Exclusive Interview with Alex Meraz & Edi Gathegi

Nov 7th, 2009 | By | Category: Fandom, Featured Articles

Q: I just wanted to ask both of you guys, what was your favorite stunt to do?

Alex: For me, my favorite stunt to do was the cliff-diving scene. It’s pretty fun when you get the chance to jump off this fifty foot scaffolding just to practice the form, and it’s really exciting. I mean, it’s a good thing when an actor can actually perform your own stunts; it’s pretty rare.

Edi: I actually had a ton of fun on the second unit. The second unit director was extremely collaborative, and we actually created a shot together based on an idea that I had. And I can’t give it away, but the stunt that I do was something that I thought of and he said yes to, and it felt very wonderful to be able to have that sort of collaboration on a project of that scale.

Q: Alex, was it hard for you to come onto the New Moon set as one of the newcomers?

Edi: It was ‘cause I beat him up everyday [laughs].

Alex: There was no phase. Well, surrounded by the rest of the wolfpack, we’re all new to it, so we kind of relied on each other, you know, for support and whatnot, and we spent the most time together. So, when I saw any of the other actors, it was mostly in passing, but we did work together. It was all good, you know, we had a good time. No … I felt right at home.

Q: Edi, your character kind of makes his last stand in New Moon and Alex, yours just kind of begins, so how are your experiences in filming and how are your current experiences in promoting the film?

Edi: I guess that question’s to you, huh Alex?

Alex: You’re passin’ the torch onto me?

Edi: Well, I die and he’s just born.

Alex: Yeah, ‘cause I feed off of you.

Edi: You eat me and then you get a new life. For me, it’s all about perspective. I just feel really lucky that I was a part of not only one film but two in a huge franchise so it’s opened up a lot of doors and given me opportunities to meet people and travel and do interviews, and like it’s not bad for my career, and right now it’s sort of like, will the Twilight ever end? I don’t know when it’s gonna end, but it’s very strong, there are a lot of people, there is a lot of passion to it, and I just feel lucky to be a part of it.

Alex: And I do as well. I think it’s an amazing franchise and I’m very fortunate to have a couple of films ready for me right after New Moon. So, it’s a good process and it’s a rare thing. Most other franchises … in fact, I don’t really know of any that actually take the time out to communicate with the fans as we’re doing, you know, and I think that’s a very crucial process, and, you know, it definitely motivates you to get back and do good work.
Q: I wanted to know, now Edi you play someone that’s actually a bad guy, and then Alex you’re playing someone who’s kind of misunderstood but comes across as mean, and I was wondering where you guys draw that energy from to come across that way on film?

Edi: Well if Alex’s character is misunderstood, then I want my character to be misunderstood. [Laughs] My character is a vampire, and they eat people, and he wants to eat Bella, and that doesn’t make him a bad guy.
[Alex laughs.]

Edi: He’s just, he’s just doing what nature intended him to do, and it’s actually … he’s not apologetic but he’s explaining, you know, why he must do what he has to do. And I think that’s interpreted as being the evil and bad because the heroes of our stories are vegetarians.

Alex: Which is funny because here’s two characters that both try to kill Bella, so that’s pretty good.

Edi: Yeah, your character tries to go after her …

Alex: … but my character, I think he has a sense of pride, you know? For his culture, for the land … and he just does whatever it takes to protect the land, and when Bella – at first, when I turn to try to kill her – she’s just an outsider. I don’t think she belongs there, and she’s bringing nothing but trouble so it’s just a thick sense of pride that’s really what Paul feels.

Q: Alex, I was just wondering because your character is very extreme and intense, what do you to prepare to be that way?

Alex: I snarl in the mirror … No, I’m just kidding. Um, I – to prepare for that – I just first have to be present physically. You know, I just lifted a lot … did some martial arts, and I just felt like that’s what needs to come across on screen … that I’m scrappy, I’m agile, I can fight, I can turn into a wolf all the time, so that presence … that raw energy and presence just has to be there, so that’s what I did… Get there physically first and then I just hoped that that would inform the acting component of it.

Q: Most of the cast between Twilight and New Moon seem to have some sort of fight training now, and I was wondering if this training might actually be useful for self defense, or if it was all just posturing for the movies?

Alex: Yeah, I don’t think for myself, I’ve been doing martial arts my entire life so I know I’m efficient and effective in real-time action, um, but I don’t know… let’s hope others can defend themselves with the training that they got from Twilight.

Edi: I know how to fight, but you don’t know how to fight …

Alex: [Mockingly] ‘let’s hope others can defend themselves against me’ [laughs]
[Alex laughs]

Edi: That’s funny. I grew up in the hood…. [laughs]

Alex: Yeah pretty much … In so many words [laughs]

Q: In Twilight, Laurent seemed a little bored with it all – telling James to stop playing with his food – and now he’s finding Bella very delicious in the trailer. Has he found some sort of new energy he’s decided to come back in with … how do you see his character changing for New Moon?

Edi: Here’s the thing, and I love that you’re bringing this up. I don’t think he has changed in that sense. I think that in the boat when he says don’t play with your food it’s because it’s tired of James instilling fear in the prey – it’s not necessary, it’s actually an unkind thing to do – and with Bella in the meadow, he’s not playing with his food. He’s actually only interacting with her because he has a connection to her – he’s already met her. If it was just another human being, he would do it quickly and swiftly and painlessly. With Bella, he wants to connect with her before he takes her life.

Q: Edi, you said before that you were really looking forward to the on-screen fight with the wolves, so now that you’ve seen the first cut from the film, did the fight live up to your expectations?

Edi: I can’t say … [laughs] I cannot say. You watch the movie on November 20th, you will see, tell me! That’s my final answer [laughs].

Q: Alex, Chris Weitz said that the eyes of the wolves were going to be kind of the actors’ eyes – you know, their soul – so is it going to be your eyes that we’re going to see on Paul in wolf form?

Alex: I’ve yet to see the finished version of my wolf, so I don’t know. But if they put my eyes on there I’m sure it’ll be really dreamy [laughs].

Q: There’s a lot of the news about Chris Weitz being very skilled with CGI, and I was wondering if this was each of your first experience in dealing with CGI, and how did you find it?

Alex: Yes, this is my first time doing CGI, and I was completely excited because I knew he had brought his team from The Golden Compass who was Phil Tippett who’s a legend in that realm, so I was completely excited … And it was great, it was very clear – most times when you work with CGI, from what I’d heard, it’s pretty hard to understand what’s going on because it takes a lot of imagination, but I found it to be really clear to do what I needed to do.

Edi: Yeah, yeah, it does take a lot of imagination to let it work. I mean, there are basically several slates that are going on in any given scene where they have to create the entire scene but you have to act like the wolves – you know Styrofoam cows and they you know they do the movement of what the wolf would do, and then they take them away and put the actor in there. They just do a bunch of stuff over and over and over again in order to get the scene to later on draw the wolf in. It’s sophisticated labor and stuff, but I think we had some of the best people in the world for it, so …

Q: You have both participated in several Twilight conventions, and I was wondering how is that for you guys to just be on stage and just be adored and asked a lot of questions?

Alex: For me, it’s pretty wild, you know … automatically thrust into this platform for a movie that isn’t even out yet – you know, to me that’s kind of mind-blowing but is great because it tells you how loyal the fans are you know that just anyone can play the character because the fans know the stories already. They already know my journey, so it’s been pretty wild, you know, it’s been good. It’s definitely motivating me to get back up to Vancouver and do some good work. It’s given me good perspective.

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One Comment to “Exclusive Interview with Alex Meraz & Edi Gathegi”

  1. Celine says:

    Loved the interview! 🙂 Alex is so cool, and Edi is so funny!

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