Exclusive Fansite Interview with Bill Condon: Part 2

Oct 25th, 2011 | By | Category: Fandom, Fansite Fridays, Featured Articles, Movie News, Podcasts, Site News

Twilight fansites interview Bill Condon, the director of Breaking Dawn

Interview Part 2

Conducted June 3rd, 2011


Q: How was it filming both movies at the same time, ’cause it’s your first time doing this? How was that?

BC: Yeah. Better than if we’d done it in 3D, the way we were thinking.


Yeah that was my question! Was: are you really doing it in 3D? ‘Cause that rumor’s been out there for so long.

BC: No, no.

Oh thank you.

BC: We were gonna do the second movie in 3D. There was a good idea behind that, which was: okay she wakes up as a vampire, now let’s see the world differently.

It’s a new dimension for her.

BC: But that wouldn’t have been-it wouldn’t have been just cheesy, but we would have gone crazy.


BC: I think we’re all grateful now. Yeah.

I can never see 3D movies. They just give me a headache so thank you. Thank you so much!

BC: I know. Yeah, no me too. I get a headache just from the tutorial.


BC: But yeah-so it was-I found it was not hard-it was harder on Kristen, I think, more than anybody but she stepped up. But not only to have to go from “oh my God, I’m high school graduate Bella” [to] “oh now I’m kind of intense momma vampire” in the same day! Not only that was a psychological challenge but also physically. I mean she had to-the vampire makeup was two hours. God help her, the pregnant, late term Bella was three hours prosthetics, and sometimes she’d be jumping back and forth between those things. So she was a real trooper, you know. I think it fell on her shoulders more than anybody else’s.

Q: Well, and we’re talking a lot about the serious stuff, and in the clip we saw we got to see some comedic relief from some of the Cullens. (in a pre-wedding scene Alice is barking orders at the family who are moving around large trees)I, and I think a lot fans, are really wanting to know is there going to be some comedic relief with the whole Rosalie/Jacob thing while Bella’s pregnant? Is it-even the trailer’s really serious, which I love-

BC: Yeah, yeah.

-but in the book there’s a lot of comedic relief that I think fans love, and is that going to be in the movie?

BC: Yeah. Yeah, there’s definitely a lot of comedy in the movie.


Q: I have a question. Melissa Rosenberg, when she was talking about the birth scene, she always kind of said something to the effect of “Well, I wrote it and now it’s up to Bill how he wants to do it”. And I was kind of wondering, what do you have to add to that?

BC: In terms of the birth?

Yeah. What did you see? Like how did you see doing it?

BC: Again, the basic idea there was-went back to the approach of the novel which is let’s have her give birth and only see what she can see. So it’s all from her point of view, right? And for me, that allows us to do things like oh my God, he’s coming back into frame and he’s got blood on his teeth! He just bit through something. And if you know what he bit through then you know, but if you don’t, you don’t, you know? So it’s like-it gives-I think for people who know it intimately it gives us that moment: “oh my God, the baby’s just bitten her”. But we don’t see it, you know. It’s only what she can see. So that was the approach there.

Q: So building a relationship with your cast members, and obviously, your crew and all that, what was your favorite aspect of building with the team?

BC: You know what? I think it was with the actors, being able to really spend weeks and weeks before we started talking through the scripts over, and over, and over again, you know. Um, and especially Kristen who knows it so well and she feels such a strong like burden of responsibility to live up to what the fan-she’s a fan, you know. She [said] “I cried when I read this [the] first time. I wanna make sure that people [cry]”, you know. So that when she’s walking down the aisle at the wedding, you can’t believe what she puts herself through to make sure she gets into the state that’s gonna make-like open her up to all of the feelings that Bella’s feeling at that moment. It’s really amazing to watch. So that, I think, more than anything, you know. And I always think with Kristen too-sometimes she gets a bad rap for-like she seems like she’s a little, you know, unfriendly and things like that. I think that it’s all just-it’s her-she’s so tough on herself and that’s all it is.

She’s so great one-on-one.

BC: Yeah, yeah.

Q: Any favorite moment on set? Like a favorite moment on there?

BC: Oh gosh.


Q: Tell us about the dance off, what happened? ( the actors on Twitter kept referring to the Breaking Dawn Dance Battle)

BC: Oh yeah, that thing. You heard about that, right? That was amazing. God, I’ve never been surprised on a set like that ever.

Q: Is that gonna make the DVD?

BC: I would think so, yeah. I would think so.

JM: It will, because we knew it was happening and he didn’t know but I knew, and we T-ed up all the DVD documentary guys. It’s like “this is happening” and we had all these cameras going.

Thank you.

‘Cause all the fans wanna know that. Everyone tweeted about it so much.

BC: Just the part of me dancing won’t be on there.


Q: Next to Catherine Hardwicke, you probably had the larger shot of casting.

BC: Yes, it’s true. Yeah.

I mean just compared to-I mean just everybody else, you know there was the wolf pack-

BC: Yeah, like 70 of them.

One of my favorite movies is Jerry Maguire with the line, “You had me at ‘hello'”. Was there anybody in that casting process that maybe you didn’t know and then you were just like, “Whoa, you had me at ‘hello’!” Who was your-

BC: You know who? Mackenzie Phillips. I mean-Phillips…Mackenzie.


BC: She’s a perfect, perfect-yeah, [inaudible] Mackenzie Foy. Mackenzie Foy was like, wow that’s it. She looks like their daughter and there’s just a quality she had, you know. I mean and it was such a relief because Renesmee was so tough to picture and imagine, you know? So I have to say she was just like, I think we’ve got it right there ’cause it’s possible. And then I showed her to everybody else and everybody agreed.

Q: How were the auditions for the new cast members?

BC: The auditions?

Yeah. How you chose them?

BC: You know some of them came in, some of them were on tape. All of that, you know. And then-

I guess it’s a lot.

BC: A lot, yeah I know. We, yeah…but we had a great casting director, Debbie Zane, who I worked with a lot. She really did a wonderful job sort of tracking everybody around the world.

Q: Going back to Renesmee, it was such a big thing, like Stephenie always said…I think when Breaking Dawn the book came out, she said, “You know, I don’t know if the technology will be advanced enough by the time the film comes out”. How did you approach that? Like was that a daunting thing, were you excited to do it? How did you approach Renesmee as a character?

BC: Yeah, it was a little scary at first just ’cause it is all that dots on people’s faces and helmets and things like that. But it was-it actually turned out to be fun. Mackenzie was there all the time to sort of provide the model for whatever size girl was playing the part. And then weirdly enough, the three-year old, four-year old, they all have their different personalities and they were all kinda good, you know. So actually you sort of fall in love with aspects of different girls all the way through. But we’re just-there’s John Bruno (he walks into the room), who’s our visual effects supervisor, the legend.

Say hello, John.


BC: But we haven’t done any of that yet ’cause it’s movie two, so it’ll be fascinating to see when it actually starts, to see if it works.

Q: A lot of directors get this glazed look in their eye when people say, “What is your biggest challenge?” And they go like this [Want to put in facial expression she made here?], and they go, “The weather.” You probably were the person who’s had to spend the least amount of time in the Pacific Northwest; so I’m just curious, were you warned beforehand that the biggest challenge was the weather?


BC: Yes. Because we were up there for a third of the schedule but we shot every interior in Baton Rouge so we had to be outside everyday. And we had nowhere to go when it was raining, which was everyday. So that was a huge challenge, absolutely. The most amazing thing was it was April 15, it was the last night of shooting, we looked up and it was snowing.


You can’t-you can hide rain, you can’t hide snow. We were just like, “Oh my God, what are we gonna do?” And then suddenly, you know, like an hour later it stopped. But, you know…

Q: Was the weather problematic at all in Brazil, too? I mean I’m thinking of the water and-

BC: Yes.


BC: No, that was a pretty-you know we were on this island near Paraty, sorta 45 minutes available just by boat, and at the end of our, I think, second, maybe third, night of shooting we go to get in our boats to go back to the village and there’s a storm, which turns into a typhoon and we’re stuck there all night. It’s 80 people on the floor, and one bottle of vodka that they found in the wine closet!

Oh no! (laughter)

JM: Sleeping on the floor of the set.

BC: Sleeping on the floor of the set. We were all-Stephenie was on a huge mattress and we’d hang around her for awhile. It was amazing, yeah so…

Q: How was your visit to Brazil did you get to know some cities? What did you do in your spare time?

BC: In Rio?

Yeah, in Rio.

BC: Well, it was great ’cause the film festival was going on there at that time so I got to-

In Paraty, right?

BC: No, no in Rio. When we were prepping in Rio ’cause we shot in Rio too.

Oh, you shot in Paraty and Rio.

BC: That’s right. So I got to hang out with some filmmakers who were there and that was sorta just a nice way to get like a glimpse of the film community there.

Q: So kinda tying back with the end, like what do you most want to convey to the fans, to anybody who sees this?

BC: Huh…

It’s a loaded question.

BC: That’s a big question. Yeah. Um…

We don’t bite we promise.

BC: I know, it’s just hard to put into words, you know? [I] just hope that it’s a satisfying next step in the journey and I think the reason I took the movie on is that it represents Bella, Edward, and Jacob growing up. I mean that’s the essence of the movie and that’s what excites me; it’s watching them move past the last moments of childhood into being adults and everything that that represents.

Q: I know we have a costume designer that takes care of most of the costumes and things like that, but with Bella’s wedding dress, you know, we’re talking about years of anticipation and speculation. And we had even designers drawing their own mock-ups of what it might be like and so I was wondering, like, how did you choose a designer/design? I’m sure you had a hand in it, right?

BC: I had-no, you know I-

Summit: The designer hasn’t been announced, yet.(It has since been announced as Carolina Herrera)

BC: Right, so I won’t announce the designer but this was something, as you might imagine, Stephenie had very strong feelings about. So she had somebody she wanted to use, Michael [Wilkinson, costume designer] felt comfortable with her, then we all got in and collaborated, but that was basically a choice that was sort of driven by Stephenie.

Q: Were you guys able to enjoy getting into the really small parts of the book since you have two films?

BC: Yes, I think so. Yeah. And I think what’s interesting is that um, you know, we’re trying-the second movie now is running a little over two hours, I don’t see much to trim there so there’s no question that the books-there’s no fat, you know? There’s no just sort of trying to fill it out into two movies. It’s like incredibly-it’s incredible how much happens in these books, you know? It needed two movies, there’s no doubt. Yeah. But I think that’s one thing that Kristen was really excited by when we started working together, rehearsing, it’s like this is the first-these are the first scripts where I wasn’t like thinking, “Oh my God, there are a hundred favorite moments that aren’t here.” You know? That it’s been so telescoped.

That’s great.

Summit: Last question.

Have a good one!

Pressure’s on you!


Q: Speaking of like anticipation, is there something in particular that you’re really excited to see the fan’s reaction to and something that maybe you’re like more nervous [about] ’cause it’s such a highly anticipated thing?

BC: That’s a good question. Um…

Thank you!


And it’s two-in-one!

BC: You know, I think…She gets married; she has sex; she gives birth; and she dies and she becomes a vampire. Five huge things happen in this movie-I’m sorry, Jacob imprints.



BC: Six! Six huge things that happen and that was-I had on my board just like cards with these things: how do we figure [these out]?-you know, the second movie, obviously it’s got the shield and all that stuff. So I feel like that is my biggest excitement about people seeing how we did those six things, and also fear that it will because I think those are so…such huge events for everybody. It’s what everything’s been leading up to that I think everyone’s got ideas; clearly, they’ve visualized what that might be. So you hope you get to the essence of what it is and that none of them is a disappointment, you know?

Summit: Thank you, Bill.

BC: Okay, thank you. It’s so nice to meet you!

Thanks to Twilight Series Theories for transcribing!

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