Adapted from Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight book series, the story follows the life of a teenage girl named Bella Swan, who after moving to Forks, WA to live with her father, falls in love with a 104-year-old vampire named Edward Cullen, who’s posing as a 17-year-old highschool student.
Reminiscent of the story of Romeo and Juliet, their forbidden love is met by many challenges and struggles, that go further than Edward’s initial fear of not wanting to, as the saying goes, “suck her blood.” With a tribe of werewolves watching their every move, and a plethora of other individuals —both human and vampire— who are standing in the way of their forbidden love, they encounter many moons of excitement that take them on an amazing journey past the first Twilight, into a New Moon, then onto an Eclipse of adventure, until the moment when they find themselves finally Breaking Dawn.
The series has become an addiction with fans from every generation, and quite like the consequence of a vampire bite, it appears to have an immortal presence that is continually progressing within its growing franchise and following of faithful “Twi-Hards.”
Insight News caught up with two of the New Moon stars, while they were on a promotional visit to Minneapolis’ Mall of America. Kenyan born actor Edi Gathegi, who plays the vampire Laurent, and British native Jamie Campbell Bower, who slides into the role of Caius, gave us the scoop on this Winter’s hottest film, and clued us into the idea as to why the world can’t stop screaming for these incredible vampires.
Insight News: How’s your day going guys?
Jamie Campbell Bower: That’s a toughy.
IN: Oh no, it’s a toughy? Well then tell me why it’s tough.
JCB: Just kidding, it’s going good, that was just a tough question.
IN: [Laughs] Nice, nice, you got me on that one.
Edi Gathegi: I love those hard hitting questions all early in the morning. But Jamie, how is your morning, I didn’t even get to talk to you before this interview?
JCB: It’s pretty good, I went for a walk.
EG: Well I went to the gym.
JCB: How was that?
EG: The gym was nice. I had acupuncture last night.
IN: What’s going on Edi? Are you alright?
EG: It’s my neck, I think I might have pinched a nerve in it. I got it released, and I actually slept for the first time last night.
IN: So you two are just doing interviews all day and then you’ll rush to the Mall of America and hear all the screaming fans. Are you both excited about all of that?
JCB: Yeah, I’m excited, I even think Anya Marina is playing there tonight. So that will be cool, we’ll get to hang out with her for a bit.
IN: Now Jamie, this is your first time in the Twilight Series, what made you want to be in the second installment of the film/book series?
JCB: I read the script for the first one, and I really enjoyed the first film and the reading of the first script. I really wanted to be apart of that, but unfortunately it had come during a time in my life when I wasn’t able to be seen for it. I was just very busy, so when they approached me about being in the second one —here I am— I took the chance.
IN: Edi, were you a fan of the book series before you started the movie or how did you get approached by Twilight and become apart of this film?
EG: I think because I was on the ground floor as it were, very few of us even knew what this was or had any idea how big this was. The books had sold very well, but you couldn’t really find anyone who had read it, so it was under the radar. After I got the part, that’s when I finally picked up the books and read them and fell in love with the books. I said to myself, ‘Okay, this is something here.’ The first time we as a cast collectively understood how big this could be was at Comic Con when the fans camped out overnight, 6,000 of them, and achieved the highest decibel level the convention had ever had. They screamed like we were the Beatles. We felt like we were the Beatles.
IN: You are one of the only African American cast members in the film series, how does that make you feel and how do you think you’re reaching the African American audience?
EG: I think I’m reaching African American audiences everywhere by virtue of me just being in it. They can look at the screen and go, ‘Thank you, I’m represented.’ But honestly, the character wasn’t originally written as being African American. He was described as being olive-toned, so when I got cast, there was a lot of fan backlash and they were pretty upset about it, and made a fuss about it online.
EG: This was very early on, so I just decided to address the issue head on. I did an interview with one of the websites and they mentioned it, and I said, ‘Listen one of the reasons why I’m cast in this movie is because Stephanie [Meyer] was very genius in the description of my character. She described Laurent as being olive toned. Now there are many different types of olives and black olives are one of them.’
EG: So I won them over with humor.
IN: Well you’ve definitely gone into the role well and made it your own. Is this your last time in it Edi, or are you going to make some appearances in the next film, Eclipse, that’s due out next summer? I’ve read the books, this is like the end of the road for the character Laurent, correct?
EG: [Singing] I know we’ve come, to the end of the road, but Laurent must go.
EG: I don’t have any scheduled shoot days as of now, but who knows, they may need some flashback images of Laurent from the previous two films, if they do that. But yeah, this is the end of the road, and I’m not upset by any stretch of the imagination. I’m happy that I was in two of them and I think that it was a great career move and I’ve had a great time and will always remember these experiences.
IN: That’s good to know. You’re in Harry Potter’s Deathly Hallows that comes out next summer, Jamie.
JCB: I am, but I’m also in New Moon, too. [Laughs]
IN: Working on one big film and then immediately another —how did that work out? Was Sweeney Todd your first movie?
JCB: Yes, yes it was.
IN: Did it take a lot for you to get into the roles, or was it easy to step into each character?
JCB: Well the thing is there are books, so it’s not like with other films where you’re going in with just the script where you have to sit down at a round table and really discuss this character. All we really had to do was read the books and everything is there. As actors we all bring our own flavor to what we do. That’s all we can do. We just take what Stephanie [Meyer] has written and do what we do.
EG: She’s written this blue print, and the rules are very specific and if you read the books, she tells you what it is to be a vampire and you as a human being, what you bring to the table is just going to be unique if you follow the rules. You will be your unique vampire.
IN: So what do you want to leave the readers of Insight News with? Maybe a special message.
JCB: Just hold out for Breaking Dawn, because the Volturi come back with a vengeance. [Laughs].
IN: So have they confirmed they’re going to adapt the fourth book into a film yet?
JCB: Well we haven’t confirmed it yet, but they’re definitely looking into it, but I still can’t say yay or nay on it.
IN: But you do have hopes that they will.
JCB: I would love to be back for Breaking Dawn.
EG: I would like to say this. Stephanie Meyers did something phenomenal. She wrote something that is just as addictive as a drug is. People cannot put this down. I’ve heard stories of Mothers leaving their kids in the bathtub —which is not good— because they were reading the books. The books are highly addictive and people are able to read them in just a matter of days. The good thing is, it has gotten kids excited about reading again -this series. There are many books out there that will bring you to wonderful worlds, so I want the kids to take their love for this series and continue to just be passionate about books.
IN: Before you go Edi, where can we see you next?
EG: Well I’m working on another job right now. I have something else in the can right now too, but it will probably never see the light of day.
IN: Well I’m glad to know you got something on the rise because fans would love to see you again soon. Thank you both for your time.