Last summer the proverbial something hit the fans when beloved "Twilight" star Rachelle Lefevre was shockingly dropped from the series, Golden Globe nominee Bryce Dallas Howard was announced as her replacement, and a real-life story line, as dramatic as anything in Stephenie Meyer's best-selling novels, erupted. But as the months have gone by, Lefevre has moved on to other gigs, Howard has received favorable reports from her new co-stars, and "New Moon" made a boatload of money.
On June 30, "Eclipse" brings the "Twilight Saga" back to the big screen with plenty of familiar faces, but a new one for Victoria. And when we caught up with 28-year-old beauty Howard, who stars in the new drama "The Loss of a Teardrop Diamond," she told us that she couldn't wait to unveil her take on Meyer's villainous vamp.
MTV: It's no secret that you entered the franchise under less-than-ideal circumstances. What kinds of things did the other actors say and do in those early days?
Bryce Dallas Howard: What's so great about that group of people is that they feel so genuinely blessed by this experience. Just by the response of the fans. But they've remained so grounded, and their friendships are genuine. I just felt really, really fortunate to get to meet all these wonderful people.
MTV: Kristen Stewart recently told us that you were "such a good actress" during the "Eclipse" shoot that "it was easy to be scared" of you. What were your thoughts working with her while she continued to develop such an iconic role?
Howard: Kristen is fantastic and so, so passionate about this role and this character. First, as a fan of the books, it was such a relief to go onto set and see how seriously everyone was taking it. And, yeah, Kristen was incredible to work with, incredible.
MTV: You were a "Twilight" fan before you even got the role. In your opinion, which of Stephenie Meyer's books is the best?
Howard: I love these books, and "Eclipse" for me is [the best one]; I'm partial to "Eclipse." And that was true even before "Twilight" came out.
MTV: Tell us about your take on Victoria, as opposed to Rachelle's. What will be different? What will stay the same?
Howard: Victoria is a wonderful character. ... It's awfully juicy to play a villain. To play someone that's just evil; Victoria is evil. And I think with "Eclipse," it ends with quite a huge battle, a big spectacle, and it's very scary. It's a very, very scary book and very terrifying set of circumstances, and I think the Cullens are in jeopardy in a way that they never really have been before. It was a really, really exciting world to be a part of, because it was so scary and the stakes were so high.
MTV: Would you say you studied Rachelle's performance, to factor it into your own?
Howard: Well, I have seen "Twilight" innumerable times, innumerable. And yes, of course, I saw "New Moon" before doing "Eclipse," because the continuity of the character is critical, and Rachelle had done a really exquisite job creating Victoria. It was really important to base all of my work on that. She set a very high bar, and I wanted to reach for that.
MTV: In your mind, what were the critical elements of Victoria that needed to be maintained from the book to the script to Rachelle to yourself?
Howard: Well, the visual continuity of the character Victoria is really important, because such a distinctive character had been created, one that the fans and audience really connected to. She's described perfectly in the book. And that's really important to everybody, that there's an authenticity to bringing these characters to life that's not really an interpretation, just a true representation of what's been written on the page.
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