PARSIPPANY, New Jersey -- Being cut from a hit television series is an actor's worst nightmare, but for "Twilight" star Edi Gathegi, it actually was his lucky break. For seven episodes, Gathegi played Dr. Jeffrey "Big Love" Cole, one of several physicians vying for a coveted spot on Hugh Laurie's team in "House." It was his eventual discharge from the medical drama that freed up his schedule for "Twilight."
The actor regaled the audience with this story and a host of "Twilight" tales — often slipping into accents (his "Kelly" character was a particular hit) and leaping out of his chair to act out scenes — during an hour-long Q&A session at the official "Twilight" convention. ("Twilight" director Catherine Hardwicke and actor Gil Birmingham also spoke at the conference.)
Gathegi confirmed that he's seen a cut of "New Moon"
and said it follows Stephenie Meyer's novel closely. "That's the whole point of having Stephenie Meyer as a consultant for all the books, because you know she has final approval and final say and they're not going to do anything to upset the fan base," he told the audience. "You guys are the driving force behind this entire thing."
The 30-year-old spent about three weeks on the "New Moon" set and was met with a few happy changes from the first film. For one, the cloudy red contact lenses used to give the vampires their signature scarlet stares were replaced with sleeker models more closely resembling regular contacts. For another, Gathegi finally got to wear shoes. "God bless Chris Weitz," he said. "In "Twilight' we didn't have shoes, because in the book they don't have shoes — you know, nomadic vampires don't have shoes. And I was cold, I was froze to death! But Chris was like, 'Well, wear shoes.' "
When asked whether his character's penultimate showdown was more of a fight or a chase, Gathegi remained mostly mum, but did concede that it was hard acting with something that wasn't there. "We basically acted with a man holding a piece of cardboard shaped like a cow. So when you see the movie, look at my eyes and [decide], is he seeing a cow or is he seeing a wolf?"
Though that scene will be Gathegi's last as vampire Laurent, he said he can't be too upset about not returning to the saga. "Honestly, perspective. I'm happy I'm in 'Twilight.' I'm happy I made it to 'New Moon.' Things could be worse."
He did admit one regret: never getting to sparkle in the sun.
Check out everything we've got on "Twilight: New Moon."
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