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Had there been just a slight shift in the sciences, Shiloh Fernandez would've already been a mega-star by now, obsessed over by millions of adoring fans. The California native was thisclose to playing Edward Cullen in "The Twilight Saga," but didn't find strong chemistry with potential co-star Kristen Stewart, telling NextMovie the two "didn't mesh up."
That's ancient history now, as Fernandez gets a new chance to shine in a cool new spin on a classic fairytale, "Red Riding Hood." And the chance comes courtesy of original "Twilight" director Catherine Hardwicke, who was obviously taken with R.Pattz's runner-up during their first go-round.
In Hardwicke's "Red Riding Hood," Fernandez steals Amanda Seyfried's heart as a woodcutter with whom she wishes to run away to escape her impending arranged marriage. Of course, there's still that big bad wolf to contend with first. The role of Peter is Fernandez's biggest movie role yet after appearing on TV in "Jericho," "The United States of Tara" and "Gossip Girl" as well as on-screen in "Cadillac Records" and other small roles.
With "Hood," Fernandez's time has come, and we got the back story on the 26-year-old, who exudes an effortless likability that will make him one to watch on the big screen.
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What was your very first acting gig?
The first thing I got was a commercial for First 5 California that was directed by Vadim Perelman, who did "House of Sand and Fog." The first show that I did was "Cold Case."
What do you think you'd be doing if you weren't acting?
When I went to college, I was doing well in school but I didn't have any drive to study. I really liked Spanish, so maybe I could have majored in Spanish, moved to South America and run a banana farm or something. Recently I went home and did a play and helped build a set, and I really enjoyed that. My stepfather is a contractor, and I really like working with my hands. I think that would be a fantastic job. I think writing is such a great talent, and if I was better I would love to be a writer.
Do people recognize you on the street?
There is no recognition. The reaction is I'm just walking down the street -- tripping and falling and spitting.
Do you have a dream role?
I read books sometimes and think, that would make a fantastic character. In terms of the things that I've seen, I like smaller, quiet movies. I have an affinity for country music and would love to play a country music star.
Can you sing?
I don't know. I haven't let that out into the world yet, so I need to get a response before I can answer that.
Rock or rap?
Mac or PC?
That's obvious [looks at Mac laptop on the coffee table in front of him]. Mac.
"The King's Speech" or "The Social Network?"
Oh man. That's hard. I'll say "The Social Network" because Andrew Garfield is amazing.
"Harry Potter" or "Twilight?"
I have to support my director and say "Twilight."
Edward or Jacob?
Zac Efron or Zach Galifianakis?
Galifianakis for sure. He's hilarious.
Beer or wine?
"Star Wars" or "Star Trek?"
New York or Los Angeles?
I live here. L.A.
Twitter or Facebook?
Neither. But Facebook would be my preference, I think.
Bieber or Timberlake?
I just had dinner with Timberlake. I like him. I'll say Timberlake because of my very small personal connection.
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What's next for you on-screen? Is there any truth to you being the lead in a remake of "21 Jump Street?"
I auditioned for "21 Jump Street" last week and I think it's hilarious -- it's a really funny script. "Skateland" was something I really wanted to do and was lucky enough to be cast with this girl from "Twilight," Ashley Greene. I play this kid from East Texas who is having a hard time making decisions and growing up. Through a series of events that take place over a summer, he's forced to make a decision and take responsibility for his life and happiness.
Who would be your dream love interest on-screen?
Wow. That's a big question. Amanda was a dream come true in "Red Riding Hood," so I've been lucky this far [long pause]. I always had a big thing for Winona Ryder.
You have a bunch of fan websites. Are you ready for all the screaming girls and that kind of fandom?
I've been waiting forever for it! I don't know—it's hard to imagine that would ever take place. I think it would be really fantastic to have people who are fans and enjoy watching you make films. I don't know any way to prepare for that.
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