Edward and Bella are becoming parents in this film. How did you prepare for being a father?
Nobody really knows how to be a father when it first begins. There’s no way to prepare for it.
It’s very easy to react to holding a baby that feels like it’s a newborn – someone is crying in your hands and you end up being very careful with it. But it is strange when Mackenzie [Foy] starts playing you suddenly have to think, ‘Wow, my daughter is now eleven,’ two months after she’s born.
What about the birth scene, that’s pretty spectacular in the book.
Yeah, I think that was way more difficult to make it not R-Rated than the sex scenes. You see sex scenes in PG-13 films all the time – you just sort of turn the lights down really low and then it’s PG-13.
[The birth scene] is very detailed in the movie as well. It’s very difficult to do it and when we were shooting, they were like, ‘How the hell is this going to be PG-13?’ because it seemed insanely graphic.
But I guess the one thing that Bill [Condon] had to hold onto was that, in the book, it’s all from Bella’s perspective and she’s out of her mind with pain. And so the scene is from that.
I haven’t actually seen how he’s cut it together but it was horrible doing it and especially because we used a real baby as well.
I mean it was chewing through this placental thing, like, I don’t know. It’s just absolutely bizarre, and then being covered in cream cheese and jell-o. And then it was like, what a horrible introduction, this baby is, like, never going to be an actor, ever!
So how was your last day on set when it was all over? Was it sad, was it happy?
The last day in Canada was kind of semi-miserable. We did like two weeks of night shoots, and it was freezing cold and it was horrible. But the actual last day in St. Thomas in the Caribbean was pretty amazing. The one time we had to shoot in nice weather, it was literally the last day of the shoot and we were shooting on the beach and just making out in the sea all night. That was the last day of that; that’s not too bad. It was a nice little send off to it.
Did you have a party or was it more of a funeral? What was the feeling on the set?
It was nice. The very last day was really nice cause in Canada there were like 120 people on the last scene, and so it was just stress right up until the last second. And then in the Caribbean it was just me and Kristen and we had done everything. We hardly had anything to shoot, it was just a couple of extra bits, and so it was really nice and everybody just stayed and watched the sunrise and stuff. It was really beautiful. It was a nice end to it.
How is it looking for roles post Twilight?
I guess the good thing is that because Ed (Cullen) was such a specific character, you can’t really get typecast. Every single thing I’ve done since seems really different because it’s almost impossible to do the same thing. I guess if you were an action hero or something then everyone would say you are doing the same movie if you ever do an action movie again, whereas I just don’t have to do another ‘benevolent vampire’ movie again.
Would you like to direct?
Maybe, I’d like to write stuff. I’d really like to be a script doctor, just figuring out how to make a script that doesn’t work, work.
But you never get credit as a script doctor.
Doesn’t matter. You get the money!
What do you think the importance of Twilight will be looking back at it?
I think anything which gets young people reading is pretty important, which is the same thing when I did Harry Potter. That kind of young adult genre was so much smaller before Harry Potter and Twilight.
And also I think in terms of the movies, doing things for a female audience; that changed things as well.
It made people in the industry aware that women, just solely women, are a legitimate audience for movies, which is, in a strange sort of way, good for guys as well because I think the industry got convinced that the only people that would go to the cinema were teenage boys.
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part One is in cinemas November 18.
Interview: Victor Draven / The Interview People