Kellan Lutz and Alex Meraz talk about some of their experiences of shooting the Twilight franchise, including the latest movie, Eclipse. They also discuss why the franchise is so popular and some of their craziest fan experiences.
Q. Can you believe, looking back to the first film, that this franchise has become what it’s now become?
Kellan Lutz: You tend to fall in love with your characters, which is very unique. For myself, I love Emmett and I love playing him, and its going to be sad when you close the chapter to each book because it’s been a huge part of our lives. We’re like a family and have built this semi unit on and off set. But it’s really a blessing to be part of a franchise that allows you to continue on to do the sequel and to make the third book into a movie. Eclipse was my favourite book to read out of the series. I’m really impressed with the action and the mix between the love stories. I haven’t seen the movie yet and I can’t wait to see it tonight, but it’s really exciting to finish something off like this.
Q. What is it about this series that audiences love about vampires, mysticism and the undead?
Alex Meraz: I think you said it, love. At the root of every great story is a love story. There’s definitely elements of fantasy within the werewolves, shape-shifters and vampires, but at the end of the day it’s grounded in reality and there’s the love story. I think everyone can relate to that. They know how it is to feel unrequited love, jealousy, revenge, loyalty, having to make choices… I think this film definitely covers all that.
Q. Can you tell us a little bit about the training you went through for the fight scenes in Eclipse?
Alex Meraz: We did what’s now called wolf camp. We did muscle confusion…
Q. Muscle confusion?
Alex Meraz: Yeah, it’s confusing! It’s like circuit training. But more than anything, what it helped to do was just bond us. We got really comfortable around each other and there are scenes when we’re just goofing off the whole time. We couldn’t tell when the camera started and when it was called “cut”. So, we were always having a great time. But it was a fun experience. But the workouts at wolf camp were kind of forgettable, I guess. I had been working out a bit before because my background is in martial arts and dance. So, it was a pretty organic process to go in there and taking my shirt off.
Q. You’re so involved with the franchise, do you still feel you can enjoy the films in the same way as everyone else?
Kellan Lutz: I think that’s the fun of it. We know the secrets when we shoot scenes and you know what happens behind that fake set, or if that really wasn’t where it was. The memories come back. I know when I watch something that I’m a part of, or stuff that I see my other cast mates in, you just get that little hint of something extra, which is really kinds of dear.
Q. What’s the craziest fan experience you’ve had?
Alex Meraz: I think it was last year, when we were promoting New Moon, we did this big Q&A in Los Angeles and the whole cast was behind this cage and all the fans were there. Everyone else was sort of turned away from the fans, and I was the only one doing the whole prom thing and waving. And then I saw this fan with a bouquet of flowers and a teddy bear, and she was like: “Come here!” In my mind, I was thinking: “Oh, she shouldn’t have…” So, I go up to her and she was like: “Give it to Kellan!”
Q. And Kellan?
Kellan Lutz: It’s really unique for the fans and what the go through. I remember one fan… we were doing autograph signings because we have amazing fans who want our autographs, which is quite a unique place to be in. But she asked for an autograph and asked if she could take me home. So, I was like: “Yeah, yeah, what’s your name?” But then she yanks out this big old pair of handcuffs. I was like: “Hey!” And she was sneering. I shared that story right after Twilight came out and then when I was doing the circuit for New Moon, another fan was like: “Hey, remember that story you said?” I was like: “Yeah…” And she pulled out these fuzzy ones and then she said: “I have something for you!” And then she undid her jacket and had a real nice number on. I was like: “Hey!” It was really cute. But they’re cute… there’s no other way to explain this love that they have for this franchise.
Q. You’ve been able to travel all over the world as part of the Twilight franchise. So, what’s your favourite city? And why?
Kellan Lutz: Mine would be the Dominican Republic – the people there, the dancing, the food… just the culture itself. A lot of people don’t have much there and they’re so thankful. When I went there, I found this inner happiness within myself that I’d kind of lost. You kind of lose it when you’re in the States and you have so much opportunity. But then also the nature there… I’ve never see dragonflies this big and the waterfalls so pristine. It’s a very romantic, beautiful place.
Q. Do you have a favourite memory from shooting Eclipse?
Kellan Lutz: For myself, it involves Jackson Rathbone and myself… We had some fun times with our fight scenes and our little oopsy daisy moments when I hit him and knocked him out a little bit! But he was a true trooper. He got up and started gurgling his words and mumbling… but then also off set, he’d just finished The Last Airbender, so he’s become a mischievous little Jackson lately. He thinks he can just take the world on, so we’d get into trouble off-set and there were some really great times doing that.
Q. If you could switch roles who would you choose and why?
Kellan Lutz: I think James from the first book. I think that would be a really fun role to tap into. I’d grow my hair out.
Q. If you could have a special power, what would it be?
Kellan Lutz: What I enjoy about my character is not only his strength but the fearlessness that comes with it. When you view life and the world on such a fearless level, you kind of just live a happy life. So, that’s what I enjoy about Emmett. So, for a power that would be great.