Kristen Stewart and Taylor Lautner arrived in Australia this week to promote Eclipse, the latest film in the Twilight franchise. TheVine’s Darryn King met them both in a crowded hotel room in Sydney – both laughing easily, both interested in what the other had to say – for a very brief few minutes talking about their early break-out roles, their latest roles, and coming to terms with the life that Twilight has brought them.
KRISTEN: [Having just eaten something.] Oh my God. That’s so bad.
TAYLOR: [To me, by way of explanation:] She’s just tried one of the protein bars that I have to eat right now.
[To Kristen] Are you bulking up?
TAYLOR: Yeah, you know, it helps, but they’re pretty crappy.
KRISTEN: It’s disgusting.
TAYLOR: I thought I’d share the joy with her.
So, out of you two, who finds a day like this easier?
TAYLOR: Her, for sure.
KRISTEN: Oh yeah.
I’m sensing a bit of sarcasm.
KRISTEN: I can do it with him. It becomes really fun together.
I know you’re being asked a lot about a certain movie [gesturing at the film poster which stands in the room as a constant reminder] but I want to ask you about a certain Porsche commercial.
KRISTEN: Oh my!
I have to say it’s a pretty subtle and nuanced performance for a nine-year-old.
KRISTEN: Thank you.
TAYLOR: [leaning towards Kristen:] What did you do?
KRISTEN: The first thing I ever did. I was in a Porsche commercial.
Do you remember performing in it?
KRISTEN: Yeah, very very much so. It was fun. I’d grown up on set – my Mum’s a script supervisor and my Dad’s in TV and stuff – it was weird for me to be on set I had a job at. I’d grown up hanging out and eating crap food with them. I was really excited to finally have something to do.
Did that upbringing make it easier for you down the track?
KRISTEN: Probably, I mean, I don’t know, I can’t imagine doing anything else. It’s what my family does. If I wasn’t an actor I’d probably be doing something behind the camera.
Well that Porsche commercial was one of the things that made David Fincher sit up and take notice. You’ve mentioned that you’d find it too embarrassing to sit down and watch Panic Room.
KRISTEN: Yeah, it would be. I haven’t seen it in a really long time. It was a really long shoot, and I’m really glad that Jodie [Foster] was the first impression I got from an actress. She treats everybody so great and she’s really an extra hand on set, helping to make the movie. She’s not like a diva at all. I mean, obviously. Everybody knows that. But that’s the one thing I remember, hanging out with Jodie every day in a room that was much, much, much smaller than this. Pretend that you’re scared, pretend to have a seizure. I didn’t take it seriously. I was just doing it because it was fun.
On that note, Taylor, how seriously did you take your role as Sharkboy [in The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lava Girl]?
TAYLOR: At the time, I took it pretty seriously. I was twelve years old and I was a superhero. I thought that was pretty cool. [laughs]
Can you watch that ‘dream dream dream’ lullaby you had to sing?
TAYLOR laughs particularly hard]
KRISTEN: I have to see that movie.
TAYLOR: No, no, no. Don’t. I actually had someone over the other day, literally a week ago, and they hadn’t seen it. And they’d heard about that lullaby and they just wanted to see that scene. So yeah I just watched it a week ago.
KRISTEN: [teasing] How did that make you feel?
TAYLOR: [making a show of looking humiliated] It made me feel fantastic.
KRISTEN: Most of the embarrassing things people to do in their childhood aren’t for public consumption.
Yours are a YouTube search away.
KRISTEN: Yeah. You can look at my progression, at every single stage of my adolescence, my development. It’s documented.
Still, Taylor, you were showing off some pretty cool martial arts skills even then. I’m not sure how much of it was CGI.
TAYLOR: I can’t say it was all real. But no, I did extreme martial arts, I made it to the World Series.
KRISTEN: You should YouTube that. No joke.
TAYLOR: So I was able to incorporate that. Robert Rodriguez found out on the set that I was able to do these flips, tricks and acrobatics. He laid out a mat, since we shot the whole movie on green screen, and he said, “Do whatever you want to do right here and I’ll put in the effects later.” So I just messed around on this mat. It was great.
The Saturday Night Live cast also found that out about you too. You must be the first person to do a backflip during the opening monologue in a while.
TAYLOR: Oh! That was fun. That was honestly—
KRISTEN: I was so nervous watching that. What if you slipped?
TAYLOR: Trust me, I was nervous also! I told myself before, when I got the offer for it I was this close to turning it down just because I was so intimidated by it. And I was like, if you’re going to do SNL, you’ve got to go all-out. So, um, I played a girl.
You must have met fans like that.
TAYLOR: A couple, a couple.
Kristen, you haven’t done that many light-hearted roles in the past few years, it’s safe to say.
KRISTEN: That is safe to say. It’s sort of a coincidence. Even in the comedy I was in [Adventureland], I was the serious note.
You were the sombre one surrounded by wackiness.
Are you drawn to darker roles?
KRISTEN: Recently they’ve just been the most complicated and complex and interesting. But actually I always get really excited when there’s a funny scene. Like, wow, this is something light-hearted.
TAYLOR: You would be great in a comedy. Really, I want you to do one.
KRISTEN: We should do one together.
TAYLOR: Okay, perfect.
Well, we heard it here first. I caught The Runaways in New York, by the way, and you nailed it. Are you at all tempted to leave this all behind and join a girl group?
KRISTEN: There are some things that I’m only willing to do behind a character that’s not myself, so, no, probably not. But I really loved that shoot. It was cool just to do that for a little while. That was the closest I’m ever going to get to being in a band or being a rockstar.
What I really want to ask you about Twilight is, how do you guys stay sane in the midst of this phenomenon?
TAYLOR: I think it’s a matter of keeping the old things close to you. Your friends and family – not letting go of those things. It’s really important.
KRISTEN: Thinking that it’s your whole life when it’s just your job is when it starts getting crazy. Suddenly you take everything personally and it starts actually deeply affecting you. But it’s a job. And we’re really lucky that it’s such a fun one, and that we don’t have to sit behind a desk all day, but at the same time it’s not our whole lives and it’s not all we are.
I know you get asked a lot about the negative side of being famous but, aside from the work, are there still moments when you can actually enjoy your fame?
TAYLOR: Besides from the work? I think the biggest thing… For me, I love meeting people.
KRISTEN: Access, yeah.
TAYLOR: Yeah, and it is, it’s total access. You can work with really talented people. I think that’s the biggest thing it provides.
KRISTEN: It’s also just… I’ve done a bunch of movies before I did this one, and a few of them were in theatres and people know about them, but to be able to share, the coolest thing about the fame thing is to be able to share this on such a grand scale. This is something that I love so obviously I want other people to like it, it’s like the most satisfying thing to be a part of.