TWILIGHT SAGA PRESS
By Gary Murray
“It is a good gig,” said Julia Jones of her role as Leah Clearwater in The Twilight Saga of films. She was recently in town with BooBoo Stewart to promote the video release of Breaking Dawn II, the end of The Twilight Saga. BooBoo plays Seth Clearwater, a member of the wolf-pack of werewolves. They have been involved in almost all of the episodes of Twilight.
This five movie series is one of the most successful franchises in cinema history. The story of Twilight is of a human Bella who falls in love with a vampire Edward. To complicate matters, a werewolf Jacob is also in love with Bella. She must choose between these two young men and to choose if she wants to become a vampire. The Stephenie Meyer tale sold millions of copies and generated millions in box office.
The last book of the series was translated into a two-part film series. “It was like one giant movie,” said BooBoo and of the work. Julia added, “It was a really long shoot. My first day was right before Thanksgiving and I finished on April 15th. It was a hundred days of filming.”
Julia has a degree from Columbia in English so she does understand the difference between pop literature and classical literature but she is a fan of the series of books. “To me,” she said, “the books required much of your imagination. They were kind of an escape and much different than the books I read in school. They were enjoyable in a different type of way. I think I immediately recognized that and appreciated it for that. It is a phenomenal example of what it does in that genre. I don’t think there is anything that compares to what Bella and Edward and the journey they take.”
She also saw the grander themes of the work and the lack of clear-cut good and evil in the novel. Julia said, “I think that if we look at things we don’t understand, things we perceive as negative, more often it is something we don’t understand. It is not as black and white, not as good and evil. There are different stories and different takes on things. People have different reasons for being different ways and just because you are not like that, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it is bad and you are good. Sometimes that is not an inaccurate way of describing a situation. We have so much conflict globally and a lot of it is because we don’t understand.”
She finished the thought by saying, “That is what life is about so much. I do something this way and these people do something this way. They see it differently and we coexist. It is a little bit of an allegory.”
The two have traveled the world as a part of Twilight and BooBoo has discovered that there are fans in every place he lands. “It is different everywhere you go and in the most unexpected places,” he said of the experience. “Like sometimes you would never expect someone to be a Twilight fan and they are like the biggest Twilight fan. You really have no idea. You don’t get used to it but you are always prepared. You can ever get used to it but in a way you are always prepared.”
Julia added to that thought by saying, “The fans are so passionate. Your encounters are maybe different in some ways than just about recognition. It’s not about recognition. It is about me and there are a lot of emotions.”
They both know that some people do not like the series of films and the last outing won a truckload of Razzie Awards. Of the negative aspects of Twilight, BooBoo said, “When you have something that is this popular you are going to have people that love it and people that are going to hate it. You hope that more people love it. I think in our case, you have more people who love it. Everyone has their own opinions about everything.”
Julia then said, “You want to choose where you focus your energies. Do you want to pay attention or be bothered by the fact that it is bothering people for some reason? It is so much easier to be aware of and live in a space in awareness of people who are grateful for it that you hear from every day. They light up when they talk about the characters. They are so excited to meet you. They are so happy that it is in their world. It is a choice where you focus your energy.”
As the films progressed, the cast grew. As Julia noted, there are something like 96 major characters in the entire series. Julia said, “There are so many new characters and you are given a small limited amount of screen time to do something, to create a presence. I was really impressed by how those vampires in Part II were able to be dynamic in five minutes.”
All the young people did bond through the experience and Julie said that some of the cast members are some of her best friends. BooBoo called Breaking Dawn Part II is a very leveling experience. “It took me a little while to see past playing a werewolf,” he said. “Yes, I very much appreciated playing that aspect of the story.”
Both found that the single most challenging aspect of making these films was the weather. “We’d be in cut-off shirts and shorts,” said BooBoo. “It was my first day shooting in Vancouver on Breaking Dawn and there was a waterfall that had been frozen, that is how cold it was outside. It was our first day.”
She said, “I got sick that day.”
BooBoo said that one day when he had his shirt off, there was a Sever Weather warning on the beach. “It was freezing cold,” he said.
She added, “When you are cold like that you cannot move your jaw to say your lines. Your skin is razed and you are shaking violently and you are supposed to be hot.” She said that there were many days like this because it was February, March and April in Vancouver. “It was literally snowing,” Julia said, “two feet of snow on the floor.”
Then BooBoo said, “They did their best to keep us warm. They would put warmers in our shoes and stick them in our clothes, inside our clothes. They had tents set-up for us.”
“I found” said Julia, “that the trick was to keep your core temperature from dropping too low. If you are getting that cold, you are not going to get warm again. You go to crazy lengths I had so many layers under my wardrobe.” She said that heat packs attached to her stomach, back and feet just to keep her temperature up. “You don’t take your coat off until sound rolls,” she said.
Both are thankful for being a part of The Twilight Saga. BooBoo said that he was grateful just for the memories of being a part of the series. “Being able to be part of being in a movie that is a part of movie history and the way the fans love just this whole series. It is so cool to have this thought in my head,” he said.
Then, Julia said, “Getting to play a character that meant something to so many people and being a part of something larger than me. It didn’t feel like it was something to do with me. Twilight was a gift and I don’t know how often you find yourself in that situation.”
Of their future past Twilight, BooBoo is acting in a new movie where he plays a kid with kidney failure and he just finished a Christmas film. “I’m dropping all over place,” he said. Julia is working in a Western that should be out in 2013. Of a role she’d like to play, Julia said, “I would love to play Bianca Jagger and I would also like to play a smart, capable action-type woman but substantive who are trying to have it all.”
They are going to prove that there is life after Twilight.