‘Breaking Dawn Part 1′ Press Conference, Nov 3

Bill Condon

Q: What was it like entering this big franchise?
Bill: I wanted to put my take on the material, but still please the fans and still have a cinematic experience. Making two films wasn’t fun either. Kidding, it was fun. But it was hard. But people like Kristen had days where she’d be a vampire in the morning, pregnant in the afternoon, dead at night. It was difficult some days.

Question: Music has always been a huge part of the Twilight series. With Christina Perri’s music video, what sort of decisions or influences went into the decision process?
Bill: it starts right from the beginning. Music is part of the way of telling the story. It’s very up front in this movie. There’s a moment when bella finds out she’s pregnant. Bella leaves the room, but there’s a moment where she falls in love with her baby. It was designed to be accompanied by a song. We get a ton of material submitted to us. We’re listening to all these incredibles songs. A combination of me and my assistance, we cull through all this stuff. Then there’s a moment we hear a song and believe it’s perfect. What I’m trying to say is I tried to make room for these songs where they play an up front role in the film.

Question: When did the cast give you enlightenment? And what about having Meyer there?
Bill: the first people who arrived were Rob, Kristen, and Taylor. We just sat in a room talking about every page through the script. They showed a tremendous amount – when an actor embodies a role you’ll know it more than they ever will. I met with Rob a couple months before we started. We were just having a general talk about Twilight. He mentioned something I hadn’t known before. He’d been a playing a men who was full of regret and who was self loathing. Because of an episode where he broke away from the Cullen family (the early 30s in Chicago) where he’d explore what it’d be like to kill human beings.Rob thought it was a killed that played on Edward, but it was never played in the movies. There was Midnight Sun where it’s really explored. SO we had a conversation about that, I worked with Melissa, and we put it into the beginning of the movie. We understood where Edward was coming from. So things like that, so much comes out of those types of meetings.Working with Steph was incredible. Before we met her we’d be on Twilight LExicon because they had better timelines than we did. But having Steph was incredible, she was there to help us out.

Question: From philosopher (i think?) to filmmaker? How does that happen?
Bill: When I went to college I decided to expand outside of philosophy. I had the analytic skills to be a screenwriter. The things you learn in philosophy give you a certain kind of rigger. As soon as I graduated I started pursuing movies.

Question: Was the chemistry something you felt when you met them?
Bill: We started filming in Brazil. They were staying on the beach, and then downstairs there people all the time and they couldn’t leave their room. It amazed me how gracious they were all the time. I kind of understood it was part of the interest. Generally, one thing that’s so exciting is.. you work on every decision and it’s going to be studied and reacted to by a large group of people. We haven’t seen a screening with big crowds of people, except for last night. Rob and Kristen are so relaxed in the acting – it’s something they don’t even have to act.

Question: Filming in Vancouver, using it to stand in for Forks.
Bill: The exciting thing here is.. the Cullen house is where much of Part 1 takes place, and a lot of Part 2. Twilight it was on location, New Moon/Eclipse it was on a soundstage, in Breaking Dawn we made it in nature in Vancouver. We were able to build it with scope and beauty. We spent 4 months in Baton Rogue. It was all green screen all the time there. I can’t describe to you that day.. I knew the house so well. And then arriving there in Vancouver, and stepping on the exact same set, except it was in nature. It was so stunning and odd. As for the story telling, I”ll give you an example. Arina shows up at the wedding which doesn’t happen in the book and then storms off because she has a huge backstory with Laurent who had been killed by wolves trying to save Bella. That, she plays a big part in movie 2. But as opposed to “oh god why is she there” you want everything to happen in the present tense. And that was one of our principals when we adapted it. “Let’s make sure we can just show things and not talk about them.”

Question: The humorous elements.. there are so many serious topics but then there were many funny/light scenes. Talk about the decision to incorporate that.
Bill: The toast, early on it was something with the book. It was something that represented the wedding. I felt god that’d be such a great way to capture everything that’s awkward and weird about weddings. And these characters, when you’ve got Billy Burke. Melissa went and wrote those and I thought they were great. The scene with Bella – the shaving the leg and all that – you want to connect to always what Bella is feeling. And that incredible anxiety that anyone would feel, you can’t help but make it funny.

Question Once of the big differences with the Twilight film vs your other films.. it embraces a lot of melodrama.
Bill: I enjoyed it. I’m a big fan of classic hollywood genres. It allows you to immerse yourself in immersion, and do it with camera, music, design, and color. I very much embraced it. It’s a valuable genre. It often puts women and womens’ concerns in the center, that’s too bad. But I was excited by a melodrama.

Question: How did you keep the two films separate? A schedule?
Bill: We didn’t. I put my script together, it was a 220 page script. Part 2 begins the *moment* when Part 1 begins. We found the right place to end the first one. There were days when, again, Kristen’s a vampire in the morning and pregnant and dying in the afternoon. Poor Kristen had to make their shifts all the time.

Question: How’d she get so thin?
Kristen? She lost some weight, makeup, and a little bit of digital effects.

Question: Have you considered spinning off the Twilight franchise past Breaking Dawn?
Bill: I didn’t, but people have always asked. I think as I understand it, the story as told from Bella’s point of view is certainly completed. Whether Stephenie will show it from other points of view – I don’t know.

Question: I think it’s great how tune you are with all of the fans. This is for them. We heard it was originally rated R?
Bill: It wasn’t really rated R. They didn’t rate it. They told us we weren’t hitting PG 13 yet. It’s a very clinical thing. They have very specific guidelines for ratings. Because it’s so subjective they have very specific guidelines. I had to be critical but.. thrusting, intercourse. There was never explicit. It’s not very different from what you see. Any movement was what was considered not appropriate. Because of the popularity of Twilight it had a bigger focus.

Question: Rob jokingly blamed Kristen.
Bill: Well, Rob’s right. (laughter)

Question: There’s a huge number of new vampires. Talk about casting them?
Bill: We get a great preview of the new vampires in Part 1, the Denali clan. You wanted three actors who had a slightly other world quality, and I think they do. It was very fun casting them.

Question: Talk about shooting in Brazil.
Bill: We started on the honeymoon in Brazil. I found it great. The crew was great, we had some weather problems.. got rained in and had to sleep in bathtubs in the honeymoon house. But everything about it was magical. We were five hours outside of Rio, and we had to write a boat into the set every day.

Question: What will the younger fans think about this film? It jumped straight into pretty adult stuff.
Bill: I think the younger readers have grown up too. These concerns are not the same concerns when she moved out of Arizona. We always talked about.. if we take vampires and werewolves out, what is this about? It’s a true love story. Waking up every morning.. at least, one of them is waking up.

Question: Can you talk about cast management? How do you give all the characters a chance to shine?
Bill: It’s interesting. I remember we’d have scenes with the Cullens, and I had 8 people and I thought “oh great this is an easy day.” There were some days we had 27 people in the room and it was insane. It’s important everyone have their moment to define who they are. We gather all these vampires from around the world and we need to show who each of them are and what their powers are. We had Stephenie there – she helped with details that weren’t even in the book. But that was the challenge.

Question: Can you talk about the last day of shooting?
Bill: That was the almost last day. The last day was the middle of April and it snowed. It was hard to shoot in Vancouver. There were two big moments. One was the dance between Kristen and Taylor, and Rob stayed for the whole thing. It ended at dawn. Everyone got emotional and Kristen cut it with a joke. Because the last take.. high shot.. I call cut.. she starts running in the wedding dress and starts yelling “Jacob come back come back I’ve made a mistake!” (laughter) it was great. And then that whole moment when Alice and Jasper were dancing. But EVERYONE was there. We called cut and everyone hugged each other. It was great.

Excerpts of Stephenie Meyer, Melissa Rosenberg, & Wyck Godfrey:

Question: Have you ever offered any guidance as a mother to Kristen, Stephenie?
Stephenie: She didn’t need much guidance. Her transformation was cool. One day she’d be a vampire, the next pregnant, she did it so beautifully. She would come up to Bill and say “I need to look at my daught here,” etc. We all became Mackenzie’s (Renesmee’s) mom. Kristin got that instinct.

Question: What did you think of the birth scene, Stephenie?
Stephenie: I really liked it. It was something.. in the beginning when we developed the story, we weren’t sure if it’d be enough. The birth scene, we thought it would be a lot.. some people weren’t sure if it’d be climatic enough. With the birth scene you could tell it was so emotional. It was.. Edward is losing Bella, and Rob’s performance was so heartbreaking that I’m going to admit I teared up. Yes, there were tears because you looked at the idea of losing the thing most important to you. Bill has such a gift for that

Excerpts from Elizabeth, Nikki, Peter, Jackson:

Question: How do you feel that Kristen and Rob deal with the media scrutiny? How do you think they deal with it? Do you admire it?
Peter: I’ve been impressed. People ask if I give them advice, and I don’t because you have to go through it your own way. I don’t think they’ve changed who they are, they just have more people surrounding them. They haven’t changed and that’s nice to see.
Elizabeth: I agree. They had unusual challenges and I don’t think I could offer any advice. It’s really exciting that they’ve forgotten to play these roles, and carried us along with them.

Question: What props did you take or borrow from set?
Peter: I tried to take Carlisle’s ring. I said it wouldn’t come off my finger. And they tracked me down. They wanted to take a mold of it and sell it to the fans, I think. On the fourth one I asked to have one and I think i have one of the originals.
Jackson: I bought one of the Carlisle rings as soon as they came out (laughter)
Nikki: I’m a huge rule follower. So i was afraid of taking something and getting in trouble. They always find out. Kristen stole my sneakers in the baseball scene in the first movie. She came over to my house and said “hey they have two of these, you can have one.” They have all the mud on them so I never used ‘em.

Robert Pattinson:


Question: You’ve been playing Edward for 4 years, talk about the journey he’s taken through the series. And for yourself personally.
Rob: I think in the broadest terms, Edward’s journey.. I ignored the fact that he’s a vampire and that he’s 108, except for metaphorical purposes. You’re left with a troubled teenager. It’s a really simple story of him content with himself. He gets content by finding a woman and having a child. That’s how a lot of troubled guys balance themselves out? At least that’s the hope anyway.

Question: Bill mentioned that you said Edward was self loathing and it was never presented in the plot of the first three films.
Rob: I always thought that was the key ingredient. He’s been stuck in adolescence. You think everything’s unfair, he’s been living with it for 100 years. You eventually get to the point of desperation. it was difficult to portray that and a love story at the same time. It’s funny but Bill was the first person to say “I want to put this at the forefront” because Edward’s the happiest he’s been in the series. We did flashbacks that kind of reflect his anger.

Question: And your own personal journey?
Rob: It’s presented a whole variety of obstacles. Growing into who I want to be. It’s a very complicated maze. Also being propelled by some kind of jet, and going through the maze at the same time. It hasn’t slowed down and I’m still trying to figure out where I’m at. But it’s been fun. I didn’t even know if I was going to continue acting before this happened, and now I have more of a drive than ever before.

Question: What’s on your iPod right now?
Rob: I always sound so pretentious when I answer this. There’s this band called Pato (sp?). I Pianist called Arnold Dramale (sp?) I can’t remember anyone else, sorry… and Katy Perry! (laughter)

Question: Can you talk about your last moments of ever playing Edward?
Rob: She made a joke in the woods? Oh yeah, about running after Jake and saying she made a mistake. Yeah she’s done that throughout the series. The birth scene (talking about that now), I read that scene and was kind of astonished. I knew it was crazy but I couldn’t believe it was actually written down and we were going to do it. It was terrifying going into it. It ended up being this kind of – it was one of the most incredible scenes to do in this movie. There’s this R Rated – or NC 17 rated version of a few scenes in this movie. (laugh) Because of the violence, it gave you a lot of freedom in the scene. The characters were so desperate, it became something very very different. To do this thing where he’s suddenly playing Edward who’s stuck between an emaciated dummy’s legs, getting cream cheese all over your face, and then pulling out a three-week-old baby, it was overwhelming (laughin lots)

Question: last moments playing Edward?
Rob: The very last moments I was in the Caribbean, on the beach. It was incredible. It was the only time I did anything like that in the Twilight movie. The last scene with everyone.. it was 2 weeks of cold, end of night shoots. It was freezing cold, pouring rain. It was symbolic kind of how all the movies were shot (laughs). it doesn’t feel like the end of it yet. Also because the press tours have become so huge. This feels like part of the process. Until the last one’s released, I don’t feel like I’ve finalized anything.

Question: Have you ever had a super nervous/super happy moment in real life like Rob did in the wedding?
Rob: I can’t even think of one.. I was walking around in Paris the other day. Actually no, that’s a bad example. I can’t remember a specific example, sorry!

Question: You’ve done all these huge franchise films. What do you like doing really? The independent film? The big film? Gunning for Harrison Fords record of doing every franchise out there? What’s next for you?
Rob: I don’t know. I approach these moments the exact same way. Smaller movies are great because you don’t have to argue with so many people all the time. But really I like arguing so there’s a balance either way. With independent movies it’s nice to see – sorry, I just noticed your dog down there, I’m boring him to sleep (someone’s dog is here). Yeah, it’s nice to see someone directing who’s so pleased with it. He’s proved himself time and time again. I’ve never worked with someone who’sf elt absolutely no pressure. It’s nice that the pressure isn’t caused by compromises.

Question: You’ve talked about wanting to get back into music. Is that still a priority?
Rob: Yeah. I record stuff a lot but – there’s something about handling the criticism with movies, you can always blame it on someone else. But with music, you’re basically putting an album out for people to judge it. I don’t care what they say but the day it comes out I know I’ll look online to read reviews.

Question: You guys were immortalized earlier today. How do you feel about that?
Rob: I stayed at the Magic Castle the first few times I came to LA when I was like 17. I used to walk down to Hollywood blvd all the time and never knew it looked the way that it does. Honestly I don’t feel like I’ve even done it. It’s like this wave has happened and I’m just on it. I’ve never really had any kind of – I feel like now is all part of the same thing. I was kind of embarrassed because I stood up and messed up my own handprint! It’s incredible. It represents something amazing. It’s mind blowing.

Question: You guys experienced an extravagant wedding. Would you want one of those in your own life?
Rob: It does seem like a bit of a hassle. I was just doing an interview with Kristen. She got annoyed with me for saying the groom’s role in a wedding is just as a prop (laughter). Playing the part, you kind of realize it’s a clear indication when you’re staring at one end of the aisle and EVERYONE is looking at the girl coming down in a princess dress (laughs) it’s really just.. any guy who tries to get involved in a wedding, or has an opinion, … it’s whatever your wife decides a do.
Question: So that’s a no?
Rob: What doing a fancy one? No. That’s it for Rob, up next are Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner (separately)!

Excerpts from Taylor Lautner:
Question: Was it upsetting that Edward gets the hot vampire bride and you get a baby? (Laughter) 
Taylor: I know! When I was reading the books I was worried. I was like “wait, he’s trying to get Bella the whole time and he strikes out so he goes with her child?!” You have to tread lightly. It’s not romantic at all. Bill did an incredible job filming it carefully.


Question: What’s been your craziest fan encounter? And what’s happening next? 

Taylor: That’s so tough to choose one. I don’t like using the word crazy. I like the word passionate. Kristen and I had a very interesting Brazil experience. It was out of control but amazing and there was a lot of passion. I’ve had a few girls – a tattoo, a picture of you, or a signature on their arm. That blows my mind. Something new happens every single day. You’d think we’d all get used to it and expect it but every time something happens we’re like “are you kidding me?” We wouldn’t be here promoting a movie if it weren’t for the passion.

Kristen Stewart:


Question: You look sane and normal today. What we had from Bill Condon you had a crazy life playing a virgin in the morning, delivering a baby in the afternoon, talk about the trials and tribulations? Also, Bella’s become a huge pop culture character. How does it compare to playing Snow White? 
Kristen: Shooting two movies at the same time, with no regard to – it wasn’t something we were initially concerned about. Scheduling wise, it really was – EVERYWHERE in each day like Bill said. I think what that gave me was that – she’s thinking, she’s always looking into the future and what she’s going to achieve. Or she’s feeling bad about what she wants. She’s very much in her own head. Being able to play a vampire, a human, a pregnant woman – literally sometimes in the day.. it helped remind me that it all was equally important. Everything felt very close. If we did it more systematically, it wouldn’t have been the same. It was so overwhelming that it was a good thing. As for the iconic role, I guess the only actual comparison is that they really both are matriarchs. Very strong that need to find their position. But it’s so different (Snow White VS Bella). Snow White was really never.. I didn’t grow up on fairy tales. I didn’t grow up with Twilight.


Question: You’ve had success away from Twilight. How have you avoided being typecast? 
Kristen: I’ve done pretty – the movies I’ve done in between, I”m really lucky they’ve been very different. Not just because I meant them to be. They just happened to be very attractive to me. Right now is the first time I haven’t worked and not known what I was going to be doing. I want to have time off to figure out what my interests are. I want to really figure out what I REALLY want to do.

Question: Drawn to low profile projects to avoid that kind of Twilight buzz? 
Kristen: No, it has nothing to do with the profile.

Question: It looked like you lost a lot of weight when you were pregnant…
Kristen: Digital. We didn’t have time for me to do that for the role. That’s so cool that you believe it looks so genuine. I feared people wouldn’t like it. It did make me feel like, “UH i hope you guys do a good job making me look that thin!”

Question: What was going through your mind in the wedding scene?
Kristen: I had a million different things going through my head. I kept telling myself “stop stop stop” I can’t ruin it. I was so in the right place to do that I just needed to do it, stand there, walk, see everyone. I know the story so well. Remembering my lines is the last thing I think about. If you know a story so well, the lines just come out if someone asks you/provokes you in the right way. I kept telling myself to find myself in this moment.

Question: You Taylor and Rob have been this since the beginning. What do the guys bring to the experience? 
Kristen: I had a million different things going through my head. I kept telling myself “stop stop stop” I can’t ruin it. I was so in the right place to do that I just needed to do it, stand there, walk, see everyone. I know the story so well. Remembering my lines is the last thing I think about. If you know a story so well, the lines just come out if someone asks you/provokes you in the right way. I kept telling myself to find myself in this moment.


Question: You Taylor and Rob have been this since the beginning. What do the guys bring to the experience? 
Kristen: I couldn’t have done – I guess if you put different numbers in the equation you’ll get a different answer, but I can’t imagine doing this without Rob and Taylor. When I don’t see Taylor for a while, I go *gasp* and take your phone out. When you work with great people like him, you just love it. We got along and it shows.


Question: Fans tell me you inspire them to be theirselves. What do you think about that?
Kristen: I love that. I hate when people say “what advice do you want to give your fans?” oh god, I don’t even know how to explain this. People that I look up to.. you find people in life who have common interests.


Kristen: It’s hot in here. (lol)


Question: Rob made comments saying the wedding was practically real because you said real vows and you were pretty much married. 
Kristen: (laughs) the priest couldn’t even remember the lines! He’d say our real names. Was he a real minister? I’d like to find out (laughs) 

Kristen: This movie does have every mile stone. It crams a lot of milestones into one movie. It was a unique situation. All of the imposing elements. Every single time I think about this film, I think about a cat. In the corner. Claws out. Belly swollen. “Stay the F— away from me!” That’s how I relate to the scene….yeah, lots of milestones. Heavy heavy.

Question: What’s on your iPod right now? 
Kristen: This is really hilarious. I’m doing Snow White right now. It’s really weird being here right now to be hoenst because I’m so involved in Snow White. Adele’s new album is honestly… I’ve choreographed whole marches with my army behind me. It’s really good for the Snow white story, almost too good for it. She’s incredible.My regulars.. everyone knows what I listen to already, it’s very boring.

Question: What part of Bella sticks with you? 


Kristen: I don’t really.. I’m pretty wrapped up in her and vise versa. I’ve always felt you really project yourself onto that character. If you’re the type of girl to identify with Bella, you just are her. I’m asked “so how do you make her different?” i’m like “yeah but, I do feel like i am her. For her.. somehow i could not disagree with her ever, and I didn’t.” We’re pretty similar at times, but at times not. Hard to say.


Special Thanks to Hypable for their press conference coverage!



Rob Pic Via / Kristen Pic Via

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