I was lucky enough to have Billy Burke call me on the phone today. With his performance as Charlie (Bella's father) drawing positive reviews and the news that New Moon is going to be made we decided to talk some Twilight. Enjoy!
Laremy Legel: You guys opened right at $70 million, and now New Moon has been greenlit. Are you excited to continue with the series?
Billy Burke: Yeah, $70 million, that's quite a bit for a movie with no stars in it! I've been told that Charlie is more prominent in the next book. I haven't read the books, surprisingly enough. I read bits and pieces of Twilight as we were making it. I'm just not a good reader so I haven't been able to sit down and get myself through an entire book in my whole life.
As far as the sequels go though, yeah, as long as they'll have me back I'll keep coming.
LL: As the books go on your relationship with Bella gets increasingly complicated. As far as you and Kristen Stewart, how is the relationship there?
BB: The first time I met her, we were both on the plane up to Portland. She didn't know who I was but I recognized her and I went up to her and said, "Hey, I'm your dad!" I think she thought that was entirely creepy (laughs). From that point on we got along really well. She and I work the same way. We do what we do and kind of get out of the way and let it happen. On set there were a number of times when, if we were having difficulty with something, we could take solace in the other. I think she's wildly talented.
LL: Have you had any Charlie moments with fans recognizing you?
BB: Oh yeah. The premier was nuts. People screaming "Charlie!" was a little shocking. But yeah, the movie just came out and I haven't been out of my house, so we'll see how that goes. But I was Charlie disguised with a cop mustache in the movie and I don't have that anymore.
LL: Have you ever run across a fanbase like this?
BB: Never. I've never seen anything like this. It just kind of came out of nowhere, even for us.
LL: Any word on scheduling for the sequel yet?
BB: Nobody knows anything right now. There are whispers. I know that they did greenlight New Moon. My guess, if I had to guess, is they'd probably want to start shooting as soon as possible. But that's only a guess.
LL: What was your relationship like with Rob Pattinson?
BB: We both come from the same life mentality: don't take anything too seriously, do the best you can in your work, and relax when you're not. We had a few laughs, a couple of drinks. Good kid. He's got a few songs in the movie and I'm a musician myself, but Rob's musical ability really blew me away. He's gonna go far.
LL: Do you have any children of your own?
BB: I've got a four-month-old daughter, ironically. We, I say we, were pregnant during the shooting of the film.
LL: As an actor do you want to know where the story is going? Or do you prefer to take it day by day, scene by scene on set?
BB: Yeah, that's why I didn't read the books. There's some truth to that. I'm a guy who likes to make it up as he goes along. If I'm given too information it does nothing but water me down.
LL: What's Catherine Hardwicke like on set? Does she give a lot of feedback?
BB: She likes to play a lot. That's great, and as an actor I've worked with people who you don't feel protected by, but Catherine always protects you. She does what all good directors should do, hires the right cast and lets them do what they do and trusts them. Beyond that she's one of the sweetest, kindest, most giving directors I've ever worked with. She really poured her heart into this thing.
LL: You seem to be the most consistent of all the characters in the story. Do you consider yourself the stabilizing force?
BB: Well, I consider Charlie to be a guy placed in the middle of a miasma that he's unaware of. All he wants to do is reconnect with his daughter. If that came across that way then I'm glad.
LL: Do you think your own parenting style will end up like Charlie's?
BB: I hope not, but only because Charlie and Bella had quite a bit of distance between them. I would hope I'm able to maintain a deep relationship with my daughter throughout.
And with that our time was up. For my money, Billy Burke was the most solid actor in the film. He gave an understated and elegant performance. I look forward to seeing his work in New Moon.
More interviews, articles, and photos in our Ten Days of Twilight extravaganza!