Twilight’s Irish Maven: Interview with a vampire . . . or three
In advance of the DVD release of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, which arrives in stores on Saturday, three cast members from the film sat down with us for a quick interview. Patrick Brennan, Marlane Barnes and Lisa Howard — the trio who play the Irish maven in the film — spoke about what it was like to make the last movie in the series and reflected back on the production that wrapped up nearly two years ago. Here’s what they had to say.
So I think you all joined the franchise for this final film. What was it like coming on the project for the finale?
Brennan: We were like the new kids at school.
Barnes: It’s a little surreal.
Howard: There are a lot of expectations with these characters because their fans have read the books and have ideas about who they are and what they look like.
Talk about what it’s like doing press for a film that you completed nearly two years ago.
Barnes: I was glad to see the movie because as smaller players on a larger project, it was hard to know what our final participation would look like. I didn’t know what we could say about it or what to say about it.
Does it still feel fresh you to?
Brennan: I go around and do these conventions and all these great fans come out, so I’ve been living it for the past couple of years.
Barnes: Neither Lisa nor I have done the conventions. Only the boys. We’d like to but they don’t think they need us because most of the fans are women.
Howard: They want to get all these handsome guys in there so the women can go, “Oh my God! Patrick.”
Brennan: There’s also “The Patrick Brennan Experience.”
Howard: Are you kidding? I have to see it.
Barnes: It sounds like a theme park.
Brennan: It’s so strange because we have small parts but these fans embrace all the characters.
Barnes: It’s fun to be a rallying point for a much bigger thing. You have to go along with it. It’s not about me. It’s about this bigger thing and you have to let it wash over you.
How much interaction did you have with Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner?
Brennan: We were stuck on this field with them for weeks and weeks and weeks. I love Kristen and Rob.
Talk about that battle scene. That took months of filming in front of a green screen. Talk about that experience.
Howard: From watching that movie, there are quite a few parts that are gone. There’s a lot that we filmed that wasn’t in the final cut.
Barnes: It’s almost like they shot enough to do part 1 and 2 of Breaking Dawn Part 2.
The director said it could have been a three- or four-hour film.
Barnes: Part of me thinks, “Why not?”Put it all in there; the fans will watch it. I guess they have rules about that type of thing.
I think director Bill Condon said he wanted that scene to look like something from a play.
Barnes: That’s funny because I think he’s doing a play now. He thinks that way.
Howard: To me, it didn’t feel like a play because the moments are so slow comparatively. I think in the grand picture in his world, it was. For us, it was this tiny moments over and over again.
Barnes: I think someone in the DVD features referred to it as sensory depravation. I was relieved to hear that other people in the crew had felt that way, too. It was green and white and that’s it. I remember someone saying it was a form of torture in some countries. You don’t even get to see the sky and then they let you out to see the sky for a couple of minutes a day. And then you go back in.
Howard: It was fun when we actually got to the fight stuff.
Brennan: They had a fight choreographer who amassed a team of the best of the best to do the stunts. They loved their jobs. Someone would say, “That mat needs to be moved.” Then 15 guys would run over there and move it. They hustled.
Brennan: You could touch someone and they’d flip in the air.
Howard: I felt like a bad ass. It was awesome. I would hit someone and he would go flying.
Were you there when Michael Sheen let out that crazy laugh?
Barnes: That was an inspired thing.
Brennan: That was one great thing because as an actor. There was a lot of standing around, but you got to see Michael Sheen act and that is a treat.
Barnes: That’s absolutely right. His background shows up in the fact that we were how many yards away and got his whole performance. It’s not over-the-top in the film. His diction is just that good.
To what do you attribute the franchise’s popularity?
Brennan: Forbidden love. Romeo and Juliet. For me, as I grow older — I just turned 40 — it’s very scary to thing grow old and watch your fact change and watch the lines change. Maybe there’s something to staying young.
Barnes: Maybe that might be the key. The Twihards are of all ages. It’s not just young girls. Maybe that’s part of the appeal to the older fans, that immortality. I wish I wish I was cool in person as my character.
Howard: Maybe it’s just that teenager, angsty thing. No matter how old you are, you still remember that and that desire. Bella eventually gets there. It’s all wrapped up with the fantasy.
Barnes: I think it’s also unprecedented in romantic literature to have the bad boy turn out to be the good guy. That’s what it is. He’s technically bad for her but he’s the most caring person.
Howard: And she has to choose between these two hot guys who are all over her. Really, you find out Jacob was just attracted to her to have Renesmee made. She has to choose between these two loves and is conflicted about it.
Barnes: There’s nothing better than a love triangle.
The film won a few Golden Raspberry Awards. How do you respond to critics who pan the film and franchise?
Brennan: It’s so funny because some guy at the gym came up to me the other day to tell me that. I was like, “Shut up, dude. That’s not nice, man.”
Barnes: It’s ridiculous to say this is the worst. I’ve seen plenty of bad movies and they were not even close to as good. Twilight is either your thing or it’s not. They didn’t make the movies for people who don’t like the books. Why should they be concerned about anyone but the fans? This movie is for the fans and Bill wanted the fans to love it. That was his focus from point a to point z.
What’s your favorite old school monster movie?
Brennan: Young Frankenstein.
Barnes: Ursula was always my favorite character in The Little Mermaid.
What projects are you currently working on?
Barnes: I just did a film called Sake-Bomb which will appear at SXSW. I did another one called Somebody Marry Me that is getting ready to go on the festival circuit.
Howard: I just did a horror film that just wrapped. It was really cool. I got to play this evil, mentally challenged mom. I have high hopes for it. It’s called Decay.
Brennan: It’s so funny because I’ve been sitting around with my kids for almost two years and now I have two projects, a television show called The Hundred Code and a movie called The Harbor that will shoot in Baton Rouge. I’m most excited about this play I’m going to do called Drift. This kid wrote this play that is unbelievable. Bobby Moresco is directing it He wrote Crash with Paul Haggis.