With a new director, new cast members, and a whole new artistic vision, New Moon promises to be a more mature and emotionally fraught film than Twilight. We chatted yesterday with Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, the stars of the hotly anticipated vampire romance, as well as Chris Weitz, the second director in the Twilight Saga. Learn what they told us after the jump.
On preparing for New Moon:
Pattinson: ...as soon as I finished Twilight I knew what I had to do and I knew I had a lot of work to do. I mean, gaining 30 pounds. I stayed focused and it all worked out well.
On the fans at Comic-Con:
Stewart: I knew what to expect going into this so I was much less surprised. When I show up at these places I'm always sort of blown away. In this case I was ready for it. I think I was overcompensating. I was really tired.
Pattinson: We've seen just about everything there is to see with these fans during the past year, so we expect anything. And it was just awesome to be with them again and show them the two clips.
On the film's romance:
Stewart: The [romance was probably] the only thing that could bring this girl out of the deep. I mean, it's much more heightened depression. In this movie you don't get sad, it's like you die.
On the challenges of adapting a novel:
Weitz: In terms of the visuals, I considered combining a sense of… The last film I did [The Golden Compass] was set in a parallel universe, so I could do whatever I wanted. We kind of got a chance to reinvent the wheel. This film in set in a very specific place, in some ways a kind of workaday place; what's already been established. Yet then to take it to some flights of fancy, maturity… To be honest, a lot of it was hiring someone like David Brisbin, who's a genius production designer and a director of photography who shot things in a lush, beautiful way. A lot of it is taking the world that's already been established and bringing some new set pieces to it.
On the film's vision of werewolves:
Weitz: Well, we wanted it to look like a wolf, just a very, very big one. Once you've made that crucial decision you don't have to spend too much time on R&D. The designers started rendering what they usually do for monsters. A lot of it was really detailed, the fur, the muscles, the fat under the fur, the way they move in the light, so that took a long time. We have a huge advantage in that it's Phil Tippet studios and Phil Tippet is one of the greatest visual effects artists in the world.
On being the new director:
Weitz: What we're bringing in New Moon is very different from what was brought in Twilight. I think I'm very old fashioned in my film references and what appeals to me in the way that shots are composed, in the way the camera moves, in the depth of color that I like to bring out of things, so that influenced the kind of people I hired on the crew… I'm not focusing on things that are contemporary because that's already there, the characters are contemporary, the music is contemporary, but the feelings are perennial.
On the third film, Eclipse:
Stewart: But it's kind of nice because we are playing the same characters and building on them and digging deeper into their lairs.
On what was learned from the previous movie:
Weitz: For one thing, I have a wonderful cast, which is really the main appeal to me. Because when I was offered the film I hadn't read the books yet, and once I did I saw that there was this kind of deep current of longing and romance to it. I inherited a huge fan base, which is incredible for a director, because you know people are going to come and see your movie. That's the whole thing you worry about when you're trying to make a film, because it's so, so expensive and you work so hard and you make other people work so hard. So knowing that people are going to come and see it is tremendously refreshing.
On changes to the first film's vampire makeup:
Weitz: There's more consistency between shots, to be cold-blooded about it. The whole thing has a different kind of look because this is a whole new breed of vampires altogether. The diamond skin we're remaking – it's gonna be groovy.