Rob praises Bill Condon’s work on Breaking Dawn

LA Times: Robert Pattinson cheers ‘Twilight’ director Bill Condon

Reviews for “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn — Part 1″ might have been, well, mixed, to put it kindly — as of Sunday evening, the movie had a 29% fresh rating on the website Rotten Tomatoes. But the film’s director, Bill Condon, has at least one very prominent supporter: the movie’s star Robert Pattinson.

The 25-year-old English actor, who plays Edward Cullen in the series, had nothing but kind words for Condon, the fourth director to sign on for a “Twilight” film and the man who will conclude the saga next year when “Breaking Dawn — Part 2″ is released. He said he appreciated what the filmmaker was up against: a tonally challenging narrative, a special-effects-intensive production and pressure to meet outsize fan expectations for the first half of the finale of the franchise adapted from author Stephenie Meyer’s bestselling vampire romance novels.

“It was a massive undertaking, much bigger budgets and huge expectations, since it was the last one in the series,“Pattinson said of the production. “There was much more pressure than the last one.”

Pattinson said he felt that Condon had a point of view with the film — Condon told The Times that he wanted to marry melodrama and horror in telling the story of Edward’s marriage to Bella (Kristen Stewart) and the fallout from the unplanned pregnancy that happens soon after. The actor also enjoyed Condon’s humor, which showed up both on-screen and off. 

“It’s very easy to become cynical about stuff, especially where you are doing five movies in the series,” Pattinson said. “It’s a very sentimental story in a lot of ways, and I’m an incredibly cynical person. Bill would always have a great explanation for why it’s not ridiculous and it’s not corny. It was great to have someone on set who could convince me of those things.”

Pattinson said that from the beginning, the shoot was a challenge. The six-month filming schedule for both parts of “Breaking Dawn” kicked off in Brazil, where Pattinson said “everything went wrong.”

“Just the fact that he didn’t get overwhelmed within two seconds was a big deal,” Pattinson said of Condon. “We were in Rio [de Janeiro] for one day. Two cameras broke down, a crane broke down and everything was crazy. There was no crowd control, and he stayed perfectly calm. Bill was really thrown in the deep end, and we came up with really nice stuff. It was really pretty and nice.”


Kristen & Rob Discuss Bill Condon’s Direction of BD

The story, this time around, centers on Bella’s nuptials to Edward — she wants to be a vampire like him, his condition is that they get married first — and the life-threatening pregnancy that unexpectedly results from their first bed-splintering honeymoon encounter.
To bring such heightened material to the screen, Condon said he looked to both Vincente Minnelli and Alfred Hitchcock, hewing to tradition for Bella and Edward’s wedding and honeymoon, skewing more graphic when depicting Bella’s pregnancy, which is destroying her from the inside out. Through a combination of prosthetics and CG, Condon transforms his dewy brunet into a gaunt, skeletal version of herself.
“She needed to look like she’s dying or the story doesn’t make sense,” Pattinson said. “It was great that he went there.”
Pattinson says he felt a kinship with Condon from the moment the director came to visit the 25-year-old actor while he was shooting the period love story “Water for Elephants” in Los Angeles.
“I had my hair cut really short, and he said, ‘Oh, you should have your hair like this in the ‘Twilight’ movies.’ I thought, ‘OK, I already like you,” Pattinson said with a laugh. “Especially since so many people worried about my hair. It was all they cared about. The hair and a six-pack.”
Stewart too praised Condon.
“I wanted a director that I could trust enough that I could completely clear my head and know that all my preparation was going to find its way into my body,” Stewart said. “I didn’t feel that I was always looking over his shoulder making sure he was capturing it, or looking over his shoulder making sure he wasn’t missing some aspect of the book that I knew about and he didn’t. I already knew that we were on the same page.”
Condon had a particularly unique approach to Bella and Edward’s big love scene, which for fans is a culmination of years of repressed desire. Rather than do a straight-away shot of the young couple’s first night in bed together, he opted to show the majority of the scene in flashback through Bella’s memory of the encounter.
“It’s the reason I’m directing the movie,” Condon said of the sequence. “To me the memory of first sex — savoring the smell, the taste and the touch was more interesting. And it plays with people’s expectations. You don’t get much in the beginning and [people may think], ‘Oh, that was it?’ To set up a disappointment and then give them more seemed like fun.”
His decision seemed to go over well with the 7,000 people in the audience at the Nokia Theatre Monday night, where that soundtrack that Condon had been so carefully fine-tuning two months ago was often drowned out by the sounds of teen girls’ screams. It was a moment Condon says he won’t soon forget.
“It was so exciting to see,” he said by phone the following morning. “The way those fans anticipated the controversy [of the story] even before the characters know what’s happening was amazing. That was a relief.”

Condon talks Rob & Kristen’s ‘risque’ honeymoon scenes

“I think I probably would have liked to show a little more,” Bill told us exclusively at the premiere of the flick held at the Nokia Theater yesterday. “But I think it’s very romantic the way it is.”

Oh and as for how Billy thought the twosome handled the honeymoon pressure:

“They’re so cool and they’re so comfortable with each other,” he gushed about his starring twosome. “I think they understand that there were big expectations, but we talked about it for so long and really put it into pieces, ‘cause it’s the water, in the bed, then the next day and all that stuff. So it took a lot of pressure off of that one moment.

“When you write it could be interpreted any which way, it depends on which part of the camera picks up what. I certainly left room for as much to happen as needed,” writer Melissa Rosenberg told us about penning the bed-breakin’ biz. “But I have to say, it’s perhaps not R-rated, but it’s pretty risqué.