On Monday I sat down with Rachelle Lefevre, Taylor Lautner, and Edi Gathegi to talk Twilight. We talked a little Cam Giganet, Pattinson's kickboxing, and of course how many times you should see the film to consider yourself a true fan. Enjoy!
Rachelle Lefevre: Yeah, it's from the poem by William Ernest Henley. I think Roman soldiers used to carve it on their shields before they went into battle, which is totally me (laughs). No, it's from the poem.
LL: Taylor, since you're currently sixteen and playing a crucial part in the series I've got to ask you, have you had a first love? (Edi Gathegi starts laughing)
Taylor Lautner: (to Edi) Don't even start with me punk!
Rachelle: Edi likes to make fun of Taylor for being young, so the fact that Taylor has to answer this question is so delicious to Edi.
LL: Now I feel bad.
Taylor: Just for Edi here, yes, I believe I have been in love. Passionate love!
LL: Nice work. You nailed that.
Rachelle: Yeah, nice work 2x8. (as Taylor is 16 ... you get the joke).
LL: So how do they determine who interviews together? Do you guys just all get along?
Rachelle: I think it's a chemistry thing.
Edi Gathegi: I think they're aware of the chemistry. Rachelle and I instantly bonded and hung out on set. When the cameras stopped rolling we were out there laughing and joking, hitting up restaurants, quoting Eddie Murphy.
LL: Early Eddie? Or Norbit Eddie?
Rachelle: Delirious Eddie Murphy!
Edi: Would we quote late Eddie Murphy?
LL: So Taylor, we're running a contest on why Edward is the best choice for Bella. You want in on that?
Taylor: No way, man. That's just ridiculous. I believe that Bella is too young to think straight.
LL: I get it. You don't drop character until the DVD commentary. Edi, I hear that you're a newly minted Dexter fan.
Edi: Yeah, like two weeks ago I locked myself in my house and watched all the episodes. I think it's one of the most brilliant shows on the air.
LL: So is it odd for you guys to do a project where 95% of the people are familiar with the source material?
Edi: Yes, only because you have to take them into consideration. You can't deviate too far from the template. Everybody has to be on the same page. That's why we were fortunate to have Stephenie Meyer on set as a consultant.
LL: Her cameo in the film was fantastic, by the way. Though she was pretty down on it at the press conference. How do you guys deal with negativity in general? Because I know this has been kind of a roller coaster project.
Taylor: I understand where the fans are coming from. They are so passionate about this and they have a detailed picture about what the characters are supposed to act and look like so when someone is cast that's not exactly like that... but I understand. We can only do what we can do. I do think they'll be proud of the outcome.
Rachelle: I was thinking about this the other day with comic books. If you're adapting a comic book there's still a lot of people who haven't read the comic. So they just make a great action movie. People who saw Iron Man hadn't always read it first. So we're in a unique position and you have to service that. I think there is a way to look at the negativity as a side effect of passion.
Edi: It's impossible to please everybody. When you can let go of your need to please everybody then you can let go of however it's going to damage you to not feel accepted.
Rachelle: That's just good life advice!
Edi: For the fans, at the end of the day, people change. You can see things in a different way at different points in your life. So you may not win them over this year but people grow. Nothing lasts forever, right?
LL: Rachelle, I read online that you acted like a cat for an hour a day to get ready for this part. Is that true?
Rachelle: I did, but can I take a moment to clarify this? I was so brutally misquoted. (The group starts laughing)
LL: You had a big ball of twine?
Rachelle: (laughing) No, what's funny is I was rattling off all these things I did to prepare and I didn't realize how seriously it was going to get taken. Then someone on the internet wrote how I was taking myself very seriously, how I thought I was a method actor. Like I thought I was Gary Oldman or Daniel Day-Lewis, how I said thought I was a cat. But I never said I was a cat!
Now, I did watch lion attacks on YouTube. And this was because Stephenie used the word "feline" to describe Victoria as being agile. So I wanted to figure out a way to separate myself from normal human movements. So what am I gonna do? I'm going to watch cats, because that's the word Stephenie used, feline. Because I've established that I'm not the most graceful person, when I say I acted like a cat I don't mean I was drinking milk out of a plate. I was just trying to be graceful. I over-exaggerated things, and the reason I did that was so when I got to set I could tone it down. I didn't want to feel like a fool doing all these vampire movements, so I wanted to put it in my body. It was like a theater-school exercise. But I'm glad that I did it. Though maybe I'm not glad I told people.
LL: What are you reading, watching, and listening to right now? Besides Twilight of course.
Edi: Dexter of course. I'm reading Any Given Day by Dennis Lehane.
Rachelle: My dad was an English teacher so I try to read one classic a year. So I'm on chapter three of Candide by Voltaire. It has drugs and sex, it's actually a romp! I really like it. I'm listening to the new Ray LaMontagne album, it's really good. But right now we're so busy all I have time for is guilty pleasures, so I'm only really watching America's Next Top Model. Tyra's fierce!
Taylor: I'm busy taking college courses, so for what I'm reading my psychology textbook is taking up my time. I'm watching football constantly, because I'm playing fantasy football. So I'm rooting for my players.
LL: Is there an artist you would want to see on a potential sequel?
Edi: I totally love the band Coldplay.
Rachelle: Or old-school Portishead.
Taylor: I don't know if it would fit, but one of my favorite bands I just discovered is called Rocket Summer. They're really passionate.
LL: What was it like with Cam Giganet on the set when he was done? Because all the rest of you guys are in for the sequel, but Cam is finished. Was it like "Poor Cam!"?
Rachelle: I saw Cam in a hoodie advertising for The Gap. Ain't no poor Cam.
Edi: I saw him on E! the other day, his own little special.
Rachelle: We were all in the woods so we started making up Native American names for each other, and Cam's was "SmokesAloneIntheWoods."
Edi: Definitely a lone ranger. We know we'll see him again though, and it will be nothing but love. He definitely has his own thing going on though.
Rachelle: I feel like there were two sides to him, there was the guy who liked to be alone and do his own thing. But then we had days on set where he'd have these moments where he opens up. And when he smiles stuff moves out of the way. He has a megawatt smile. He's so lovely. But he's just quiet. He's never rude, and never mean, and he won't blow you off or anything. He's just quiet. He just keeps to himself.
LL: I read that Rob Pattinson did three hours of kickboxing a day to get ready for shooting. Did it show?
Rachelle: He did???
(At this point all three actors start laughing hysterically. Clearly they didn't see evidence of his kickboxing. Hmmm. )
He was definitely in shape. But kickboxing requires intense choreography, doesn't it?
LL: Unless you want to get beat up.
Edi: Yeah, let's just say he was in shape on the set and leave it at that.
LL: Alright, last one, give a message to the fans.
Edi: Thank you so much for your support, you are the driving force behind the entire thing. We tried to do our best to bring you the best film. And from Taylor: You're not a real fan unless you see the movie at least five times.
Taylor: If you want to call yourself a Twi-Hard you are seeing it minimum ten times!
LL: On opening weekend, or spread out?
Taylor: You can space it.
Edi: Yeah, we're generous.
Rachelle: In addition to the thank you I want to take this opportunity to say go easy on Rob ladies, when you see him in public. He's a nice guy. Saying hi is one thing, but please don't attack him, we care and worry about him!
Stay tuned for more interviews, articles, and photos in our Ten Days of Twilight extravaganza!