She may be the sweet, smiling matriarch of the most beloved vampire family in the world, but that doesn't mean [movieperson id="357428"]Elizabeth Reaser[/movieperson] can't still be a badass.
With just a few weeks remaining before [movie id="414921"]"New Moon"[/movie] hits theaters, we caught up with the 34-year-old actress sometimes known as Mrs. Esme Cullen during her final days on the "Eclipse" set. During an exclusive chat with MTV News, Reaser was eager to talk about ripping apart mountain lions, asking for [movieperson id="365131"]Robert Pattinson's[/movieperson] autograph, and why she thinks one of her co-stars should have played Esme instead.
MTV: What is the biggest difference, in your opinion, between the three "Twilight" books that are currently being filmed as the "Saga"?
Elizabeth Reaser: Oh, well, all three films are completely different. The first one is a vampire romance, a crazy love affair. There's so much sexual tension and romantic tension, and nothing ever goes down; you're going insane the whole time, and they're falling in love, and it's amazing. In the second one, obviously Bella is left behind, and her and Taylor [Lautner]'s character, Jacob, sort of fall in love — or do they? And she's devastated, and she's doing all of this risky stuff, and it's really a heartbreaking movie. There's all this danger going on in Italy, and Edward is thinking about killing himself — it's very, very, very different from the first one. And the third one is a full-on action movie. "Eclipse" is just crazy action and danger and vampires — and newborn vampires that are the most dangerous, powerful vampires of all.
MTV: What is your favorite scene in "New Moon"?
Reaser: I love Taylor in "New Moon"; he's amazing. There are great scenes with Taylor and Kristen [Stewart]. I just think they're really lovely together. I love those characters together. They're sort of falling in love, and it's an interesting love affair, because she's still in love with Edward, and she's devastated and heartbroken, and he's [gone. I also love] the birthday-party scene, because it's all the Cullens, and it's Bella's birthday, and Alice threw together this big party for her. And then she gets a paper cut, and it's really dangerous for her to get a paper cut at our house.
MTV: Who is your favorite new character that has joined the cast for the sequels?
Reaser: My favorite new character? That's very tricky. Actually, I like this girl who joined the ["Eclipse"] cast, Jodelle [Ferland]; she's playing Bree. ... In "New Moon," this guy Michael Sheen has joined our cast, and he is fantastic. He plays one of the Volturi, and those are great scenes in Italy with all the Volturi — they're just these total badass vampires. He's just a great actor.
MTV: As the "Saga" continues filming, do you feel like you're growing into your character more or less?
Reaser: No, I feel like I'm nothing like my character. It's interesting to me that I get cast as mothers and really maternal, sweet, nice people. ... Maybe I have a vulnerability or something; maybe that's what it is. But other than that, I don't relate to this type of character. She's so good and lovely, and it definitely makes me [a better person]. When I'm working, and I'm always trying to see people in their best light, it makes me a more generous person to play Esme, because I don't feel that. It's funny, but I think Bryce — who is playing Victoria, Bryce Dallas Howard — is the nicest, most amazing woman, and I feel like she should play Esme. I feel like she is Esme. She's so lovely and beautiful and kind and good. I nominate her to play Esme Cullen.
MTV: Do you own any "Twilight" memorabilia?
Reaser: My mom bought some Esme bracelets. I'm sure I could borrow one from her if I wanted to. But I don't have any memorabilia. I have my director's chair [backing]. But I should get something, take something back from set — maybe I could get Rob to sign it.
MTV: Vampires are one of the biggest costumes this Halloween, and there will be a lot of people dressed up as the "Twilight" characters this weekend.
Reaser: Really? Oh, that's really cool. I didn't know that.
MTV: What would it mean to you if you saw someone dressed as Esme?
Reaser: Wow, I would love to see someone dressed up as Esme. I think that would be so cool. It would definitely be a career highlight for me; I would love to see someone do that.
MTV: Finally, what in your opinion is the secret behind the success of the "Twilight Saga"?
Reaser: Well, I think the success of the "Saga" is the books. The books are just beautiful, amazing, great storytelling, and Stephenie is a great writer. And then, I think we got incredibly lucky with Kristen and Rob — they're just great actors, and you just can't not fall in love with them and want them to be together. You get invested in the two of them. That has a lot to do with it, and people are just really into vampires, so I think that has something to do with it. The Cullens, they're an interesting group of vampires. They're all really good, but kind of bad. I mean, they are still vampires. I imagine Esme going out in the middle of the night and ripping apart a mountain lion. That's kind of fascinating.
For more from the "New Moon" cast and to see an exclusive clip from the film, check out MTV's "Ulalume: Howling at New Moon" on Friday, October 30, at 9 p.m. ET — and check MTV.com at 10 p.m. to see the clip exclusively online!
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