Charlie Bewley didn't know what he was in story for when he signed up to play Demetri in the Twilight Saga. He hadn't read the books, instead he relied on female friends to give him tips on how to play the character in the book. He talked to us recently about the new Twilight Eclipse film and the upcoming Breaking Dawn sequel.
What is your favourite part of being involved with the Twilight Saga?
CB: The best part about Twilight is that it opens so many doors, career wise, it really does. Both in publicity and further support in new films and stuff. I have had so many great opportunities since coming on board with this film.
Had you read the books before you did the film?
CB: No I hadn't, no. I had to get a network of females to whip together Demetri's information and with that I went into the audition - with all the information that was out there. But obviously, having got the role, you need to educate yourself as to what's going on.
Were you aware of how popular the books and films were?
CB: I hadn't heard of the books before the film came out. When the film came out I just remember that scene of Rob [Pattinson] putting the dent in the car. It didn't look like the kind of movie that I would be interested in. I remember someone saying oh my god, I have just seen this film, and there is this guy in it and every time he comes on screen everyone just shuffles around in their seats" and then I realised that this was an inherent thing in women, that they really like this guy. Then from there, maybe four months later they started casting and by that time I did kind of understand this Twilight ‘thing' going on, but it wasn't anywhere near as crazy as it was by the time New Moon started filming. Then I really understood, having researched online, how big the interest in the new cast was and I was now part of this thing, then I really understood this was a huge thing that was happening to me.
Were you nervous at joining an established cast?
CB: Any experience I go into, I go in with a bit of anticipation more than anything else, because I want it to live up to everything that I hope it will be, but I don't think I was, at any point, nervous, but the first scene, when we started shooting, that was quite a strange thing to happen to anyone - it was the elevator scene. We were all cramped together in the elevator and these guys, you don't know them, you have only just met them and know them from magazine covers. So yeah, it is very strange, but you have got to lock yourself down, concentrate on your job and do it that way. Everyone was really accommodating.
Were you prepared for the crazy fans?
CB: Clearly there are crazy fans, and nowhere crazier than Brazil, let me tell you! Was I prepared for it, yes, but I had never experienced it so I didn't know what it was going to be like. It's pretty nuts. I was in Birmingham for a convention and the fans really stepped up their interest in characters so it is becoming more and more personal with these fans. It's wonderful, it's a little part of this thing, it's something that I embrace rather than fight off. The fans are Twilight essentially, so give them as much as you can... Within reason!
What can we expect from the movie, Eclipse?
CB: Eclipse is my favourite book because it is so raw, it focuses on the very primal urges of vampires and the newborns. I'm expecting from [director] David Slade - who is great at capturing the moods of vampires - a very raw thriller kind of movie.
Your character Demetri is a tracker. What vampire power would you choose?
CB: There is no substitute for pace, and I was always told that as a rugby player. Vampires are very very fast so having insane speed is something that I have always been obsessed with. In Eclipse we do certain gravity defying manoeuvres so I would probably go for one of those as well. It would be cool to journey around the world via flight rather than walking on the ground. Flying is something that I have always wanted to do. So if vampires can fly, yeah, gimme that!
How do you prepare to play a vampire?
CB: Well you focus on what their basic instincts are. You don't think ‘Ooh I'm a vampire!' it's just what you are. It's like me going around thinking ‘Ooh I'm an English man'. It's not the way you work, really. You think, what do vampires do and that's survive on human blood. The job that I do as a vampire is that I am a guard for what is essentially the mafia of their world so that's just my job. You don't go around thinking, ‘be evil!', in fact just the opposite, Demetri has all these insane powers, but I get to play a charming, very charismatic vampire. The way I prepared Demetri was to play him charming, and that's all the more unnerving for someone watching.
What do you hope you will remember from the whole experience in five years time?
CB: I think Twilight will have a huge legacy, I don't anticipate, after Breaking Dawn, the wave finishing there. I am sure there will be spin offs and maybe more books being written. Maybe in ten or fifteen years I will look back at it with huge fondness that it was the huge springboard that I took into my career that hopefully, takes me the places that I want to be. I'm so glad to be a part of this thing, I am so humbled. It's created financial freedom for me, which has allowed me to pursue my creative dreams without limitation. I will always be thankful to Twilight as a series in my life because of that. As for the character that I play, I really hope I can take things from him and take it into other characters. Demetri is a character that I am massively enamoured by. It's a shame, he is a much deeper character than some of the other characters out there in the mainstream of Twilight. I hope I can take that forward and hopefully take it into other characters I play.
Words - Brogen Hayes
Twilight Eclipse is now showing in Irish Cinemas