Since this month sees the DVD release of Twilight, the film's vampires visited our building here in Los Angeles last week to record a special segment for E! News. And while they were here, we made sure to grab them and have our own exclusive chat. Kellan Lutz, Edi Gathegi and Rachelle Lefevre sat down with us and revealed the latest in the Twilight film universe, from gearing up for New Moon (which they'll start working on this week through the end of May) to the delights and horrors of intense Twilight cast hazing, to their off-screen rivalry with Taylor Lautner—who plays werewolf Jacob Black—and their thoughts on the director for Eclipse. Is Drew Barrymore in the franchise's future? Hit the jump for the full interview with the anti-Cullens!
Before we get started, I have a question for Kellan from the fans online. They're wondering if he enjoyed meeting all the UK fans at the Eternal Twilight convention last weekend.
LUTZ: Oh, yeah. It was in North Hampton, an hour north of London and the population was about 200,000, so it was smaller venue. There was a big turn-out, 800+ people, and we did photo shoots and signings for hours. The Q&A's were great because it was Peter, myself, Ashley, Justin and Christian, all on stage just having random questions. It was very well organized and a smooth machine. The fans were just great. They had a prom there that night and Peter auctioned off two dances because he wasn't feeling so well, so he wanted to do that for them. It was such a huge hit that a couple hundred more people purchased tickets for pictures with him. Fans came from LA and we asked them when we had smaller Q&As why they came from LA and they said, "Well, what a great time to see London. I get to do a convention with you guys and then go see Big Ben." It was a great experience
How have you all of you guys perceived the attention you've been getting? Do you find you have it a bit easier than Robert and Kristen or do you still feel like you're drowning in it?
GATHEGI: A little easier? No man, I can't imagine what they're going through. Jokingly, I think Rob can't leave the house without full security detail. He's full-blown A-lister, presenting at the Oscars. He's getting it bad. It comes with the territory though. It's an icon right now, a full blown pop-culture phenomenon, this movie. I personally can fly a bit under the radar since I look different in person than I do in the film. I'm not wearing huge locks. I think people are starting to know who I am but my character is not big enough or significant enough to garner that kind of public attention. It's nice when I do, but I can definitely retreat and enjoy a meal at a restaurant.
Those dreadlocks. I'm going to grow them out now. [Laughs.] I get a table at a restaurant, they'll be like "Edi who?" "Edi dread." "Oh, This way!"
Regarding New Moon, you'll all be in the film.
LUTZ: Yeah we're all confirmed.
LEFEVRE: It's vampire camp. I keep calling it vampire camp.
LUTZ: It's nice to be part of it. It's very similar to the book. I loved the script, we all enjoyed it and I think it's just great being back together again.
Rachelle, you're badder than ever in this film…
LEFEVRE: Oh yeah, I'm bad. [Laughs.]
How do you get into that mindset?
LEFEVRE: For me I'm not treating it any differently because Victoria's a vampire. For me it's very straightforward in terms of what has happened here. The person who I loved and the person who I was going to spend literally eternity with has been taken from me in a pretty horrifying way. It's something I see as an injustice, and it's channeling very human emotions because vampires are humans with a virus. For me it's channeling devastation and revenge. All the darker human emotions.
With this film you're working with a new director. Can you talk about any differences you're sensing? Is the vibe any different?
LUTZ: I don't know if any of us have had the pleasure of meeting Chris.
LEFEVRE: I've talked to him on the phone.
LUTZ: Oh, good. You like him?
LEFEVRE: Yeah, he's great. He's quite different than Catherine. Because with Catherine there was a real sense of energy coming through. It kind of comes out in a different way with Chris. He's more measured. I think because he comes from being a writer and has come off of a film like The Golden Compass that he's just thought it through completely. He's ridiculously smart. You can tell by talking to him. I think he went to Cambridge. He's a real intellectual. It's real interesting because he has a fresh take. At the same time, you can tell that he's seen the movie, read the book and respects that we've already established something, and that it needs to be continued and fans expect some continuity.
Rumors are all over the internet about new casting. Can you talk about any of them, Dakota Fanning, Vanessa Hudgens, etc.?
GATHEGI: I heard the Vanessa Hudgens, Anna-Lynn McCord rumor for the first time today.
LEFEVRE: I heard Anna-Lynn McCord for the first time today. Who was she meant to play?
LEFEVRE: Oh, I hadn't heard that one.
GATHEGI: So that's the kind of loop I'm in. I heard the Dakota Fanning thing and I had a chance to meet her but Kellan asked her about it.
LUTZ: Yeah, we got to talk with her because she wanted to hang out with us, potentially her future cast mates, at the Push premiere. So that was great. It would be an honor to work with her. I've grown up watching her films and she's a brilliant actress. Even in Push she did an amazing job, so for her to play Jane it would only better the film.
LEFEVRE: I keep laughing because, if we got to work with her, she's done more movies than I have.
There were also rumors about Madonna being involved…
LEFEVRE: I heard that. Did you guys hear that about acting or about the soundtrack.
GATHEGI: I heard the soundtrack. For some reason I thought I saw something about her company producing the first film. I thought I saw that online. I hadn't heard though.
And yet another rumor is that Drew Barrymore may direct Eclipse…
LUTZ: I only heard that today but I'm very excited about the possibility, if it's a possibility.
LEFEVRE: For me, she's one of those actresses that has been doing it since she was 6 years old and has been in movies that I connected with my entire life. I love her work. I feel like she would fit right in with us.
Can you talk about anything on the Twilight DVD that fans might be especially interested in?
GATHEGI: Absolutely! The suggested retail price is $13.99. [Laughs.] It releases March 20th. It's at midnight, that Friday night. It's a 2-disc featurette with commentary from the director and Rob. There's going to be music videos from Linkin Park, Paramore…
LEFEVRE: Kellan wants to invite everyone to his midnight DVD release party. [Laughs.]
Any deleted scenes to look for on the DVD?
GATHEGI: I certainly hope so. I know there's going to be 5 deleted scenes and some extended scenes in there. I'm going to watch it from beginning to end! There's a documentary on the DVD. It's a 7-part documentary, a couple minutes each, kind of following the creation of the entire process. There's a Comic Con segment where we're first exposed to the fans.
LUTZ: That'll be fun for me. Since both of you guys were there it will feel like I was there. Just to feel the craziness of what you guys told me about. It won't be the same, but still intriguing.
LEFEVRE: I'm still excited to see it because I was there, but I wasn't there. It was one of those crazy out-of-body experiences. I'm going to watch it and say, "I don't remember any of that."
Any chance you might go back to Comic Con this year with New Moon?
LUTZ: I think so. I was so bummed I thought this was the movie to make me go there.
LEFEVRE: I hope so. Maybe we'll get to go as a whole cast.
Prior to working on Twilight, were you guys fans of vampire films?
LEFEVRE: I was. Not so much vampire movies for me, but Dracula, Bram Stoker's Dracula. Movie-wise, yeah. I love it. Interview with a Vampire -- I thought it was awesome. Even From Dusk Till Dawn. It caught me completely off guard.
LUTZ: Yeah I wasn't expecting it to go that way. I love Underworld because [of] my wife—well, when she breaks up with her husband. Kate Beckinsale, just letting you know I'm single.
LEFEVRE: I have to agree with your taste there.
LUTZ: She's beautiful. I love the accent.
Adn the latex.
LEFEVRE: Her husband, who is a director, will now never hire you!
LUTZ: I heard they broke up?
LEFEVRE: No! What?
GATHEGI: Now he definitely won't hire you. Wishing ill will on a marriage. [Laughs.]
There was another rumor about Taylor Lautner…
LUTZ: Who's that?
LEFEVRE: Didn't he play…
LUTZ: One of the high-school kids? Wasn't he an extra?
LEFEVRE: I don't think I liked that kid. He was the really annoying one that kept calling us.
LUTZ: Calling us like, "You want to hang out?" He's the one that had that weird snorty laugh too.
LEFEVRE: Oh God! That snorty laugh!
LUTZ: I was like, "Is that his character? Him being a high-school kid?" Oh, I hope he's not…
GATHEGI: [Laughs.] Taylor, of course he's in New Moon. He is a third of New Moon.
LEFEVRE: We love him.
There was talk about him not being in it. What was that about?
LEFEVRE: They always tell you don't take it personally but he handled it with such grace. It wasn't personally. There was no doubt ever that he did a phenomenal job in Twilight. It literally was a physical thing. You open up New Moon and because it's a book, he doesn't have to adhere to growth spurts. Over the summer, he's now 6 foot 5 and 200 pounds and looks 25 years old. They're concern was what's going to happen to Taylor. This kid though, he put on 30 pounds of muscle and worked out like mad. He worked on the character and figured out a way to give him a sense of maturity. I wouldn't be surprised if he gives him a bit of a deeper voice. He's been working on it and he's earned himself the role just by telling them he could do it. Since they wanted him anyway it worked out.
LUTZ: He was already working out with this in mind that he would have to become this mature, much more mature, Jacob before he even knew New Moon was green lit.
GATHEGI: The day after we wrapped on Twilight he hit the gym. While we were filming Twilight he didn't touch the weights, knowing that might have to change his look completely.
If I may switch gears for a moment... Are you guys fans of the horror genre in general?
LEFEVRE: I can't watch horror movies because when I was a kid I used to watch Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the 13th and I did not sleep for months. There was a scene in one of the Nightmare on Elm Street movies where the girl is taking a bath and Freddy's hand comes out of the drain. No baths after that. I'm such a lightweight when it comes to that. I have one exception and that is anything with religious content, like The Exorcism of Emily Rose, The Reaping or even Stigmata. Anything with religious content I'm a sucker for.
LUTZ: I'm completely the opposite.
LEFEVRE: Like slashers?
LUTZ: Well, slashers I know are so pretend and I didn't grow up being scared of the boogeymonster or a monster in my closet. But religious stuff... My family is so religious from the Midwest, exorcism stuff is such a real thing in a way. Bringing the religion to demonic creatures and beings like that is just scary. I feel like when I do watch Exorcism of Emily Rose I can't sleep, because I felt like I had really seen something I shouldn't have seen. They're great movies. It's funny, what scared me then and what scares me now. I watch Leprechaun now and I'm like, "Why did I like this?" There's Puppetmaster. I wanted some of those demonic little dolls.
LUTZ: But it's just funny now.
LEFEVRE: I don't find it funny. I find it creepy. [Laughs.]
Getting back to New Moon... Do you guys find the script to be very similar to the book?
GATHEGI: I read New Moon before I started filming Twilight, so I can't recall scene by scene but I know the care that Summit is taking care to bring to life the vision and make the fans happy. Chris cares about that too, so I'm sure it will be very close in the same way that Twilight was very close.
LEFEVRE: It's really similar to what they did for Twilight in a sense that it's really condensed time. There are certain things that just didn't make it in or got added. It's not new. It's just an amalgamation of things they needed to condense. It's just a way to move the story forward. Those are the only real changes, in the same way that Twilight was. They take the center of the story, which is the love triangle between Bella, Edward and Jacob and then everything is tailored to fit.
You get to fight werewolves, Rachelle.
LEFEVRE: Uh, yeah!
Are you looking forward to that?
LEFEVRE: Somewhat. Edi and I definitely have some encounters, so I'll be back at the gym working out, working on the wires.
Will there be even more stunt work for you guys?
GATHEGI: Definitely for me. I didn't get to do wire work last time.
LEFEVRE: I had some but. All my major fight stuff is in Eclipse. [To Lutz.] You always have fight stuff. You're the fighter.
LUTZ: I love it.
What do you like best about playing a vampire?
LUTZ: For me, with Twilight, we were these supernatural creatures portraying humans in civilization. I think it's brilliant and it makes it that much more real. I was having a discussion with, I think it was you Edi, and we were talking about how in Push they had special powers but they weren't wearing special suits, so I could relate to that. With Twilight you can't tell we're different from anyone else in high school. They just think we're weird and have pale skin.
GATHEGI: I like playing characters of status, kings or people that demand attention. They don't do much but people respect them. I think it takes it to another level: the evil vampire.
LEFEVRE: Plus it's closer to how you think people should treat you in your real life. [Laughs.]
GATHEGI: Right. [Laughs.]
Edi, you also recently did My Bloody Valentine. Are you a fan of the genre in general?
GATHEGI: I'm not a fan of the genre in general because I often feel things aren't plausible in the worlds that they create. I just can't get into it. If there's a plausible storyline and things are realistic but there happens to be this fear, I'm a fan of that. That's why I wanted to do My Bloody Valentine. That's why I wanted to do Twilight -- because it wasn't about vampires it was about romance.
In general, how do you feel about the rumors of well-established stars joining the film series? Since you guys seem like a tight family unit at this point, are you at all apprehensive ?
GATHEGI: I think it's cool that we've been a part of something that stars are attracted to and want to be apart of.
LUTZ: Yeah that's really cool. Dakota Fanning, Madonna…
GATHEGI: That's awesome. I welcome them. The more stars we have the cooler the project can be. I'm not threatened. I've got mine, now come get yours.
LEFEVRE: I think also we spent so much time together filming, doing press, hanging out. We've really gotten to know each other. The perfect example is... Rob, for us, isn't Rob Pattinson. He's just dorky Rob. That whole thing has been an indication that it doesn't matter who comes in. We get along, we do our thing, and we have a great time. I think that energy is infectious. No matter who comes on board, even if they come from a bigger status, I think they'd be welcomed.
LUTZ: We do hazing.
LEFEVRE: I don't care who you are. We will haze you. There's no hierarchy.
What's the worst thing you've done to a cast member?
GATHEGI: Killed them.
LEFEVRE: Edi named Taylor "two-times-eight" because he's only 16. He's the youngest cast member. We never called him by his name, we'd just say "What's up two-times-eight?" And by the end the press tour he just looked like he was going to throttle us.
GATHEGI: By then we learned that he's a karate champion two times over so I had to tone that down. Plus he's not two-times-eight anymore -- he's 17.
LEFEVRE: About Kellan too... Whenever anyone would say, "Where's Kellan?" I'd say, "I don't know. Probably bench-pressing the hotel."
LEFEVRE: Where's Kellan? "Oh, I don't know. He's changing the tire on my trailer, on his back." [Laughs.]
What's your biggest fear?
GATHEGI: Never working again.
C'mon now -- a realistic one.
GATHEGI: Oh, thank you. I'll go last on this one…
LUTZ: It used to be death but now it's... I guess losing someone, or not being able to help someone out because they have a disease or something that you can't do anything about. It's that waiting period and you can't fix it. Helplessness.
LEFEVRE: That's a thoughtful answer and now I'll be a bit dark. I don't know what it is, but we're pushing the racy envelope, and as a woman I feel like everyday I'm bombarded with images of women being attacked, whether it's sexually or domestic. I don't know. I just feel like everywhere on TV and movies, it's just so pervasive. It's the woman, or the lone woman, being stalked and then attacked. It started to really get under my skin, and I notice just walking down my street I started to feel afraid everywhere I went. Now I just won't watch things that have those pervasive images in it. As soon as I eliminated watching those things I started to regain a sense of self. The world isn't as safe as we want it to be, but its okay to walk my dog around the park.
LEFEVRE: [Laughs.] That they'll attach onto your ankles?
GATHEGI: I just get the heebie-jeebies when I see things with raised surfaces and patches. The hair on the back of my neck stands up and I get very incapacitated. I hate barnacles. Anything that looks like a barnacle. You burn a bagel and it gets bubbly and raised. It freaks me out. Otherwise I'm not scared of anything. [Laughs.]