditions, and I got called in a couple times for Jessica. But reading the books, I fell totally in love with Angela. So when they said I was going to have the opportunity to audition for Angela, I really took advantage. I remember walking out of the room and being like, "OK, this is it." I put my hair up in a ponytail and — I wear glasses 24/7 — I took them off when I was auditioning for Jessica, but I put them back on. I just tried my hardest to really capture Angela — and I guess it worked! And I definitely wasn't blind, so that was a plus.
MTV: Tell us about your take on Angela.
Serratos: She is Bella Swan's good friend in school. She's a photographer. She's very committed to doing her best in school, and she's just there to befriend Bella and tries her hardest to make sure she feels comfortable in the new school. She's kind of timid and keeps to herself, but she's very sweet. She's a great girl.
MTV: Is your take on the character by the book, or have you injected bits of yourself?
Serratos: I brought myself to the character, of course, but I really didn't try to change her at all. She's there in the book; she's very alive [as] a character.
MTV: Tell us about your favorite scene you got to shoot.
Serratos: Oh, gosh, I don't know if I can pick one! They were all painful because it was very cold, but they were all so much fun. I think my two favorites would have to be the car crash scene (as glimpsed in the new "Twilight" trailer), which was actually the first scene that all the quote-unquote humans shot together, and it was probably one of the coldest days. It was raining and cold, and it was a very long day, but we all had a blast doing it. Watching the stunts and stuff was mind-boggling.
MTV: And the other?
Serratos: Another fun day was the scene at the beach; it was kind of a trek to get there. We had to go through the wilderness and woods, and we were all in our rain boots because it was so muddy. But we got down to the beach, and it was so beautiful. It looked like a Coldplay music video. I mean the water looked like snow, and it was cold, yes, but it was gorgeous.
MTV: Tell us more about the beach scene.
Serratos: Well, it's a scene where we are trying to get Bella to feel more comfortable, so we invite her to the beach with us. There's a group that's surfing, and I take pictures and just sort of mingle about. Apparently, Angela doesn't surf!
MTV: How closely did you get to work with Robert Pattinson?
Serratos: We got to do one scene, because there were definitely two worlds to the movie. He's really cool. Everyone loves him, and for good reason.
MTV: You were once in an episode of "Hannah Montana," correct?
Serratos: Oh, yeah. [Laughs.]
MTV: So, do you see a comparison between the fanbases?
Serratos: Both worlds have their dedicated fans, but I don't really compare them to each other. They were both fun experiences to work on, but I think it ends there.
MTV: Do you think "Twilight" is more adult?
Serratos: Um, I guess. But I think they share the same age range when it comes to fans.
MTV: Have you received any crazy gifts or anything from the Twilighters?
Serratos: Well, I was sent — I guess a lot of the "Twilight" people — [our] names were sent into space. And so were you, right?
MTV: Yeah, you heard about that?
Serratos: [Laughs.] So, I guess our names are chilling out together up there. Whatever. It's cool.
MTV: Kinda cool, huh?
Serratos: I know; I got that packet, and I was like: "NASA certificates, what? That's not normal!" And someone was like, "Yeah, they sent your name into space." All right! Pretty cool.
MTV: If you were a vampire, would you be a vegetarian or would you suck human blood?
Serratos: I'd have to be a vegetarian vampire. I'm a vegetarian now, so it goes hand in hand, right?
MTV: As a vegetarian, when you read the books, do you see that as a good message?
Serratos: You know, I never really thought that far into it, but definitely. I mean, if I were a vampire, I definitely wouldn't be after the humans. That's a good message. If you're ever a vampire, don't eat humans.
MTV: You told us a while back that you were on the bookstore waiting list to buy "Breaking Dawn" with everyone else.
Serratos: Uh-huh. I went, and I picked up my copy.
MTV: Did you go at midnight with all the thousands of screaming fans?
Serratos: Yes, I did; me and three of my friends walked in, and we went to two different places, just because we were anxious to see what people had to do. We snuck in and grabbed our books and bolted out. There were people passing out bookmarks and crazy stickers and pins and stuff. I saw these two "I heart Edward" pins and "I heart Jacob" pins, and I was like, "Mine!" I got those. I was so excited to get any little stuff for "Twilight."
MTV: Were you recognized by anybody?
Serratos: I definitely got looks, but I would be too shy to go up to them. I think that's the case: People get shy. I was definitely shy to walk in there.
MTV: Which scene would you most love to shoot in the "Twilight" sequels?
Serratos: In "Breaking Dawn," there was this dream Bella had about her good friends being dead. It was such a gruesome scene in the book. I think it'd be way fun to do that, like bloodying me up or something, and I could just lie there. That'd be fun.
MTV: Every year at Comic-Con, we see middle-aged people who are still signing autographs from some beloved TV show or movie they did decades ago. You're only 18 now, but would you be OK with being asked about "Twilight" for decades to come?
Serratos: I wouldn't have a problem with that. I mean, if that's what this has done, then who am I to hate on that? That's great, I think. "Twilight" has been a great opportunity, and it's been great fun. Hey, if I'm 50, and someone still wants an autograph for "Twilight," OK, cool.
Every Tuesday is "Twilight" Tuesday here at MTV News! Check back here each and every week for the hottest scoop on the film adaptation of Stephenie Meyer's beloved vampire series, and we'll still bring you breaking "Twilight" news throughout the rest of the week. And make sure you check out the MTV Movies Blog for our ongoing "Twilight" discussions each and every day.
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