While the Twilight Saga films may not have been every genre fan’s cup of blood, the final film in the franchise, Breaking Dawn Part 2, at least promises to close out the story with an onslaught of action and a lot less brooding. It picks up with newlywed vampires Bella and Edward Cullen (Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson) enlisting their kin to protect their supernatural child, Renesmee, from the vindictive Volturi. Family includes Jasper Cullen played by Jackson Rathbone, who has a hand in training his family on how to fight their enemies. In an exclusive with SFX, Rathbone talks about closing out the series on a high note.
By Tara Bennett with reporting by Jennifer Boyett
Jasper is the Cullen newest to the “no human blood” diet so he’s struggled in the prior films. Where is he in this film?
“I think Eclipse is a big turning point for Jasper and he really can control himself better. In Breaking Dawn, he’s fine and much more comfortable. There are a couple scenes, which I’m not sure make it [to the final cut], where Alice and Jasper banter with the kids from high school. So he’s good now and kicked his habit. He’s on the deer diet.”
Readers love the romance between Alice and Jasper in the books so do we get any romantic scenes for them in the last film?
“Not so much. There should have been but there’s not. It’s sad. In Eclipse, they explored the back story but we don’t get to see Alice and Jasper come together which would be really nice. But there are only so many hours you can put an audience through.” [Laughs]
There are a lot of new cast in the last film. How did that change the dynamic?
“It was nice having an expansion of the cast. It was hard to learn everyone’s names at first. We had 50 new vampires which is a lot. A couple I knew like Rami Malek (Benjamin), who I worked with before.
Toni Trucks (Mary) went to my high school. It brought a new dynamic.”
What’s your fondest memory working on these films?
“We were all staying at this little hotel in Squamish, BC. It was the entire production so we had every single room in the entire hotel. They would keep the bar open for us and we’d all have food and drinks together and talk about the day. It was like going to summer camp. I had an amazing time.”
What was the toughest day on the shoot?
“I grew up with sisters so I’m very protective of women I know. The nights we were shooting the wedding scene it was so freezing cold outside. The girls are in dresses, fully exposed. The crewmembers are all in big heavy jackets and hats and the women were shivering. I remember I felt so shitty because there was nothing I could do. I gave Ashley (Greene) my coat which was the most I could do to warm her up a little bit.”
Are you happy to leave the vamp makeup behind?
“They did lighten our skin, but I was also extremely pale. I was always excited to get a tan. It was one of the first things I did when we wrapped. I said, ‘I want to go to the beach!’ and I got sunburned.”
It is bittersweet to come to the end of this five-year journey with the Twilight Saga?
“It’s a little sad but I don’t know if it’s hit that it’s done. Come 2013, it will feel different. It’s been an amazing ride. I look back and I don’t think I would change anything… except maybe the wig in New Moon. I wasn’t in charge of that but I should have fought against that. In retrospect, I should have maybe said, ‘Seriously?’” [Laughs]
Jasper in his Hobbit-wig stage.
What’s next for you?
“I’m really focusing on producing right now. I get a lot of offers but I’m very picky about what I do. I’m focusing more on writing, and I partnered with a company to create a digital series. I did Aim High, which was Facebook’s first show so I learned a lot from that experience. I am exploring the digital realm now and I hope to direct. I love acting but it gets a little boring sometimes.”
Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2 is released in the UK on Friday 16 November