How did you get the part of Tanya Denali in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn?
I heard about the casting call and thought they might deign to look at a tape from this little English girl. Two weeks later, I got a call saying [director] Bill Condon and [writer] Stephenie Meyer had both seen it and agreed I should be Tanya.
Where were you when you got that phone call?
In my flat in London on my own. It was one of those really surreal moments. I don’t think I spoke for about an hour afterwards. I think I screamed and danced around like a nutter.
Was it as exciting as you’d hoped?
Absolutely. It was an incredible adventure and six months of filming in Louisiana and Vancouver. We got on so well. The Denali family would go on little trips. We went camping, we did a road trip to Seattle and I learnt reiki while I was filming too.
Do you practise that on your friends?
Oh yeah. I have a certificate. I’m a level one reiki practitioner. I was sort of joking and thinking I’m going to try and get a certificate in something every time I get a job. But really, I’m kind of serious.
So what’s your next certificate?
I want to learn more about wine. I’m a bit bored of sitting in restaurants and having to insist on trying everything before I know if I like it or not, so I thought I’d try and educate myself. I’d love to learn languages too – French, Arabic and Swahili because everything sounds wonderful. Meme nakupenda.
That’s ‘I love you’ in Swahili. I can’t think of anything more lovely to hear. Isn’t that delicious?
So, Team Edward or Team Jacob?
I just can’t decide and I think it’s a bit unfair to have to. These are the times when I think the Mormons have got it right. Polygamy is a great thing when you’re up against choices such as that.
Is it true you have a bigger role in Breaking Dawn Part 2?
Yes. I was joking with my friends. I said: ‘If you blink more than five times, there’s a high chance that you might miss me.’ But I was definitely there, I have the pictures to prove it.
Did anything surprise you about working on a massive production such as that?
It very quickly felt like an intimate family set, it didn’t feel like this glossy Hollywood machine. So something that would have previously felt very odd became very normal. If somebody had said: ‘Listen, in half a year’s time you’re going to be on the set of Twilight’, I’d have said: ‘You’re crazy.’ But when I was there, all of a sudden it became quite normal and made sense. It wasn’t scary or intimidating or daunting in any way.
You seem perpetually perky. Are you?
Yeah, I’m quite positive usually. I believe in the idea that being happy is a choice. I’d rather choose to be positive than negative. I’m definitely one of those people who would rather be laughing than crying, that’s for sure...
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