Sunday, June 13, 2010

The Sexy Wolves of Eclipse

Whether you are team Edward or Team Jacob, you have to admit that there is something mystical and wonderful about the werewolves in the Twilight Saga. Hot-blooded, mind-reading and powerful, they are just as intriguing in their own right as Edward and his Cullen brood.

We're in Beverly Hills meeting with the very first female member of the wolf pack Julia Jones who plays the feisty Leah Clearwater, hot Alex Meraz who plays Paul and pack Alpha male Sam, Chaske Spencer and they have a lot to say about on set teasing and bloopers, Kristen and Taylor setting great examples for them, their much loved Indian creation legends and how they feel a great responsibility as role models to Native American teens and kids.

Julia looks way rocker hot in a sleek, form-fitting black leather slacks and a tailored for girls motorcycle jacket by Leoffler Randall and the guys look friendly/casual in cute shirts and jeans. First we're hitting up Julia on being the new guy (uh, only girl) in the pack.....

Julia Jones as Leah  Clearwater in "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse." | Summit  Entertainment
Julia Jones as Leah Clearwater in "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse."
Summit Entertainment
TeenHollywood: Julia how was joining the wolf pack as the only female member?

Julia: It happened really fast. All of a sudden you're thrown into this group of boys and, for me, personally, I was a tomboy growing up so it felt really familiar. I have a younger brother the same age as some of them. So, there was something that resonated initially but over the course of filming and the press that we've been doing, it's like home. It just feels like family now and it's great.

TeenHollywood: Were you a fan of the original Twilight film or the books?

Julia: I have a lot of friends who are big fans. I had never read them before but I had a very good friend of mine telling me about this role, Leah Clearwater and said they're going to make a movie out of these (books) and it's you! 'This is going to be your role'. It just went in one ear and other the other. 'She's sweet. She wants the best for me'.

Then when I got the call for the audition, I've never had this happen but I was watching the Celtics/Lakers game and got this call.' You have an audition for Leah Clearwater in Twilight'. I had this visceral reaction. My heart started beating really fast. It was strange.

TeenHollywood: Ah, maybe your friend was psychic. Are you a believer in the supernatural?

Julia: Yeah, I am. Yes for sure.

TeenHollywood: What was the hardest scene for each of you?

Julia: The hardest scene for me to film was also the most fun for me. There's a scene in the midst of the big battle. It was raining and it was cold and there were so many characters in it and it was so chaotic on set and it had to happen really fast. I think it was originally scheduled to be finished in two days and it took twice that time. It was demanding physically because it was freezing and you are wearing very little and demanding emotionally. That was the challenge. After a certain point you just enjoyed yourself because it doesn't get better than that. You're with a bunch of great people in a gorgeous place doing what you love.

Alex: I think the hardest scene is the one she's talking about. We're running and it's raining and there's about a foot of water. So I figured, my background is in dancing and I'm really good on my feet but I told the rest of the cast 'all right, guys, it's slippery out there. Don't put the weight on your heel. Go on the balls of your feet. You get more traction'. Of course, everyone else does it great but me and I slip and fall around. I've got mud all over and the shot they used, where Jacob gets his back crushed, in the background I have a smirk on because they used that shot the moment after I slipped.

Julia: (laughing) I get there to our marks and say 'Where's Alex?' Then he gets there and he's covered with mud and (director) David says 'That's it. That's perfect!'

Chaske: We were running out and I heard you slip and say 'Ugh' and fall. I heard you drop the F-bomb.

Alex: Yeah.

TeenHollywood: Has the Twilight franchise created more work for Native American actors outside the Twilight films?

Chaske: Yes it has. What I like about it, it's brought us to pop culture in a way that's never been done before in film. We've been around for a while. I've been around for ten years acting and it's brought us to a place where we're not always playing with 'leather and feather'. That's how we paid our dues. It's up to the media as well to accept us as being other than mystical figures and putting on the leather and feather and speaking in a res (reservation) accent. I've done that so many times. The kids are more accepting of us than anyone else. That's what's so cool.

Alex  Meraz as Paul in "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse." | Summit  Entertainment
Alex Meraz as Paul in "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse."
Summit Entertainment

Julia: That's also what excites me is we are being put in front of teens and children and people who are in the process of defining their ideas of what Native Americans are and I think that's probably the most valuable aspect of the way Native Americans are portrayed in this film. I still feel that a lot of adults are trying to figure it out.

I'm not an actress yet. I'm a Native American actress and it's not quite normalized to most people who grew up watching things like Dances with Wolves and Geronimo all these things.

Alex: And it's in a contemporary setting. It's not a period piece. We don't have bows and arrows. We don't even have clothes (laughter).

Julia: It's a step in the right direction.

Chaske: A little give and take.

TeenHollywood: In addition to the kids that you are hearing from, have you heard from the Quileute tribe depicted in the films?

Alex: The fascinating thing about portraying a tribe that actually does exist, the things Stephenie had taken from the tribe she mixed it in the realm of fantasy. But, now a lot of people are going to Washington state, to La Push where the Quileute tribe does reside and they're learning more. They're forced to ask questions to learn more about the culture and I think that's great that they are getting a spotlight to tell the real creation story and that's important. Fans are so into it that they want to know the root of the wolf pack.

Chaske: All over native country, we're getting great feedback and it's about time. We've gotten massive support from our people on reservations. It's opened up a whole different door to us and it's a little pressure too because now it's almost like we have to be role models now and that's something that kind of scares me as well. That's a big load to take on.

Julia: But it is so gratifying to hear from people who look up to you and see you in these places that they never thought they could dream to be. (She tears up a bit). It's emotional. You feel like you are opening up people's minds who otherwise thought they couldn't dream big. That's such a huge opportunity. It's such a gift.

Chaske: Statistically, we're not supposed to be here. We grew up on reservations. I don't know if any of you visit them but it's a third world country there. There's a lot of poverty, a lot of alcoholism, a lot of drug addiction so we're very fortunate to be here and we know that.

TeenHollywood: How much truth is in the Quileute wolf story portrayed in the movies?

Chaske: It's taken from an actual creation story but it's turned around. The mythology is that the descendants of the Quileute came from wolves but they weren't able to transform back and that's the part that Stephenie took and used it in the book that we can transform back and forth. She did a lot of research. I think there is creation mythology in La Push that the first white man that had ever been on the reservation, his last name was Swan. So she used little things like that and did her homework.

TeenHollywood: Chaske, can you elaborate on the love triangle between you and Leah and Emily?

Chaske: The story of my character (Sam) is....

Alex: He's a two-timer (laughter).

Tinsel Korey as Emily and Chaske Spencer as Sam  in "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" | Summit Entertainment
Tinsel Korey as Emily and Chaske Spencer as Sam in "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse"
Summit Entertainment

Chaske: Hey, what happened is when the vampires come back, Sam becomes a werewolf and doesn't know why it was happening and went through it all by himself. He had no one there to guide him and he was dating Leah but there is this imprinting thing. When you imprint on someone, that is your soul mate and it happened to be Leah's cousin Emily.

As Sam was going through the changes, other members of the tribe were too and he helps guide them through it, pretty much like a coach or sponsor. That's what he does with Jacob. Unfortunately when he was going through these changes, he mauls Emily and that's why she has the scars on her face. So you'll see in the movie that she (Julia as Leah) gives me some dirty looks from time to time but it's a wonderful story.

TeenHollywood: That makes Sam a kind of tragic character.

Chaske: I was attracted to Sam because there is this tragedy there. He didn't want this in the beginning. No one would ever want that, and he had no choice and that separates us from the vampires as well. At that last minute, some of them have a choice.

TeenHollywood: So you think Sam really feels for Jacob and understands him?

Chaske: Oh yeah, he does. He has to and actually Jacob is the rightful Alpha male but he doesn't want it so he gave it to me so I'm the unfortunate one who has to lead the pack. So, that's the story.

Julia: It's also interesting that one of the major aspects of the wolves is that we hear each other's thoughts when we're wolves so it's almost like there is this whole other world going on in subtext in the film. I don't know how you can portray people reading each other's thoughts but there are so many layers operating for all of us. I can hear Sam's thoughts about my best friend and his thoughts of pity toward me and that's just intense.

Chaske: Wouldn't that suck? In real life, that would suck (laughter)

Julia: That would be terrible.

TeenHollywood: Can some of you talk about jumping into the franchise more in the second and third films?

Tinsel Korey as Emily, Chaske  Spencer as Sam, Tyson Houseman as Quil, Bronson Pelletier as Jared,  Kiowa Gordon as Embry and Alex Meraz as Paul in "The Twilight Saga:  Eclipse." | Summit Entertainment
Tinsel Korey as Emily, Chaske Spencer as Sam, Tyson Houseman as Quil, Bronson Pelletier as Jared, Kiowa Gordon as Embry and Alex Meraz as Paul in "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse."
Summit Entertainment

Alex: It's definitely jumping into a hot pan, you're gonna get cooked but it's definitely exciting. I felt a lot of responsibility being role models for natives. I used to go around to reservations and teach health and wellness conferences and teach art and dance so I knew I was going to be looked at as a role model and that was scary but I just made sure first that I can represent myself in a good way and I try to prepare for it as best I could; make sure I'd read the books, did my homework and, luckily enough, made some really great friends along the way which really helped to make me comfortable with all the fame or whatever.

Julia: I was terrified. I still sometimes am but, in the beginning, it was like you're a certain size in your life then, all of a sudden, you get much smaller. Every aspect about (the Twilight films) is much bigger than you are and you have to just accept that and enjoy it because you're a part of something that means so much to so many people. I think the thing that made it easier, the fastest was that the cast are so committed to our characters and to telling these stories.

I was so surprised instantly at Taylor and Kristen's groundedness. They were the first two people I met and I feel like overall, we're all really grounded. We all show up for work and we really care and want to do the best we can and that bonds us. That took away the fear.

Chaske: It's easy to work with this cast. Some have been working for a while and, for some, it's their big break. What I really like is everyone is humble. Everyone knows that this is a gift we got. It's something that doesn't come around too often. When I joined this franchise I knew it was going to be big but no one gives you a book on how to operate on this level. Before I went in I put up boundaries about what I do and don't want to talk about. There are ways to keep your life private and to do good work. It's a fun ride to be on and I get to share it with these two.

Alex: I got the book 'How to Make It in Hollywood 101' (laughter).

Sam: Written by me (laughter).

The  wolf pack at home in "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" | Summit  Entertainment
The wolf pack at home in "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse"
Summit Entertainment
TeenHollywood: Does the wolf pack have any hazing rituals for new members?

Julia: I would say every five minutes. Alex, this is your department.

Alex: No, no. When you know someone gets cast in these select few roles, you know they've gone through a lot. There's so many people who want to be in this franchise so you're excited for them; for Booboo or when she (Julia) got cast or Xavier (as Riley) you know that it was like 'American Idol'. Thousands of people were going out for it so the first reaction is to take your hat off and say 'congratulations' but then I just tease people a lot. It's the Paul thing.

Chaske: In New Moon it was just us boys and we teased each other a lot to keep us humble as well. If the ego gets too big, we cut each other down.

Julia: I kind of always have this feeling that there is something in my hair (cuz the guys have put it there) (laughter).

TeenHollywood: What Native American legend did you hear as a kid or read about that you would love to see made in to a movie some day?

Chaske: For me personally, I've always had a fascination with Crazy Horse. He's from my tribe too (Lakotah Sioux) and I've read so many books about him. That's something I'd really like to bring to screen. I think I'd like to direct it. It's one of stories people don't know about. He's such a mythical figure and a leader and warrior that his character fascinates me.

Julia: Has there been a movie made on Sacajawea? The character has been in a couple of movies but...

Alex: "Night at the Museum". (laughter)

Julia: That doesn't count! As a female there aren't that many notable Native American figures. Pocahontas and Sacajawea. I know stories of family members of mine but it's not the same for the girls.

Alex: I've never thought about it but I'll start.

TeenHollywood: Julia, you are also in Jonah Hex. Who are you in that?

Julia: That was also an incredible experience. I play Cassie, Josh Brolin's wife and she and our young son are killed early on in the film and that's what motivates Jonah Hex. He gets very bitter and goes around as a bounty hunter. That experience was so great because I was on set with Josh and with John Malkovich and Michael Fassbender who is an incredible actor.

Source:Teen Hollywood via TheMerazEffect

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