Q: What was it like entering this big franchise?
Bill: I wanted to put my take on the material, but still please the fans and still have a cinematic experience. Making two films wasn’t fun either. Kidding, it was fun. But it was hard. But people like Kristen had days where she’d be a vampire in the morning, pregnant in the afternoon, dead at night. It was difficult some days.
Question: When did the cast give you enlightenment?
Bill: The first people who arrived were Rob, Kristen, and Taylor. We just sat in a room talking about every page through the script. They showed a tremendous amount – when an actor embodies a role you’ll know it more than they ever will.
I met with Rob a couple months before we started. We were just having a general talk about Twilight. He mentioned something I hadn’t known before. He’d been a playing a men who was full of regret and who was self loathing. Because of an episode where he broke away from the Cullen family (the early 30s in Chicago) where he’d explore what it’d be like to kill human beings. Rob thought it was a killed that played on Edward, but it was never played in the movies. There was Midnight Sun where it’s really explored. So we had a conversation about that, I worked with Melissa, and we put it into the beginning of the movie. We understood where Edward was coming from. So things like that, so much comes out of those types of meetings.
Question: Was the chemistry something you felt when you met them?
Bill: We started filming in Brazil. They were staying on the beach, and then downstairs there were people all the time and they couldn’t leave their room. It amazed me how gracious they were all the time. I kind of understood it was part of the interest. Generally, one thing that’s so exciting is… you work on every decision and it’s going to be studied and reacted to by a large group of people.
We haven’t seen a screening with big crowds of people, except for last night. Rob and Kristen are so relaxed in the acting – it’s something they don’t even have to act.
Question: How did you keep the two films separate? A schedule?
Bill: We didn’t. I put my script together, it was a 220 page script. Part 2 begins the *moment* when Part 1 begins. We found the right place to end the first one. There were days when, again, Kristen’s a vampire in the morning and pregnant and dying in the afternoon. Poor Kristen had to make their shifts all the time.
Question: How’d she get so thin?
Bill: She lost some weight, makeup, and a little bit of digital effects.
Question: Rob jokingly blamed Kristen. (for R rating)
Bill: Well, Rob’s right. (laughter)
Question: How did it feel to see your characters come to life and finally get married? And you got to be there for it?
Stephenie: The wedding was really emotional. I was somewhat prepared because I had been there for Kristen’s dress fitting. I wasn’t expecting to be emotional, but it was something. It was a really cold, awful thing. I didn’t want to be on camera. Bill talked to me into it. I got to hang out with Wyck and Melissa. When she came down the aisle, she looked at me for a minute. It felt like a real wedding.
Question: Have you ever offered any guidance as a mother to Kristen, Stephenie?
Stephenie: She didn’t need much guidance. Her transformation was cool. One day she’d be a vampire, the next pregnant, she did it so beautifully. She would come up to Bill and say „I need to look at my daughter here,“ etc. We all became Mackenzie’s (Renesmee’s) mom. Kristen got that instinct.
Question: What did you think of the birth scene, Stephenie?
Stephenie: I really liked it. It was something.. in the beginning when we developed the story, we weren’t sure if it’d be enough. The birth scene, we thought it would be a lot.. some people werent sure if it’d be climatic enough. With the birth scene you could tell it was so emotional. It was.. Edward is losing Bella, and Rob’s performance was so heartbreaking that I’m going to admit I teared up. Yes, there were tears because you looked at the idea of losing the thing most important to you. Bill has such a gift for that.