Twilight's Breaking Dawn: Interview with a Cullen

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Photo by Crystal Brannen
Twi-hards around the globe are preparing for extreme happiness followed by inevitable heartache as Friday approaches. Breaking Dawn: Part Two, the final chapter in the popular Twilight Saga vampire series will be released and fans of the films and novels will have to say goodbye to some of their favorite vampires and werewolves. Luckily one of guys of the Cullen clan was in town recently.

I sat with Jackson Rathbone, the charming actor who plays the quiet and adorable vampire Jasper Hale and asked him a few questions about his character and the final film, Breaking Dawn: Part 2.

What have you loved about playing your character Jasper?

"I love his story. He was from Houston, he served in the Civil war and then he started leading newborn vampires in these armies, which to me is absolutely fascinating so I really love that about him. What I always say about Jasper is that he was forged in war, born in death and he was saved by love. That's really what I tried to envision in the character."

Sadly Jasper fans shouldn't expect too much of him this time around. Rathbone says Twilight: Eclipse was Jasper's kind of time to shine. In Breaking Dawn: Part 2, he's more of a background brushstroke. With that said, Rathbone adds that there's definitely some stuff revealed about Jasper and Alice that's really kind of exciting.

So then what else can we expect to see in Part 2? I asked him give a brief summary of the final film for the readers. He was trained to do this...but not really he said.

"In Breaking Dawn: Part 2 we start off with Bella's rebirth as a vampire. We get to see what it looks like and feels like and the thirst that comes with being a newborn vampire and then with that we also see Edward and Bella's child and the rapid growth of that child as it's half human, half vampire and then the Volturi come down because they believe that the child is an abomination of nature. They think that the child is an immortal child, which is against their laws and so they come to wipe out the Cullens. They have to stand up for themselves. And we get to see a whole bunch of new vampires."

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He's talking about the 30 new vampire characters introduced in the final film. In Stephanie Meyer's Breaking Dawn novel "dozens of vampires from all corners of earth descend on Forks, Washington to discover Renesmee's true nature." I asked Rathbone, what it was like capturing this on film.

"It's exciting because you get the chance to see the world open up. Stephanie Meyer really kind of painted this vivid world that in the first couple of books and films you only see very locally in Forks and then we get to see to a little bit of Italy with the Volturi, but now we have vampires from all walks of life."

And what was it like working with all of these new actors?

"It was fun. I wish people had nametags though. There were so many people at once. It's like your going to a party and suddenly you're meeting 35 new people. In our case there was sometimes at least 70 actors on set and then we had like 150 background performers. "

Any differences from the novel? There are differences that he said propel the story, but nothing is taken away, but as far as special effects and werewolf CGI go, he said moviegoers can expect to be amazed.

"Everything has gotten better, to the look of all of the people, to the special effects..." And the action? Rathbone said they definitely amped up the action in this one. "I think the fans will get a really big kick out of it."

It's been four years since Twilight first opened in theaters in November 2008. The Twilight Saga films, which have accrued over $1 billion in U.S. ticket sales and over $2.5 million globally, have become somewhat of a cultural phenomenon and gathered quite a following over time. So after four years and five films the series is finally coming to an end.

What's it like leaving this kind of series and character for the actor?

"It's sad, but having accomplished something like this. Being able to be apart of these movies. It's awesome. I never really imagined playing a character so long. I was always scared of doing television because you can get trapped into a character and as an actor what I've always enjoyed about acting is getting a chance to step outside of who I am and play someone else, but with Jasper I got to play him and kind of put him away and play him again and develop him over the years so that was a lot of fun for me. "

Any hope for another Twilight film?

"I think within the series, there's such a grand scale of the Twilight world that's there's definitely room to open it up whether they go into other characters backstories or other characters moving on forward in life. That could be very interesting to see." He'd sign up for it.

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn-Part 2 is in theaters on Friday, November 16.


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