Not to sound like an old sea captain, but I've been covering entertainment since before you could swim. To be fair, some of you may be 40 and still can't swim -- I'm not judging. Sorry, it was just a some flashy language to get this second "Twilight: Breaking Dawn" Convention Diary post started.
Here's the rub: I've been interviewing celebrities for over 10 years. And what I've learned from interacting with celebrities like Tom Cruise, Vince Vaughn and Jaime Pressly is they're not always people you would want to hang out with if they weren't rich and famous. Coincidentally, those three names I just mentioned were actually surprisingly cool, but others, not so much.
The roundabout point I'm trying to make is that a number of the "Twilight" actors I've seen this weekend seem like dudes I'd like to call on Sunday for football. Let's be honest, they're all insanely rich by now, but they seem like they'd be down to hang out, especially these three guys. You might also entitle this piece: "Male Twi-hard's Newest Man Crushes." [Ed. Note: As you wish.]
The actor who plays Wolf Pack member Paul is my pick for funniest person in the cast. He and actress Tinsel Korey did a panel taking questions from the audience, and almost all of Meraz's answers made the crowd laugh. When asked which vampire he would be, Alex Meraz answered, "I'd be Dracula from 'Bram Stoker's Dracula,' with those butt cheeks for hair." When asked about his feelings on "The Saga" ending, he deadpanned, "I cried ... all the way to the bank."
Not to be outdone, Korey played well with Meraz's humor and said, "He was paid 500 bucks." She also got one of the biggest laughs of the weekend: "Every time I see that Shake Weight, I think of you [Alex Meraz] using it in front of the mirror ... naked." Just the name Shake Weight became a recurring punchline for them.
The only artists who take themselves more unbearably seriously than actors is musicians. So, just going in, Jackson Rathbone has two strikes against him. He plays Jasper Hale in "The Saga" and fronts the band 100 Monkeys. However, on stage with Ashley Greene, Elizabeth Reaser and Peter Facinelli, Rathbone made us feel like we were all in his living room, goofing around over beers before going out on a Saturday night. He spit out so many funny, nonchalant one-liners that the woman next to me asked if he's a comedian when not acting. I said, "No, a musician." And she nodded like that made sense. It doesn't.
When asked about his audition for "Twilight," Rathbone said that Catherine Hardwicke just asked him to look hungry. To which he replied, "I am hungry," and stone-faced his Jasper-longing face -- funny because that's the only thing his character does in the first movie. The crowd belly-laughed as he continued transforming his face into a eerily-spot-on Jasper. Plus, Rathbone gets bonus points in my book for naming "The Big Lebowski" as his favorite movie.
Not to brag, but this isn't my first experience with Peter Facinelli: I got to talk to him for the DVD release of "New Moon." When his publicist had led me into the room to interview him, it appeared empty. She looked perplexed and said that he must have stepped out. We walked in and "Boo!" -- Facinelli jumped out from behind the door and scared the crap out of both of us.
That alone made him one of my favorite celebrity meetings, but my man crush was sealed this weekend. When asked who in the cast is most like his character, everyone agreed Facinelli is most like Carlisle Cullen. And that "awesome older brother" air really came across as he interacted with his castmates on stage. His best story of the weekend? He and Kellan Lutz were hanging out on set when Lutz, about to leave for the night, reached by Facinelli for some food behind him. Facinelli mistook it as Lutz going in for a hug and embraced the muscle-bound actor ... making things awkward. A really good sport, Facinelli told the story for the Twi-hards, even reenacting the moment with Rathbone as Lutz.