While Jackson Rathbone (Jasper) likens the wire stunts to "getting paid to go to the amusement park," Robert Pattinson found it hard. "Trying to maintain your center of gravity is tough," he comments. "It can look really fake, and I didn't have that much time to practice. They took a pretty big risk letting me do a lot of it," he says, noting that he's "really not an action movie kind of guy at all."
That and the fact that he's British put him at a disadvantage in a baseball game scene, where Facinelli calls his attempts "fun yet painful to watch. He had like a week to learn how to play the game. But he finally got it and he looked great at it."
One of the movie's more dangerous stunts involved Bella and Edward climbing to the top of a very tall tree, shot at the edge of a cliff at the Columbia River Gorge. The actors did part of it, but the actual climb and the overhead shot seen from a helicopter was done by their doubles. "They were wired, but the helicopter got so close we thought they were going to get blown off the tree," Catherine Hardwicke recalls. "It was a pretty badass stunt."
Hardwicke wanted to keep the effects as practical as possible, although visual effects were necessary in some instances. "There are over 200 shots that we had to do something to, but pretty minor," she says, offering sky adjustments and wire and crane removal as examples. Visual Effects also added a third story to the Cullens' house with CG.
If she were to direct the screen adaptation of the second book in Meyer's series, "New Moon," Hardwicke would likely have to employ more visual effects, and would require a bigger budget to cover stunts and locations. "There are werewolf transformations, stunts like jumping off cliffs and motorcycle rides. They go to Italy. We'd have to make a lot of money on this one," she says.
Melissa Rosenberg is writing the "New Moon" script as well as the screenplay for third book "Eclipse," and the actors have all been contracted for two more movies (book four, "Breaking Dawn," hadn't been written at the time). Kristen Stewart, who knew nothing of "Twilight" before she was cast, now feels a close affinity for the character she may be playing for several years to come, "this girl who gets caught up in this extravagant situation. It's a very epic, high stakes, ultimate love story," she sums up the series' appeal.
If all four books make it to the screen, the final one will be the most difficult to adapt, according to Meyer. "One character will have to be done with CG," she explains. Meanwhile, if "New Moon" is made into a movie, it would have to get underway quickly. Teenagers don't stay teenagers, but vampires never age.
For more information on "Twilight," vampires and the supernatural, sink your teeth into the links below.
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- Catherine Hardwicke, Stephenie Meyer, Melissa Rosenberg, Robert Pattinson, Kristen Stewart, Peter Facinelli, Rachel Lefevre, Nikki Reed, Jackson Rathbone, Edi Gathegi and Ashley Greene interviewed November 8, 2008.