BOSTON — If [movie id="414921"]"New Moon"[/movie] is the low point of Jasper Hale's presence in the [movie id="369195"]"Twilight"[/movie] saga, then [movie id="420622"]"Eclipse"[/movie] is the high. When MTV News caught up with [movieperson id="1017548"]Jackson Rathbone[/movieperson] last week on the set of his indie flick "Girlfriend," he still had two weeks of "Eclipse" filming left. Much of his shooting had been completed, and he shared some of the big scenes he had already finished.
"I got to go back into my old roots, got to ride some horses again, which was nice. Got to put these riding boots to use, which is good," Rathbone said, motioning to his boots. "I actually can ride a horse."
In "Eclipse," Jasper tells Bella (Kristen Stewart) about his life before he met Carlisle Cullen (Peter Facinelli). Unlike Edward (Robert Pattinson), Rosalie (Nikki Reed), Esme (Elizabeth Reaser) and Emmett (Kellan Lutz), both Jasper and Alice Cullen (Ashley Greene) were transformed into vampires before they met Carlisle. Jasper plays a large role in the third installment of the series because he is the only vampire among them who knows how to combat the newborn vampire army Victoria (now played by Bryce Dallas Howard) is building.
Jasper's backstory, which takes place during the Civil War, will be told through flashbacks, Rathbone confirmed. Though the explanation of Jasper's history takes up a good portion of the novel, he hinted that the film version would be shorter.
"It was just really fantastic to get to delve in there and to get to don all the Civil War regalia and whatnot. That was a pleasure," he said. "I had to wear this wool suit of a major, cavalry major. "I got the big hat and everything. Hop off the horse, bow to these ladies, and then I get eaten. And then I get turned!"
There will also be flashbacks of Jasper training newborn vampires while he's still "a bad dude, a bad vampire," Rathbone said. He added that training from another film, "The Last Airbender," including wrestling, hand-to-hand combat and weapon play, was useful since there wasn't much time to prepare for the fight scenes in "Eclipse." But Rathbone was quick to clarify none of the vampires' combat scenes would be martial art-y.
Rathbone said Jasper will tell Bella his story after a training sequence where he helps the Cullens prepare for the newborn army that's approaching.
"It's actually the first time Bella and Jasper interact that's longer than one sentence, or me attacking her," Rathbone said, laughing. "Kristen and I kept saying it was really nice to get to work together because we had never had a chance to really, kind of, like, get into some dialogue."
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