The action heats up in the third film of the Twilight series, Eclipse, with Alice and the whole Cullen family doing battle against a gang of newborn vampires created to do the bidding of Victoria (Bryce Dallas Howard). And although preparing for battle – and the continuation of the Jacob/Bella/Edward love story – is the focus of the film, Eclipse also takes the time to show the close, loving relationships between members of the Cullen family, with scenes spotlighting the origin of Jasper (Jackson Rathbone) and Alice’s relationship.
I’ve been fortunate to be able to sit down with Ashley Greene for exclusive interviews prior to the release of all three Twilight movies and, as with Alice in the films, Greene has really come into her own over the course of shooting the Twilight films. Greene’s become highly sought after by directors outside of the Twilight franchise, and recently completed work on Butter alongside Hugh Jackman and Jennifer Garner (two veteran actors who know what it’s like to be part of a popular franchise). However, despite the fact Greene’s got a lot going on professionally, this interview’s all about Eclipse with a little Breaking Dawn thrown in for good measure.
Exclusive Interview with Ashley Greene – ‘Alice’ in The Twilight Saga: Eclipse
Now that you’ve finished the third film of the Twilight series, is being a part of this franchise everything you expected it to be?Ashley Greene: “I don’t think I expected it to be this. It certainly hasn’t let me down in any way, but I don’t think any of us had any idea of the scale of what it would become and the phenomenon that it’s become. I don’t think you can really conjure that up in your head because when was the last time you have seen something like this happen?”
It hasn’t – not even with the cast of Harry Potter. Are you hounded all the time?
Ashley Greene: “Yes, there’s always paparazzi. I live in LA so I’m sure…I think if I lived in New York maybe, or Florida, but LA there are so many paparazzi it’s crazy. It isn’t too awful until it gets close to release dates. That’s when it gets crazy.”
Has it changed your perspective on acting in general, being part of a franchise like this?
Ashley Greene: “Not really. I love it just as much as the day I started. There isn’t anything to compare it with because I think in Hollywood, or in this profession, there’s really no plan. You’re never going to walk down the same road as somebody else, so I never had any kind of thought of how it would happen. I definitely know I’m lucky, and I definitely know it doesn’t happen for a lot of people. I’m just enjoying it right now. It’s opened up a ton of doors and I’m jumping at the opportunity and working like a maniac.”
Has your approach to playing Alice changed over the course of the three films? Do you like her better now than when you started?
Ashley Greene: “She’s a great character and I’ve always loved Alice. Of course, it’s changed since we’re working with different directors each time. This character is essentially me at certain points. You know what I mean? I’m so aware of everything little thing about Alice’s life. I’ve been immersed in this Twilight world, so sometimes there are things that I don’t notice or things I don’t think about. Because you see yourself every single day and you don’t notice if your hair is different or you don’t notice if you’ve gained or lost weight; other people notice it. Having these other directors come in is kind of nice since they give me a different perspective. She has grown a little bit in different ways with each director, I think.”
She gets to be involved in the film more than she has been in the previous films. That must be really nice for you. All this hard work and now you’re on the screen more.
Ashley Greene: “New Moon was fun for that reason. And the third, Eclipse, is awesome too because we all got to interact and everyone’s part got bigger. We all kind of got a piece of the action.”
And you got to do more scenes with Jackson Rathbone. It was nice to see that relationship develop. Did you guys do anything special to get that bond, other than working on the films together?
Ashley Greene: “It’s going through this whole thing, all of us kind of created a bond that a lot of people will probably never experience in the way we have. It’s hard to explain to people sometimes what’s going on unless they go through it.”
“He made me laugh from the very beginning; from day one when we met it was instant. There was chemistry there and we knew it was going to be so simple. The more we get to know each other, the more it grows. It’s been certainly a positive being around each other versus being a negative.”
“Yes, it was totally fun to interact with him a little more on screen. I think the fans will be excited that you do get to see it. You get to see a little flirtation. You’ll get to see that with everyone in the family. There are points where we get to pick on each other, we’re showing off, we’re fighting, stuff like that. There are more playful elements to the film, thought it’s also darker. It’s very odd that we got both of those in there.”
It is darker and you get to do action stunts that you haven’t done before.
Ashley Greene: “Yes. I got a little taste of it in New Moon, just a little tease. We were all really excited to do that. I was thinking, ‘Well, I have a background in martial arts. I did a little cheer and dance,’ so I was totally ready for them to throw it on us and they did. Every day or every other day we were working at it, and I think it paid off and was totally worth it.”
The action looks good onscreen. David Slade is a lot different director than the past two, so what did he do that helped you out?
Ashley Greene: “He definitely brought…he has a dark, sarcastic sense of humor. Luckily my father is very sarcastic and so am I, so I quite enjoy David. I think Summit has done a good job of selecting directors to really compliment the tone of the film, and the tone of Eclipse is darker. It’s got a little more weight to it. We’re dealing with some crazy issues in this one and everything is a little intense in this film. I think he did a good job of honing in on that without overdoing it and making it too dramatic. He did a great job in making this a really intense dramatic, dark film without over-killing it.”
How do you think it really compares to the other two? Is it just darker? Is that what you would say is the big difference?
Ashley Greene: “Absolutely. I don’t know if intense is the right word. It’s definitely real, in this one there’s definitely no fairy tale. The first one, I mean everything from the scenery to the interaction between Bella and Edward was the result of that fairy tale element and in this, even with the love triangle there is a lot of pain. I think it’s a little more adult than the other two.”
The next one is even more adult. Do you think Breaking Dawnwill still manage a PG 13 rating? Can they pull it off?Ashley Greene: “They are going to have to. Luckily we have Bill Condon, and I think he is very well qualified.”
Have you met him yet?
Ashley Greene: “I haven’t met him yet but I know, as a lot of people know, his work. Again, Summit has not failed us yet with picking directors for the films. I’m sure he can tackle it and we are all excited about it. Luckily, I think, this is happening over the course of four years basically, so at least [the audience] is growing older with us. I think that there are some things that we might have to skip over a little bit. It’s going to have to be very specific how it’s portrayed on the screen.”
What do you think about dividing Breaking Dawn into two films?
Ashley Greene: “I’m certainly not against it. I think it’s weird that it’s coming to an end. At least we know that we have two more of these coming versus one, so we have two more premiers and two more press junkets that give us a little more time with each other. We always say we are very lucky because we don’t say goodbye, we say ‘see you later,’ and we get to come back. So it will be very interesting in the last days of Twilight.”
How are you going to handle that?
Ashley Greene: “I don’t know. I would hope that we all would stay in touch. It’s hard because we’re all busy. Twilight has given us all good opportunities that we’re all jumping at. As much as we want to hang all the time, you know, Kellan [Lutz] is in Montreal and Jackson [Rathbone] is touring around the world with his band, which makes it difficult.”
“Back to Breaking Dawn, I think, well the book is quite lengthy, basically double the size of the original, of Twilight, so I think it makes sense to be able to split it into two films.”
Is there anything from the books involving Alice, from the three Twilight films you’ve done now, that you wish would have been included in the movies?
Ashley Greene: “I’m pretty happy with it. You know what I wish that was in the original? There is a moment between Alice and Bella where Alice is talking about Bella turning into a vampire and she explains to her how Edward would be angry about it. It was this really nice moment between Alice and Bella that didn’t end up making it into the final script. That would have been cool, but I’m pretty happy with everything, with the way it is turning out. It’s a good balance that Alice has got really sweet parts, gets to be girlie and plan parties, and she also gets to kick butt in the next film. I get to see the future, what else could happen.”