As the patriarch of the Cullen clan, have you assumed a similar fatherly role with the cast?
You know, on Twilight I feel like they looked to me as the father figure, but because we became so close, I’m more of an older brother now.
Has there been a difference in the way you interact as a cast since you filmed
Rob[ert Pattinson] has more security guards hanging around him! [Laughs] Other than that, not really. We really enjoy each other’s company, and we’ve been working so much on this movie that we really haven’t had as much time to hang out with each other. We’re putting in these long hours and then just heading home. Usually we just try to catch dinner with each other then get back up the next morning and do it all over again.
What would you say is the one major thing that has changed about your life since starting the franchise?
I’m traveling a lot more than I used to and interacting with a lot more people. The fan base on this, I don’t know how else to explain it … it’s a cultural phenomenon. People will actually hop on a plane to see you. Sometimes I do these charity events, and people fly in to come and see me. I’m just really, really impressed with [the fan] dedication to these books and to the movies. I’ve always had a fan base with the work I’ve done, but never as rabid as this.
You seem pretty dedicated to them, too, judging by your Twitter page.
You know, I love connecting with the fans because I’m a fan of the books myself. They’re all so dedicated and wonderful to me that I love to be able to give back. So if stopping for a picture or signing a book of theirs puts a smile on their face, then that makes me happy, too. I kind of go out of my way to make sure—if there are fans hanging around the set—to try to stop and say hello to them before I get in the van. It takes five minutes to make people happy. I love interacting with them.
You’ve been working steadily since your early twenties—the same age that some of the Twilight cast members are now. Have you been able to offer any advice to any of them, especially at a time when they’ve suddenly been thrust into the spotlight?
I’ve had some conversations with some of the cast about careers because I’ve been working for fifteen years. They’re just starting out with their careers, and for a lot of them this is their first big break. I think they look to me and ask, How do you sustain that? It’s still a mystery to me, too! I feel very lucky. For me it’s about longevity and not about just one movie. It’s got to be a scary time for them because this movie is giving them lots of opportunities. It’s up to them to steer this journey into a career, and not just be part of Twilight and be gone. I look at them, and it’s got to be pretty scary to have that much on their shoulders pretty quick, but I think they’re really talented, really smart, and I think that they’re going to be fine.
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