Bella, Edward, and Jacob: The Triangle Changes Shape

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The Triangle Changes Shape

The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 brings back the major cast from all the previous films and introduces five new vampire characters making up the Denali Coven.

The much-loved and globally recognizable actors playing Bella, Edward, and Jacob… as well as the Cullens, Wolves, Humans, and Volturi are all back. Julia Jones and Booboo Stewart’s roles become more prominent in this chapter, as Leah and Seth Clearwater join Jacob’s new wolf pack.

All are joined by new cast members: MyAnna Buring as Tanya Denali, Casey LaBow as Kate Denali, and Maggie Grace as Irina Denali, as well as Christian Camargo as Eleazar Denali and Mia Maestro as Carmen Denali. Numerous additional covens from around the world will be seen in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2.

Reprising their iconic starring roles of Bella Swan, Edward Cullen, and Jacob Black are Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner.

At first, director Bill Condon found it a bit daunting to lead this extremely tight knit and knowledgeable group. “In the beginning, no question about it – they came in knowing it better than I did. There is always a period of sizing each other up – that happens on any film – but maybe it was more obvious here. But I really appreciated it and also that they were all very generous and open right from the beginning. They were very aware that this was the end of it, and because of where the books took them, there were going to be special challenges here and they really wanted to step up and make sure it was right,” comments Condon. “What amazed me about all of them is that they are all incredibly knowledgeable filmmakers, their areas of interest and questions went beyond how we are doing a certain scene, they cared about the whole thing. They were very, very aware of their positions as leaders on this movie, wanting to step up and take that on, and do it well.”

“Embarking on the last book, you really do feel like it’s a closure, and I hoped that everyone really would enjoy it, because this doesn’t come along very often,” shares producer Wyck Godfrey. “The actors have changed so much as individuals. Watching Twilight recently made me remember just how young, innocent, and fresh it was for them. None of us knew what it was going to turn into. We all feel honored and blessed to have been a part of pop culture in a way that you rarely do in your career.”

“Kristen, Rob, Taylor, and I spent many, many days in rehearsal just talking through every scene and walking through both scripts. That, as always, was the most valuable time that we had,” says Condon. “Everyone’s coming into themselves, and I thought there was just this great ease between them, and a sense of confidence that was really enjoyable.”

Co-producer Bill Bannerman agrees, “They’ve all matured as actors. They’ve all had life experiences. We’ve all grown as a family debating various issues about these characters, always fighting for the integrity of the book. Kristen has been a joy to watch, they all have. She’s a pro. I’ve never seen a more dedicated professional focus on her craft and to her responsibility as a character in the story, than I have with her. She brings to the table a level of sincerity and professionalism I wish every actor could have.“

“It’s been fun to see her grow into herself,” agrees Godfrey. “Obviously, she was an incredibly accomplished actress when she came to us. She was always talented beyond her years when I first met her at age 17 – her level of commitment and independence was always at her core. But, she has really grown into a strong woman who I think gets more beautiful every time I see her. I really admire her. She’s real. Watching her work everyday has been one of my favorite parts of being involved in these movies. We’re really lucky to work with this whole team of actors.”

The filmmakers are equally as enthusiastic about their leading men. “Rob is an incredibly charming guy,” reveals Condon. “Edward can be brooding and filled with doubt. But, when he finally makes this leap and marries Bella and gets what he wants, I thought there was a charm and ease in the performance. Basically, more of Rob Pattinson that Rob was willing to bring into the part.”

Godfrey agrees, “In Part 1, the core of Edward’s journey is that he’s been so self-loathing about his desires, his instincts, and his fear of what’s going to happen with Bella. He finally forgives himself for the things that have tormented him in the past and allows himself to just embrace her as an equal, through the course of both movies. That is liberating for anyone who knows what it’s like to be in a marriage, you have to trust and not try to control everything. When you are able to let go, you’re relieved. Edward has a really wonderful arc in Breaking Dawn, because he becomes the best part of himself, when he accepts Bella as an equal.”

“All along he was worried about killing Bella and never wanted her to become a vampire, and now here he is, faced with this dilemma which is that the only way to save her is to turn her into a vampire. Maybe if I just never met her, none of this would have happened… that’s his struggle,” adds Godfrey. “Now he must accept her choice to become an equal and he doesn’t have to just protect her all the time. At some point, he has let her believe in her own self and protect herself.”

Jacob Black is also reaching adulthood. “This is a story of the character becoming a man,” states Condon. “He’s just not going be addicted to the pain anymore – he’s breaking away from Bella and the whole love triangle. Also, he declares his own position in the world in relation to the tribe. Jacob has all these complicated pressures and he decides to listen to nobody but himself. He decides he’s going to break from his pack and protect the Cullens. He’s alone and it’s this rite of passage for him. I felt the same way about Taylor. He has some of the most emotionally powerful scenes of the movie and I thought he did them beautifully. He is also a great natural comedian, which comes into play more in the second film. He’s just great to have around, always incredibly enthusiastic. There is something crazy fun about him.”

“Taylor is a very old soul. He has a very mature perspective when it comes to his commitment to the role,” adds Bannerman. “In this film, he goes from a wolf that doesn’t understand his place in the group, to its alpha male, to imprinting mode. Taylor plays that bond from an animalistic standpoint. He’s been able to work on those elements of the character and take it to another level, while still keeping that unique sense of humor in his distaste about the vampires. You applaud his unique perspective.”

Lautner adds, “Towards the beginning of the movie he’s still the same Jacob he always has been. He’s jealous, still into Bella, and hot headed, but throughout the movie he matures. He becomes friends with the Cullens and contends with the fact that Bella’s married. She’s going to have a baby and he has no choice but to accept that. In Breaking Dawn, you see all the characters in a different light. They have changed so much from the beginning to the end, and I think that’s going to be really exciting to see.”

“The wedding scene is a relatively momentous moment for the series. I think Edward’s proposed to her about 50 times by now,” laughs Pattinson, “so it’s been building up and building up and building up.”

“Finally everyone’s so happy,” laughs Stewart. “We’ve had tastes of happiness before, but it’s always ruined by something. Again, we definitely face a few more obstacles, but for the first time, you’re never going to question if Edward and Bella are going to stay together.”

“Edward’s excited. The marriage is what he has wanted for a long time,” says Pattinson. “I think it’s one of the first points of stability in Edward and Bella’s relationship. There doesn’t seem to be any immediate danger, so it’s one of the only light moments in the whole series. I think it’s quite nice for him.”

“Bella’s absolutely certain that she wants to spend forever with Edward, but there’s just something about marriage that she’s apprehensive about, coming from the way she was brought up,” adds Stewart. “But once the wedding happens, she’s literally never been happier, to the point of exuberance. Everyone’s been waiting for the story to achieve that, because it’s been so hard to get to that point.”

Shooting the ceremony was emotional for everyone. “It just felt so real. The first time I walked down the aisle, just in my regular clothes to go say hi before I put the dress on, and everyone was sitting in the pews, I was like ‘Well, thank you for coming to my wedding.’ It was so cool,” laughs Stewart.

Weather, security, and the demands of covering all the intricate details and cast, made shooting the ceremony tedious. “I’ve been ramping up to do that scene for three years and we were supposed to do the scene in one day. It turned out to be two days, because weather was difficult and it was a huge, elaborate sequence with like 150 extras. Then I get there and it was just incredible, it felt natural,” reveals Stewart.

Jacob skips the ceremony, but shows up for the reception. “When Jacob gets his wedding invitation, it doesn’t really go over so well. He takes off to the forest and transforms into a wolf, like he always does when he gets upset, and disappears for a while. Bella has no idea where he is and the first time she sees him again is at the wedding. Jacob shows up towards the end to say goodbye to her. He thinks it’s her last night being human and then he finds out that she’s going to go through the honeymoon as a human. That doesn’t go well either. They are dancing when she breaks the news to him, he freaks out, Edward shows up, and they almost get into a fight,” explains Lautner.

That was the final scene of the saga shot for the lead actors. “Shooting that was really very moving,” comments Condon. “I remember the night that we shot Bella dancing with Jacob. Rob had only been in the beginning of that scene, but he really was hanging around for the whole thing. When it was over as the sun was rising, it was the last time they were going to do a scene together, the three of them as these characters. None of them seem like the most sentimental person, but I think they were very aware of it and very moved by it.”

“Also, we had some odds and ends after, but basically the last day of the movie was the toasts and the dancing at the reception,” adds Condon. “So generally, most of the main characters who had been involved in these movies from the start were standing there, saying goodbye to each other. That again, was also moving.”

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