By Gary Murray


“That would be awesome, please do typecast me as an awesome vampire, it is better than some of the other things you could be typecast for.” said Kellan Lutz, the young actor who plays Emmett Cullen in the Twilight series of mega-blockbusters.  “We don’t really feel like we’d played vampires.  My first week on set, I thought they were punking me because I thought ‘Where are our fangs?  We don’t have fangs?  I’m a vampire, give me fangs. I was like a little kid going ‘I want to play Dracula.  I want to bite people’. We didn’t have fangs and we sparkled in the sun.  What vampire is this?”

Kellan is a much different individual than the character he plays in the series.  With his sandy blonde locks, he is hardly recognizable from his vampire role.  “We are vampires playing humans so it is not as if we look all funky and crazy.  I have black hair in the movie and I’m pale, quite opposite from how I normally look.  I haven’t felt normal for about five years because they dye my hair and I try to bleach it back and it’s this reddish orange hair.  I’m just glad to have my natural hair back.”

He was recently in Dallas to discuss his work in the five film series and how being a vampire has changed both his career and life.  He said, “I love being a part of this and being an actor is just the coolest thing.  It has its ups and downs and even standing on set is the ‘hurry and wait time’.” 

He finished the thought by saying, “We have this pretty cool ending that we shot for a month.  For two weeks you know you are going to the set just to stand there for twelve hours.  You have no dialogue.  The other people are talking but it is such an ensemble scene.  You are like ‘I can’t feel my knees’ but there are so many amazing positive outlooks on it.” 

The ride of these films has been a quick one, but one that Kellan will never forget.  “I honestly thought it would be longer,” he said of the process.  “We shoot these movies so quickly.  Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter take six months to shoot and it just blows my mind how fast this has gone.  And when you are shooting, you don’t think about it.  Time flies by and its great to know you have another movie to look forward to.  As an actor, the journey is always the end.  You want to play your career safe and you don’t want to take every movie out there, you just have to choose right and be happy with your decisions. I can’t believe four years have gone by and we’ve done five movies.” 

Along with Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, Kellan Lutz has been in all the films of the series.  “I love my character,” he said.  “Being able to do five movies with a character that you love and you connect with so much is a blessing in its own.  And we have a great cast who are very talented.  I’m a huge fan of Michael Sheen and if I could play any other character, I’d play Aro.”

He had nothing put praise for his cast members, “Working with Dakota Fanning, Kristen and Rob, you have to work with these people and time and time again you come back and you connect again, you make friends over and over again.” 

Though Kellan was a bit melancholy about the series ending and said, “Everything about it I’m gonna miss.  But it is a sense of accomplishment to make it this far.  It is exciting but it feels weird closing all these mini-chapters but I have been looking forward to seeing what is next in life.  Of course, I would do Twilight 10.  Let’s use Sunrise, let’s use Shooting Star and its back story.   Even if I had one line per movie versus the four that I have, I love my character and I love being a part of this.  It is a good cast and I enjoy working with everyone.”

“The fans make it so worth it,” he said of the phenomena that have been the Twilight Saga.  He has had lots of crazy fan experiences from having a fan give him her baby and leaving to signing peoples bodies, they tattoo your name on their arms. 

He admits that he should have taken more photos of the years shooting the films.  “I wish I could tell my earlier self five years ago that you are going to be part of something that is such a phenomena and you are going to finish the whole saga.  Really just take it all in and go to every fan event.  I usually try to but looking back and knowing how impactful this has been to be a part of.  There are some things I would change and I would definitely take more pictures.  I think at that age you get swept up and go for the ride like a deer in the headlights.”

There are rumors going around on the internet that film writer Melissa Rosenberg and director Bill Condon have changed the ending of Stephenie Meyer’s novel.  Kellan didn’t want to give too much away but looked at the changes in a positive way.  “I think that is one of the greatest things from director to writer, to embellish certain aspects from turning a book into a movie.  You can never fit 1,000 pages into one movie so you have to speed stuff along.  You have to get audiences attention.”   

He finished the thought by saying, “I think the fans are going to love it and we stay true to the book.  It is the same ending.  The book still ends happily ever after but there is room for embellishment and to add some fun scenes to it.  I guaranteed that every fan is going to be thrown through a lot of mixed emotions but the outcome 10 minutes into it is going to be the exact same.  They are going to be ‘Oh my God, that was amazing!’ because I said that.”

He has seen the finished film and said, “I was on the edge of my seat and I was there for it.  For me to say that about these movies, in a lot of it you are there for it but they shoot other scenes so you never really know what takes place.  You shoot so much that the director has the final say as to what happens to the characters as certain points.” 

Next up, the young actor is playing Tarzan in a modern re-telling of the Edgar Rice Burroughs tale.  He loved doing the motion-capture film, wearing a dotted suit, as compared to the make-up and contacts he endured for Twilight.  “I have small eyes and two technician force contacts in my eyes—it is not fun,” he laughingly said.

Tarzan is very action, he’s an action character,” he said of the new challenge.  On of the things he had to do for the role is to learn how to walk differently.  “Some people lead with their chin, or their forehead or their knees or their chest.  It tells a lot about them.  I would pull from my feet instead of push from my toes and Tarzan should push from his toes like he is ready to move.  One of the hardest things was to correct my walk, it was so frustrating.” 

He and his trainer would go to the zoo and watch how the different animals move.  He struggled with getting the gate correct. “That’s hard too because I have a big lower back just from football, playing a safety and getting down.  Just getting limber and stretching, I have never been in so much pain.  I really wanted to do the best that I could and I grateful I had such a team to work with.”

For his future, Kellan Lutz is a bit optimistic and is looking forward to stretching as an actor.  “I’ve been playing a lot of comedy even before I was a part of Twilight.  I love comedy and I love making people laugh,” he said.  “I find it very rewarding and it is fun to play a lot of characters.  But, actively throughout Twilight, I’ve been very choosy and it’s been important for me to do something with acting chops and to do some good dramas and romantic comedies–just to learn more about myself.”

He finds the path of acting a bit serpentine at best.  “Honestly,” he said, “Me being an actor was not in my cards at all.  I have learned a lot about myself from each character.  So it is great to have the opportunity to mold my career more and read scripts and be able to choose.  And also challenge myself.” 

He finished the thought by saying, “One of the great things about acting is I’m always challenging myself, working with better people, better directors.  The education is non-stop and you can always practice.  Practice makes perfect and perfect is really hard to get to but at least I can grow and learn more about myself and enjoy the rules.”

Kellan smiled and ended his thought by saying, “I know that I want to get there.”


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