Alot of sites ( Twilight Examiner, Twilighters Anonymous, Team Twilight, Twilightish, Twilight Series Theories, and Twilight Moms. ) had a chance to chat with Chris Weitz yesterday at A better life premier . Check out :_
Q: How were you able to get such amazing emotions out of the actors, especially [Jose Julian] – I just read on his page that he’s never done anything like this before. The movie’s so powerful; how did you get the actors to portray that on-screen?
Chris Weitz: Well, I mean Demian Bichir is a big actor in Mexico. He’s been in many movies; he’s incredibly technically accomplished and a brilliant actor so that was never in doubt for me. Of course, when you’re starting with a newcomer, you don’t really know what you’re going to get, but I think the thing that we managed to do was to schedule it so that the scenes which he was being a difficult teen and kind of a pain in the butt were early on, which is kind of easier for a sixteen-year-old actor to go to, and then the more emotional scenes, by the time we got around to shooting that, he had lived in our little circus for you know a couple of months. He had learned from Demian; he had learned how to focus; he had been through all this thinking about things, and so that helped him. And of course acting with Demian when he’s delivering that sort of final speech in the detention center, I would find it hard not to convey a hell of a lot of emotion myself.
Q: Twilight fans obviously, certainly we love our good-looking men and the abs, but we do like more than that, and one of the big themes in the Twilight series is family and relying upon your family. Can you speak to those similar themes in A Better Life?
Chris Weitz: Yeah, well that’s kind of why I started tweeting and why I thought it would . . . why I was really glad you all could see it early . . . because you know it’s not about vampires and werewolves and that sort of thing, but the great thing about Twilight, I think the revelation is that people will go see a movie that concerns itself with emotions, and that is very much about family. I mean, Carlos . . . like Charlie Swan is a great dad, he will always be there for his daughter. Carlos is a character who just keeps his head down and works hard to do everything that he can for his son, and he and his son are at odds because they don’t have the chance to be with each other enough to understand one another, and, you know, part of the interest of the story is that it’s this terrible thing that has happened that allows them to learn more about one another. So, I mean, to me, it’s not so weird that we’re talking together about this. I mean, of course I want as many people as possible to see the movie, but I think that the great thing about the success of the Twilight films is that it’s not just going to be . . . it’s defined sort of the strength of movies about emotions in the marketplace. And that’s kinda what I do, so that’s something I’m very happy about.
Q: With New Moon, I know you were pretty specific about your intent to bring on only First Nation or Native American actors for the wolfpack, and I was wondering if with A Better Life, you required all the actors to be from Mexico or of Mexican descent.
Chris Weitz: Yeah, I did. The reason is that people would tell the difference. You know, for instance . . . there are a couple of reasons I didn’t go after someone like Javier Bardem. Javier Bardem is Spanish, and that’s from the Conquistador culture. Mexicans are from the culture that has been dominated. And also there’s a difference between a Mexican Latino-American and a Salvadoran Latino-American. Just ask them. And they recognize those differences, just in terms of the accents and everything. And we wanted this to be as authentic as possible, so for instance, with the three characters who are supposed to have been born and raised in Mexico, those are all actors who flew up from Mexico in order to . . . those are three big Mexican actors who flew up in order to play those parts. And we’re proud to do so because they were sort of representing the experience of Mexicans who come to this country. And just as I thought it was somehow, I don’t know, karma-cally appropriate to cast First Nation actors in New Moon, it was in this case as well.
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