Recently, we had one of the standout supporting stars from the “Twilight” saga #8212; Billy Burke — swing by the MTV studios to discuss his work personifying Bella Swan’s loving-but-clueless dad Charlie. The more you watch “Twilight,” the more you notice what a great impact he was able to make in such a brief amount of time on-screen – and now that I’ve seen “New Moon,” I won’t give anything away while saying that Billy has done it again.
“I don’t worry about stealing scenes,” the veteran actor grinned when we asked him whether the term was insulting at all. “I take that as a compliment — thank you very much, that’s very nice. We can’t think about it in terms of that [while we’re acting]; you’ve got to do what feeds the story, and what’s honest about the character as best as possible. And that’s all I’m looking to do.”
In the original film, it was the little stuff — how he drank his beer, that thing he did whirling his finger around — that drew the eyes of the viewer to Charlie. And who can forget the way he cocked his gun when Edward came over to pick up Bella for a date?
“That got a lot of attention, didn’t it?” laughed Burke.
Instead, in the new movie that comes out next week, Burke cracks some impromptu jokes, gives Bella a priceless reaction when she says she wants to go shopping – and as he told us recently, used his real-life newfound fatherhood to inject an extra closeness to his on-screen daughter.
“You always look at what’s on the page, and you’re trying to be honest about what serves the story and about the character, you’re always looking for stuff that you might embellish, and add a little twitch here and a wink there, especially with Charlie,” Burke explained. “That’s aside from serving the purpose of being the moral compass of the stories. You’re looking to see what else you can do to throw in there and mix it up.”
“There are a couple of moments in both movies — ‘New Moon’ and ‘Eclipse,’ where hopefully we sparked it up a little bit,” he said of his scenes, typically opposite KStew. “We do play around with it a little bit.”
What is your favorite Charlie Swan moment in the original “Twilight” film?