Among the new characters introduced in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse is Leah Clearwater, the Wolf Pack's one and only female shape shifter. Understandably, Leah's more than a little bitter about her new lycan status; you'd hate life, too, if your werewolf boyfriend dumped you because he "imprinted" on your BFF and you were forced to join his pack (and hear his thoughts) for all of eternity.
That hostility leads to an amusing scene in Eclipse between Leah and Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart), the human heroine of the Twilight Saga who thus far has never been taken to task for stringing along poor werewolf Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner). Leah, as played by 29-year-old actress Julia Jones (Hell Ride, Jonah Hex), is as deliciously resentful as we'd imagined her, tormented by her experience on the losing end of her own love triangle with Sam and Emily and desperate to prove herself as a new member of the pack.
In person, Julia Jones couldn't be farther from Leah Clearwater, although she understands the reasons for Leah's hostility towards the world. I caught up with her last weekend to discuss her Eclipse character, her rapport with her co-stars, and her role in this week's comic book-based supernatural Western, Jonah Hex (unfortunately, I just learned that her scenes from the latter film have been cut). She had high praise for Twilight co-star Taylor Lautner, with whom she'll get to play more in the upcoming Breaking Dawn films -- and almost as much passion for the hours of real life wolf footage she watched to prepare for her Eclipse role. Although she agreed that being a werewolf would have its definite drawbacks -- namely, finding yourself naked in the woods after reverting back to human form -- she looks forward to helping Leah reach her full bad ass potential in future Twilight sequels.
Hit the jump for my conversation with Eclipse actress Julia Jones!
Describe the audition that landed you the role of Leah Clearwater.
I have had a relationship with the casting director, Rene Haynes, for a couple of years; she cast me in at least one other thing. I went in and I read for her and for David Slade, spent about 20 minutes working on the character and figuring it out, and I came back about a week later and read for Renee and David and some of the producers again. And then I waited a whole month and heard that I got it, and then I waited another month until I could tell anyone! So it was normal in the beginning, and then pretty bizarre.
What scenes did you read during the casting process?
It was a scene pretty much straight out of the book, Breaking Dawn. The scene where I come and tell Jacob that I want to join his pack.
That's one thing we're looking forward to seeing in Breaking Dawn -- seeing you and Jacob break off from the Wolf Pack to form your own separate pack. Did you get to know Taylor very well while shooting Eclipse?
Yeah -- we obviously worked together and we hung out a couple of times outside of filming, and I'd seen him around L.A. I adore Taylor. One thing I think people don't fully appreciate about him is how smart he is; I think there's been so much attention paid to his abs and how gorgeous he is and everything, but I have a tremendous amount of respect for him. He's a really smart kid, and incredibly talented, committed, devoted…
The werewolves in Twilight are supposed to be so closely, supernaturally linked, that they can hear each others' thoughts. What did all of the members of the Wolf Pack do on set to build rapport during production?
We spent a lot of time together. The boys all work out; they all go to the gym at least once a day. And I probably had most of my meals with at least one of them while I was there. We went bowling, we went to movies… just normal kinds of fun stuff. We took walks. We walked a lot, because it was so pretty in Vancouver.
Read the rest of the interview, here!