‘Twilight’ Actor Kellan Lutz Talks ‘New Moon’ Casting Rumors

He downplays talk of AnnaLynne McCord joining the cast and says werewolf parts will go to genuine American-Indian actors.

SANTA MONICA, California — Over the weekend, “Twilight” actor Kellan Lutz officially began the process of stepping into the vampire flick’s highly anticipated sequels. But when he spoke to us just before leaving for the set, we learned that the man called Emmett Cullen knows some things and doesn’t know others — and somehow both are equally revelatory.

“I’m really excited for ‘[url id="http://www.mtv.com/movies/movie/414921/moviemain.jhtml"]New Moon[/url],’ ” grinned the 23-year-old star, stopping by MTV’s offices Wednesday to promote the “[url id="http://www.mtv.com/movies/movie/369195/moviemain.jhtml"]Twilight[/url]” DVD hitting stores March 21. “I go on Sunday the 8th to rehearse and do our screen tests and make sure the contacts fit — which I’m not looking forward to. But we do rehearsals for about a week, and then I go up in April and we start shooting.”

Naturally, we had to ask Kellan about the casting of his good friend “Fired Up!” actress AnnaLynne McCord — and his answer made it sound like her participation isn’t as sure a thing as fans believe. “I’ve heard Vanessa Hudgens and AnnaLynne McCord are potentials in it, but I think that’s all the stuff like ‘Michael Copon to play Jacob,’ ” he laughed, remembering the actor who had supposedly taken the role from Taylor Lautner. “I’ve known AnnaLynne for years now. It would be fun to work with her, but I won’t have any scenes with her; [she'd be] doing the Italy stuff.

“Her potential character is Heidi. I think they’re looking for someone who is local up in Vancouver,” he revealed of the recent casting scuttlebutt. “I don’t know what the chances are of her getting it.”

Along those same lines, we had to ask Kellan about the rumor that Jacob’s American-Indian friends (including fan favorite Solomon Trimble) are being replaced for the sequels, and he revealed that some unnamed friends are in the running to populate the Quileute tribe.

“I know [casting director] Joseph Middleton has been reading some of my friends for the werewolves’ parts,” Lutz told us, saying that new director Chris Weitz is determined to keep the American-Indian actors genuine this time. “[They're] really sticking to them and making sure of their ancestry, that they are real Native Americans. They asked a buddy of mine to bring in his family tree to show that he was part Navajo! It’s interesting; I really think it is important to have somewhat-real Native Americans to play these roles to some degree, but it’s really interesting to see the way things are handled.”

Asked for the names of his possible Quileute friends, Lutz grinned. “I could tell you,” he replied, “but then I’d have to hurt you.”

The most interesting revelation of our interview, however, might have been for Lutz rather than us. When we asked him about Summit Entertainment’s announcement two weeks ago of the release date for “Eclipse,” the actor was genuinely surprised to hear the news that he’d be immersed in Emmett until at least mid-2010.

“That’s the first time I’ve heard that!” he marveled. “I’m the last to know anything. It’s been funny doing these conventions that a bunch of us castmembers have been doing, to a bunch of states and countries. The fans know more of what’s going on with our jobs than I do!”

Check out everything we’ve got on “The Twilight Saga’s New Moon.”

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