How do you prepare for that intense fan reaction that seems to follow you wherever you go?
For me, I never really experienced it until Twilight. I think the biggest extreme from zero to 100, as far as realizing what I’ve gotten myself into, happened at the premiere of Twilight. I was just like, “There’s a line of people. Who are they waiting for? Wait, is that my face on a poster?!?” It was so surreal. After that, you kind of get an understanding of what it’s like to feel like a Beatle. To have fans screaming your name and crying and running after you; you kind of embrace it.
So it doesn’t freak you out?
I just go into it open-armed now. I’m such a people person. I love hanging out with the fans and doing the conventions and Q&As. I did a Calvin Klein meet-and-greet at The Bay yesterday and the fans were so great. To hear their stories and hang out; it’s really humbling to know that they enjoy and they appreciate your work.
Did you have any crazy fan encounters at The Bay?
There was a guy Max who is such a big teddy bear, kind of like Emmett. He was like “What about all the men who came for you, Kellan?” He was awesome! I actually ripped my jeans onstage because I was giving a little girl a hug…
Oh, I’m sure the crowd didn’t hate that.
[Laughs] It was funny – I was like “Oh, now you get to see my Calvins!” So I changed my jeans and I gave my old ones to Max, ’cause he just cracked me up. But everyone is just so loving. I’m really glad that the loving fans sit on the streets and wait to see us at events for three days versus the haters.
So have you seen Eclipse yet?
No! Have you?
Yeah. It’s good; definitely my favourite of the three.
Awesome! That’s what I’ve been hearing. It was my favourite book. It was my favourite to shoot, mostly because it’s such an action-packed movie. And my character actually does stuff. He has more than four lines! I understand about the first ones; I knew that getting into it, you can’t really change the books. So it was funny when fans go, “Oh, I wish there is more of you in the movies.” There’s nothing you can do about it.
There’s so much action. I think this is the one that girls are going to be able to bring their boyfriends to and the guys won’t complain.
I know! I annoyed the producers since Day 1 on Twilight, trying to do all my own stunts. And for insurance reasons, they said no. But for Eclipse we did six weeks of mixed martial arts training – jujitsu, kung-fu, boxing. It’s such an epic battle. The stunt guys were brilliant. They really depicted each of our characteristics, with me being the bulldozer who just runs through people. While Jasper and Alice are quicker; they’re stealthy. Rosalie’s kind of dirty, so she’ll throw stuff. With each of us having a different fighting style, it really gave it a unique vibe when they put it all together.
It sounds like you loved the physical aspect of this film.
I loved doing stunts; I don’t have tattoos and I always say that my scars and bruises are my tattoos. I just did this movie called The Killing Game and we had real machetes and my chest got cut up by accident. My agent was like “That’s your money maker! You can’t ruin that!” [Laughs]
So you’re hoping for action movies in your future?
I love action movies; I want to work with Sylvester Stallone one day. I was supposed to work on his movie The Expendables. I auditioned for it and I got the role, but the scheduling didn’t work out with New Moon. And I was just like, “What a bummer.” It has seven of my favourite action stars. Jason Statham, Jet Li, Mickey Rourke, Randy Couture…it’s such an all-star cast. If the name “Kellan” would have been up there with them, I would have died happy.
You have a pretty intense fight scene early on in Eclipse where you face off against a werewolf. What’s it like acting against CGI?
That was tough because when I’m doing stunts, I need someone to push me to act against. But with the wolf, I just had to fake it. It’s just really funny when you have a cardboard cutout that you’re acting against. And that river was freezing! It was so cold and I was like “But vampires can’t breathe.” And David was like “Just use it as if you’re mad at the wolf.” So I’m like [mimes shivering and shaking]. All the actors playing the wolves have the easiest job ever because they get to hang out shirtless and then they don’t fight! [Laughs]
What was it like working with David Slade?
He’s really cool. I’m really a big fan. 30 Days of Night is such a great, epic vampire movie, and Hard Candy is such an intense mental movie, so he’s a great director for this kind of dark, edgy movie. He was never stressed and he always had this dry sense of humour that I loved. Some people didn’t get it, like Rob [Pattinson] would just not understand his jokes, which made me laugh even more.
This movie is much darker than the other ones, but Emmett is still the film’s most happy-go-lucky vampire.
My character is such an extremist; he is certain that nothing can hurt him. But he’s also a kid at heart and loves life to the fullest. And when he’s messing with Bella, I love that he can crack jokes in a jovial way instead of a mean way. He just likes to pick on her and then he shows his dimples. Like me growing up. I come from a big family. And I got away with stuff ’cause I’d just smile and be like, “I didn’t do it!”
In Eclipse, we see Jasper and Rosalie’s backstories. Where’s Emmett’s?
I know! There’s an excerpt that Stephenie [Meyer] wrote called “Emmett and the Bear” that she posted on her website. It really shows what the story is with Emmett and his relationship with Edward and how they became really close. I wish that we could show that. I’d love for Stephenie to write the Emmett chronicles.
Would you consider doing an Emmett spin-off?
Oh yeah. Even if it’s just one movie. To see Emmett and Rosalie’s relationship more would be nice. I love my character; I’ve made such a backstory in my head, and I just don’t get to show a lot of him. I can’t help it and I can’t complain, but there’s a lot that I want to do with him.
Let’s talk about Breaking Dawn. Are you excited that it’s being split into two movies?
I really am. I haven’t really sensed an ending coming up for the Twilight saga. I don’t want it to end because I love my character. I don’t mind going through two hours of makeup and putting in those annoying contacts just to be my character, because I have this happiness when I transform into him. And to get to do two more premieres, two more press junkets and have twice as long to travel around the world to meet fans is awesome. It’s just so easy. The movies don’t take too long to shoot and it’s a nice reunion with the rest of the cast.
So you’re not getting antsy to move on from Twilight?
It’s opened up so many doors that it doesn’t seem like it’s our whole life. We shoot it, then we work on three other different movies, and then you come back and get another taste of Twilight. I’m not super-saturated with Emmett or this saga yet; it hasn’t gotten old and it’s not going to.
What are you looking forward to about Breaking Dawn?
I really can’t wait to see how they’re going to do the whole baby thing. I’m just really excited to see how Melissa [Rosenberg] is going to write it. And also when they’re going to make part A stop and part B start. Is it before Bella transforms into a vampire? I can’t wait to read the script!