ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY’S EXCLUSIVE FIRST LOOK AT THE FILMING OF THE TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN PART 1
New York, NY – Breaking Dawn The Twilight Saga starts drawing to a close this fall with Breaking Dawn Part 1. Entertainment Weekly has an exclusive look at the filming of Stephanie Meyer’s most gothic and controversial novel. Shooting Breaking Dawn Part 1 and 2 simultaneously involved filming round the clock for nearly six months at locations as far-flung as Baton Rouge, Vancouver, Rio de Janeiro, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The fact that the novel is so troubling and gothic – the saga’s finale is divisive even among Twihards – could only have added to the strangeness of the enterprise. “When I read the book I asked myself, How is this going to be a movie?” says Taylor Lautner, 19, who plays Jacob. “Everyone said if felt totally different than anything we’ve done before,” says Kristen Stewart, 21, who plays Bella. “Just the fact that I’m sitting there pregnant – it’s like, wow, are we really doing a Twilight movie?! Robert Pattinson agrees, fumbling for words to describe the plot. “It’s very, very, very strange,” says the actor, 24. “There’s just…it goes…there’s definitely, um, some interesting and weird stuff going on.” Screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg says of the novel: “It is very much a departure. The first three books are about the love triangle, and coming of age in terms of relationships and romance. Breaking Dawn is really an adult story. Adds director Bill Condon, who knew he was working within the constraints of PG-13 – “We shot everything – whether it’s the lovemaking or the childbirth…It will be interesting to see whether there will be people who think it too disturbing for this universe.” For her part, Stewart wishes the movie could have been even truer to the graphic nature of the book. “In some ways it was disappointing not to be able to really go there,” she says. Asked if she ever imagined what an R-rated version of the film might look like, Stewart laughs and says, “We imagined it every single day.” To be clear, it’s not the honeymoon scene that Stewart wishes were more graphic but the brutal birth of the baby, Renesmee. “It’s funny because when [the PG-13 issue] comes up, everybody thinks it’s all about the sex,” she says. “The birth is really effective, and I’ve heard it really hits you in the face. But what it could have been? It could have been shocking and grotesque, because that’s how it was written in the book.” She sighs: “I would have loved to have been puking up blood.” As for Pattinson, he says, “I like the honeymoon scenes because it’s such a massive turnaround in Edward and Bella’s relationship.”
Bella’s pregnancy is controversial for other, trickier reasons as well. “It was an issue because I’m very pro-choice,” says Rosenberg. “But the truth is, Twilight is not the arena to be having the abortion debate. My approach to it is that having a child is a choice. More than a political issue, it’s about Bella’s reasoning, and articulating that was the challenge.”
After filming so many scenes of terror and blood, more than one member of the Breaking Dawn team says they liked shooting the wedding best. “I never would have thought I’d be affected in this way, but it was one of the coolest things that I’ve done,” says Stewart. “There was a certain point when I walked on set, and I saw everyone from the entire cast sitting there in the pews, about to do their bit. And it was just so perfect for me in that moment. It was so emotional in such a real way. I literally felt like thanking them for coming.” For Lautner, Jacob and Bella’s bittersweet dance during the reception appears to have been as poignant as…a wedding. “It didn’t help that the scene itself was so emotional,” he says. “I knew it was going to be tough on the last day – and it was tough.”
Now that Breaking Dawn has wrapped, the cast can go their separate ways. The stars have clearly become close over the years, and not just Stewart and Pattinson. Pattinson, in a lovely bit of understatement, says this about his costars: “Having to spend so much time with people…it’s just nice when you like them. There is a real bond. I think also there’s something humbling about wearing the makeup and contacts.” He laughs. “Except Taylor – he doesn’t have to do a thing. He’s managed [to do] no work on this last one. He’s always a wolf!” Pattinson laughs again, anticipating Breaking Dawn 2. “But he has to fall in love with a baby…. Oh, God, I can’t wait to see how that goes.” When Lautner is told of Pattinson’s ribbing, he says, “Oh my gosh. That sounds like him…And I’m like, ‘I’m the one in the freezing rain and cold not wearing a shirt! I paid my dues in New Moon and Eclipse.’”
Director Condon says he’s among the many looking forward to seeing where the actors’ careers will take them. “Rob was the biggest surprise to me – just getting to know him,” he says, noting that out of the three, Pattinson is the least like the character he plays. “You spend time with him and you think, God, I hope you get to play this incredibly smart, funny guy that you are. Taylor is just a complete natural, a born entertainer. And Kristen,” he laughs, “she’s just hugely talented…I think she’s one of those people who will not fit into some kind of niche, but mold a career around who she is.”
Stewart is happy the filming is over, she adds, but mostly because she knows they’ve done it right. “I really am so satisfied with the entire experience this time around,” she says. “I really feel like we went through something, and it was captured. Who the f— knows how it will turn out, but that’s how it felt. We ended on such a high note, and that was the whole point of this one – to reach a state of exuberance.”
They also have new photos of Rob and other cast members from The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn (Part One)! Check them out – here!