The Wolf Pack Gets Bigger
In The Twilight Saga: Eclipse, the wolf pack allies with their ancestral enemy to defend Bella, who learns more about the wolf concept of imprinting as well as the tribe's legends.
New Quileute characters are portrayed by Julia Jones, Booboo Stewart, and Alex Rice as the Clearwater Family: Leah, Seth, and their mother Sue, who has assumed her late husband position on the tribal council.
Reprising their roles from The Twilight Saga: New Moon as members of the Quileute Indian Nation include: Native American/First Nation actors Chaske Spencer as Sam Uley, Alex Meraz as Paul, Kiowa Gordon as Embry, Bronson Pelletier as Jared, and Tyson Houseman as Quil Ateara, who has finally phased into a wolf in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. Tinsel Korey also returns as Emily, the fiancé of Sam Uley, as does Gil Birmingham as Jacob's father Billy Black.
"The cast gets bigger and bigger in Eclipse… and it's going to get even bigger in Breaking Dawn," explains Godfrey. "In every book you meet new people. In Eclipse, you meet Seth and Leah, who become really important characters later. That's part of the thing that keeps these movies fresh, is that you get to meet new people every movie."
Stephenie Meyer has become more involved in the casting process with Summit Entertainment and the filmmakers. "It's changed from movie to movie. It's funny, when we first got started, we didn't know each other well, so we were very careful of each other. How you are with acquaintances... you're polite," says Meyer. "Then, with friends, you're just a little more open. As we spent more time together now, I feel more comfortable giving input and they're usually very open to listening to me. So, it's gotten to be more over time, and now I've been a lot more involved with who is cast in Eclipse.
I was involved a lot with the casting decisions on Xavier, Julia, and BooBoo - making sure we had people that really seemed to bring these roles to life. It's cool, but a weird, surreal thing to see people that you made up - basically your imaginary friends - and then to have people walking around dressed up like them."
"The tricky thing about the newcomers, to the wolf pack in particular, is that in Eclipse they're very small roles. But as the story goes forward, these are roles that become fairly major, so you have to find an actor who has that potential," comments Meyer. "It was great watching the auditions, particularly for Leah, because she has so much going on and her life really sucks. I can't imagine how hard it would be to be Leah Clearwater, it just is an awful position. This character is beautiful and strong, yet so bitter and angry, you have to find someone who can show you the pain underneath. The first time I saw it in Julia's audition, it was just like 'oh, she's got it.' She just had all of the right intonations… she understood the emotions. So, I was very impressed with Julia."
"Leah's the only girl werewolf and she's got so many problems. She's a loner, her dad died, she's broken hearted and the love of her life is dating her cousin/best friend. She and Sam Uley were together in high school and then he imprinted on her cousin Emily. She's pretty consistently tortured in Eclipse. So, Leah's a pretty mean, angry girl. I just hate everything," laughs actress Julia Jones.
Leah becomes the first female to phase into a wolf. "She doesn't want to be a werewolf. Leah projects a lot of her anger onto the Cullens for causing the situation.
The worst part though, is that when the she and the boys are in wolf form, they are telepathic," points outs Jones. "She can hear everybody else's thoughts and that's really painful. She can listen to everybody feelings - including Sam's love for Emily - all the time, so that's an added dimension of agony."
Jones adds, "Job number one for the wolf pack is protecting humans from vampires. So the idea that there are vampires out there, who have the capacity to literally devastate all of Forks and La Push, gives us great purpose. It's a huge threat, but we have the prowess. More and more kids are starting to turn into wolves - and it's happening to younger boys… and girls - because there are more and more vampires in the area. That's a scary thing"
"That scene where Leah turns into a wolf really struck me because phasing is this intense expression of emotion. As an actor, I really couldn't do anything physically to express pain like turning into a wolf. So just having that extra ability to express yourself is very cool to me. Sometimes you feel like you want to just explode and turn into some other animal and running off in the woods," laughs Jones.
"Leah's a very real character. I don't think her issues are ever resolved completely and there's something very true about that," says Jones. "Different kinds of love, how do you incorporate them into your life, and is it possible - that's a really relatable dilemma for a girl to have."
Teen actor, singer, and martial artist Booboo Stewart was cast as Leah's younger brother Seth Clearwater, the youngest Quileute yet to phase into a wolf. "I didn't even know about the Seth Clearwater character, because in the first movie they don't talk about him. A fan contacted me on my MySpace page and told me there's this character called Seth Clearwater and you'd be perfect," remembers Stewart.
"Seth Clearwater's just a happy guy. He's the peacemaker between Edward and Jacob and wants everyone to get along. When he walks in the room, he's the type of guy that makes you want to smile," describes Stewart. "You just have a range of so many different personalities in the pack. Sam is really straightforward, an Alpha. Seth is obviously a nerd, he's just laughing all the time, just there to have a good time. He idolizes Jacob so much… he wants to be like him. I'm sure he wishes they were brothers."
Stewart loves being a wolf and a part of The Twilight Saga. "It's like being a superhero. I wish I could turn into a wolf… that would be sick!" laughs Stewart. "They're super-strong, they're super-fast, and you get to shape-shift… without it being painful.
Twilight is such a big deal right now… it's like Star Wars. I just think it's like an honor to be in these movies. I just can't wait for Eclipse to come out. Everyone's just going to love it. It's a love story, with action. That's my thing."
The wolf pack must join forces and fight along side their one-time enemy the Cullen family, in order to protect Bella, the people of Forks, and their tribe in La Push from the newborn army. "One of the fun things about Eclipse for me is that I tend to look at it like there aren't that many bad guys in my world," explains Meyer. "If you look at something from someone's perspective, even Victoria, I can totally understand her point.
With the Cullens and the Quileutes particularly, you have two sets of very, very good people on the opposite side of a disagreement. That's fun to write about because when you have good versus evil, you're pretty sure who's going to win - the good guys always win in fiction. But when you have good guys against good guys, it's harder to call the outcome."
Chaske Spencer's Sam Uley is still leading the pack established in The Twilight Saga: New Moon. "Sam is the Alpha male. He's the head honcho. It's a lineage thing and Jacob actually turned that down and handed the throne over to Sam," explains Taylor Lautner. "Plus, you got Paul who's the hothead. Jared who is one of the funny guys played by Bronson, and Bronson's a total prankster, so that's perfect. Then Embry and Quil are Jacob's best friends, who are always there for him."
"The camaraderie with the other werewolves is the best part of being a wolf," comments Spencer. "It's like a little family unit. A band of brothers… with the two sisters coming in. It's all about love, so there's definitely drama in the wolf pack."
Part of the drama is caused by how wolves mate for life. "Imprinting is part of the mythology of the werewolves. When they find the person that they're meant to be with, they are bound to them and there's no getting out of it at that point. They have mixed feelings towards it because it's part of their life they can't control. It's been fun watching Taylor do the emotions involved with that," comments Meyer.
"The idea of imprinting came from nature. Ducklings do it. Wolves do it. It's an animal thing that actually happens. A duckling imprints on its mother and always knows who she is, even if there's lots of other ducks around," says Meyer. "There's a fantasy element to it too. One of my very favorite book series growing up was Anne McCaffrey's Dragonflight series. In that, a dragon and a human are bonded forever, and it's so strong that if one of them dies the other one dies too or is driven mad. So I've always
really liked that idea of something so strong that you have no control and it's literally life or death. So I'm not surprised that worked its way into my stories, because it was an idea that I was in love with growing up."
"Jacob feels like he should be imprinting on Bella," says Lautner. "Like what's going on? This is the girl I love. This is the girl I want to be with, why am I not imprinting? It confuses Jacob."
"The wolves have no choice. When they find their soul mate, that's their soul mate," adds Spencer. "When Sam meets Emily - that's it. He has to abandon Leah for Emily. Leah and Emily are cousins and, of course, Leah's hurt. But, the tradeoff is that Sam accidentally mauls Emily and so she has this big scar. But, his love for her is forever. There's a lot of guilt going around."
Tinsel Korey who returns as Emily adds, "Imprinting is like your souls are split apart, and when you meet that person it's like your souls reconnect. It's a deeper connection than love. It's not just romantic, it's an all around connection that you have with somebody else. I don't see an emotion that isn't touched on in this film. It's an epic movie. It's got everything. It's got jealousy and betrayal and solidarity and strength and happiness and sadness and birth and death. It's the whole gamut."
Korey enjoyed working with a pack of male co-stars, who are a handful on and off screen. "My experience with the boys has been just nonstop chaos," laughs Korey.
"Sometimes I like play into their antics, but most of the time, I go into like a Zen place But they're hyper like the whole entire time. So Julia's just sitting there like, 'do these guys ever stop?' I'm like, 'No.' On screen, Sam's got to keep them all together, because the boys do get wiry, and they're always into mischief."
"I personally have a younger brother so I don't feel bad about totally zoning them out," laughs Jones. "They're so loud, but every day I got a little bit more comfortable.
It's fun and they're amazing. I think those boys were cast really well, because they're all different, and when you put them together they just feed off of each other. The one thing that's hard, is Leah is such a curmudgeon, it's like being in pain around Mardi Gras."
Alex Meraz as Paul, Kiowa Gordon as Embry, Bronson Pelletier as Jared, and Tyson Houseman as Quil Ateara tried to be on their best behavior for their new cast mates, even though they are playing creatures with incredible speed who are the size of Volkswagons and have the ability to strategize as a pack.
"Julia Jones adds a different component, so we have to be a little nicer because she's a woman," laughs Alex Meraz. "We have to have a little respect for her, but she jumps right in there and has a good time too. The same thing with BooBoo Stewart--he's just fun, fun, fun, fun. My background's also in martial arts so we play around and do little tricks here and there. I think we have a really good solid group to represent the Wolf Pack. The blood memory of our pack is affecting our people younger and it's changing genders, which is great because I think it shows the evolution of our species."
Kiowa Gordon, whose hometown Sunday school teacher is author Stephenie Meyer, plays a grey wolf with black spots on is back. "Embry is the fastest wolf and possibly Jacob's half brother. We make fun of Jacob for being obsessed with Bella, who's got him trapped in the friend zone. We hear it all the time… 'maybe I should call Bella, maybe I should call Bella and say something and then hang up,'" laughs Gordon.
Tyson Houseman's role of Quil Atera was established briefly in The Twilight Saga: New Moon, but expands substantially in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. "All of his friends had become wolves, so he was feeling really left out. Plus, they wouldn't tell him what was going on. Things sucked for Quil at the end of New Moon," laughs Houseman.
"But, once Quil becomes a wolf, he's really enjoying himself. He thinks it is really cool because he finally gets to hang out with all his friends all the time again. He's only 16 and he's really a cheeky character. Quil's like a small dog who will just go after all the big dogs in the dog park and then just won't care. He'll pick fights just for fun. He has a good time, all the time. He's really happy with being part of the pack and he doesn't feel the same sort of sacrifice everybody else is feeling."
"All of the guys, we've really bonded over this creative time," adds Houseman. "I think the workouts had a huge part to do with that. We've had periods of times where we've all ended up suffering together and puking together because it's been so hard.
But it's been really fun and I've really gotten to know the guys well." "New Moon really changed my life because of the training," adds Spencer. "The workout's are great and I continue the workouts. I'm more health conscious about what I eat and I don't smoke, I don't drink. So it's definitely changed my life."
Veteran actor Gil Birmingham returns as Jacob's father Billy Black. "He's the leader of the Quileute tribe and the keeper of the stories. The magic in the blood of the lineage comes through when the cold ones are in the area, but at the time that I was of the age that I would have transformed, there were not any vampires around. So, the phasing skipped a few generations."
Birmingham adds, "Eclipse is the culmination of the things that have been developing in the last two movies. Things get grandeur, more characters are coming in, and more of the history comes out. The Quileute are a real tribe on the Pacific Coast and they have a history of the storytelling with legends of transformation and their association with the wolves - it's very tightly intertwined. In the movie, I tell the legend of 'The Third Wife' - the story of how she sacrificed herself to save her husband - the ultimate expression of love. It foreshadows what Bella will be doing."
"It is a story about a mortal who gives their life to protect their family. Bella connects to that as the climax of our movie rushes towards us," says Godfrey. "Bella sees herself as the mortal stuck in between supernatural characters and ultimately is willing to sacrifice her life for Edward, for Jacob, and for all of these families."
Stewart adds, "It's about her courage and how that's her power. She doesn't need a fantastical, inhuman element to make her fit into this thing. She actually is strongest element of the entire thing and she's human. Bella is always finding out new parts of the story. It's such a long, involved, intricate story of how the werewolves and the vampires exist and how they interact."
Jacob brings Bella to a tribal campfire to hear his father tell stories to the pack, stories that the new members hear for the first time. "Jacob is letting her into his family unit and she's really starting to feel like she owns a position there," says Stewart. "My favorite thing about that scene is how comfortable Jacob is with Bella around. She's the first outsider that's ever heard the story, so the fact that she's being letting on this is a very big deal for her."
"Bella's a lot closer with the pack now, even though she's a vampire girl," says Lautner. "Now, she fits in. We've invited her into the pack, and we accept her for who she is."
"One of my favorite things writing Eclipse was being able to go into the mythology of the tribe and how the wolves came to be," comments Rosenberg. "The story in the book is much, much more complex and unfortunately we can't include it all. But we brought it down to the story of The Third Wife, because that is so relevant to Bella's own journey. It doesn't take magic to be strong and to change the course of events… it takes strength and courage, which is something that Bella has. Because Bella's human, she's always seemingly the helpless one. But at the end of this story, she's actually the one who saves Edward, by her very brave act. So she is not really as helpless as she is perceived to be.
One of the most difficult scenes to film: the campfire scene where Billy shares the legends of the tribe
Shooting the campfire scene where Billy shares the legends of the tribe, proved to be one of the most difficult nights of production. "The night that we shot the campfire scene was one of the most brutal weather nights we've ever had filming," shares Lautner. "We filmed all through the night and into the morning and it was pouring rain.
We had two 3-hour time periods where we were just waiting in the tent for the rain to stop. It would stop for 15 minutes and we'd run out there and do the shot quick. Go back into the tent, back into the cars, and just wait for the rain."
"No matter what the weather, we're shooting. No matter what happens with the light, we're shooting. If you break both your legs, we're shooting," laughs Slade. "The most challenging day - or night I should say - the crew referred to as Black Friday. It didn't just rain, it rained like marbles… rain drops the size of great big Californian cockroaches. Rain that makes the noise of sizzling sausages, but no matter what
happens we have to shoot.
"So, we put a big black tarp over the top of the set, and it's hammering with rain.
We get rid of the back lighting, so you can't see the rain. Okay, so we can't see the rain now, that's that one problem. We've still got the sound of sizzling sausages. Not much we can do about that," sighs Slade. "You can tell it's not starting well. And it's cold. And then there's a bear down by catering. Oh, let's go and see the bear. No, don't go and see the bear. The bear will go away, everything's fine, we carry on the shooting.
"Carry on working in the sound of sizzling sausages and a big bulge is appearing in this big, huge tarp wall, and we've got keeping everybody dry. This bulge takes about ten minutes to get to the point of which it's going to rip. So someone has to go with a stick and the push the water out and the water falls on the floor. So, we're in a swamp now as we're shooting. Gil Birmingham is giving the performance of his career and it's wonderful, but it still sounds like sizzling sausages. But it's fantastic and we keep shooting. Everybody's grouchy, because when you're underpants are wet you're not happy."
"The rain would just like seep in and every like 10 minutes they had to like dump all the water out," adds Meraz. "It was just a nightmare and it took forever. There was a lot at stake that night and David was really good about keeping us relaxed and together."
Slade adds, "The rain bulge is in the tarp again and we have all the wolf pack together, and they're not wearing shirts, because they don't wear shirts and its' meant to be a summer evening. So they're freezing to death. So a guy goes and pulls the bulge, and of course all the water literally - probably 400 pounds of it - just goes bang on top of the wolf pack and they're soaked to the skin. They're through and about to have hypothermia. It went on and on and on. Eventually we shot a beautiful scene. You would never know it was shot in the most horrific conditions. So I guess that was the most challenging and certainly the memorable scene anyway."
"Looking back on and it was a bonding experience because we were there until six in the morning and it was like sheets of rain that wouldn't stop. We just all pull an allnighter and I was actually falling asleep. I woke up to people laughing at me while I was sitting in my chair. We started the last scene right before dawn. Oh my gosh, please don't let the camera in close on me, because I can barely keep my eyes open right now," laughs Jones. "But, it was BooBoo's close up and he did an amazing job. He really stepped up to the plate at five in the morning."
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