Twilight is about two factions: the werewolves and the vampires. Those crazy kids can never seem to get along. Two of the film's werewolves, Julia Jones (who plays Leah) and Booboo Stewart (who plays Leah's younger brother Seth) break away from the pack to tell us about Breaking Dawn.
First off, Booboo... who named you?
Booboo Stewart: My parents. They gave me that nickname when I was a baby. My real name is Mills Allan Stewart Jr.
What are the advantages of being a wolf?
Julia Jones: For a female, it's not the best situation. I think it is fun to be around guys all the time, and it is a very familial situation, and it is wonderful to be in the woods. Outside of that... there aren't very many advantages. You can't have children, and it is hard to feel feminine. The whole pack mind-reading thing is weird, too. For a guy, it is cool, but for a girl, I think the cons far outweigh the pros.
How did you get cast in this movie?
BS: I was in a Walt Disney music group and when that ended, fans were telling me about this Seth Clearwater character. So I told my agent and he managed to get me in for a callback. The auditions were already done, and I was literally the last to be seen for the callbacks. It was just a really fun audition. The casting director and I had a lot of fun in the room. People always ask if I had to act like a wolf in the room. No, I didn't. I probably would not have gotten the role if I had to act like a wolf.
JJ: I had a relationship with casting director. She actually cast me in a movie the first day I arrived in LA, called Black Cloud. She called, and I auditioned. Then I went back and auditioned for a whole room of people. Then I didn't hear anything for a month. She called and said I was on the short list, then four days later, I got it.
What was it like working with Taylor? What do you think his prospects are for the future?
BS: I had a great time working with him. I've actually known him since I was nine years old, but this was our first time working together. It was cool; we hung out on set. He's such a nice guy, he hasn't changed. Taylor is always hanging out on set, so you never have to call him to set, which is really professional. I saw Abduction, thought it was great. He did really well with the action stuff and I think he'll have a long future.
JJ: I loved working with Taylor. There is a combination of lightness and energy that he brings to the set. He's always playing games. It's a really pleasant experience to be on set with him. At the same time, when it is time to work, he is very professional and really wants to collaborate. There wasn't a lot of rehearsal time, but when we showed up to set, Bill said, "Let's figure this out together. You guys play around. I'll be back in 10 minutes." Taylor and I would figure out what felt natural to do, and Bill would come back and ask what we had for him. I really felt like it maximized the experience of working with both Taylor and Bill. As far as his future, what can't he do? He's gorgeous, he's sensitive, he's so professional and hard-working, I think he could do anything he wants.
What have you learned personally from your characters?
BS: Seth is a very easy-going, very happy guy. In the movies, he just wants everyone to get along. I definitely learned a lot from how easy-going he is about things. I think that's really cool. I think I learned to be more calm in everyday life.
JJ: I think I should have played Seth! Playing Leah, you learn that you are responsible for the course of your life, for the decisions you make. If you are not happy, it is up to you to fix it. That is a lot of her journey in Breaking Dawn, and it was very liberating to play that out. Hopefully I can use some of that in my life.
Is it bittersweet that mainstream audiences only seem interested in Native American characters when they change into werewolves?
LL: I don't think that is a fair statement because they haven't had enough exposure to Native American characters. I think that's too bad. There are wonderful stories and they are an incredibly important part of the history of our country. They are just not told because they have so little presence in mainstream America.
How do you stay present, as an actor, when your physical presence is being embodied by a CGI werewolf?
BS: I don't know. When I first saw my wolf, I thought, "Wow, this is so cool." But then I looked at him and thought, "My wolf is so skinny. It doesn't look like he has eaten anything in months!" It was still really cool to see myself as a wolf. I thought they did a really good job portraying us as wolves. I get asked all the time if I had any input into how my wolf looked. I didn't but if I had, he probably would have been all black and big with wings or something,
What has been your most memorable fan encounter?
BS: I was doing this movie called White Frog. I play a character that has Aspergers. After finishing a speech in one scene, I was eating some craft services and this mother and son walk up to me. The mother said, "My son didn't know if he wanted to be an actor; now, he realizes this is what he really wants to do." I thought that was really cool, that you can influence people and change their lives.
Julia, can you talk about finding the balance between playing angry and playing hurt in the movie?
JJ: The balance between the hurt and the anger was a huge part of what happens in Breaking Dawn. The crux of that shift happens when she breaks off from the old wolf pack. As an actor playing her, I felt such a relief at not [playing her] so angry anymore. It's so exhausting to be angry all the time. I was really fortunate that the arc of my character was actually in the script, because it made finding the balance so much easier