WEST HOLLYWOOD, California — Some movie stars like to make news, while others like to gossip about the news that goes on around them. And then there's stars like the fast-rising [movieperson id="1017548"]Jackson Rathbone[/movieperson], who'd rather just show up, be handed a script and get to work.
"I actually have not read it," Rathbone recently told MTV about the "Twilight" sequel "New Moon" during an exclusive interview — we caught up with him this week for a concert by the actor's side-project band, 100 Monkeys. "They have not yet released the script. So I'm still waiting on that, but I assume it's going to be pretty fantastic."
When we asked Rathbone about the controversies surrounding new director Chris Weitz replacing "Twilight" filmmaker Catherine Hardwicke, his reply was simple and honest, just like something you might hear from his character Jasper Hale. "Oh, that's one of those things that's kind of a whole political side of the acting thing, you know?" he shrugged. "I really don't know much about [the change in directors]; I'm just an actor. They tell me where to stand and what to say."
Asked what he thought "American Pie" filmmaker Weitz might bring to the franchise, Rathbone responded, "Honestly, I don't know his work very well, so I couldn't really say one way or another."
He has, however, already read "New Moon" and can pinpoint his favorite scene — a pivotal moment that kicks off the story. "There is definitely [a scene I can't wait to shoot]; there's a scene where Miss Bella gets a little paper cut, and it makes me a little hungry," he laughed. "So, I'm very excited to film that."
Rathbone added that his improvisational band (which MTV will have a full concert story on next week) has been providing him with an outlet to practice the hunger-fueled rage that will overtake his thirsty vampire in that scene opposite Kristen Stewart. "Utter release," he grinned, a bit sadistically. "I do it onstage every night."
In another moment of sincerity, Rathbone surprised us with the revelation that he hadn't even heard about the recently ended controversy over replacing Taylor Lautner for the sequels. "Oh, now you're talking things that they don't tell us poor little actors — really, they just tell us where to stand, what to say," he insisted, adding that he hasn't even been monitoring all the Twilighter chatter over the last few months. "I barely know how to work my phone, let alone the Internet."
So, instead, Rathbone will continue working on 100 Monkeys — who will release two albums this year — as well as such upcoming films as M. Night Shyamalan's "The Last Airbender." And, come March, he'll show up on the "New Moon" set, grab a script and get to work.
"Melissa Rosenberg is just an incredible writer," he said, expressing hope for the next script from the screenwriter of the franchise. "I've been a fan of the 'Dexter' series for a long time, and working with her on 'Twilight' was fantastic and I'm excited to get a chance to look at it. I'm sure she's just jam-packed it with so much stuff, to make all the fans go crazy."
Check out everything we've got on "New Moon."
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