Forks in the Road
Interview: Leslie Simon // Photo: Daniel Bray
Forget Team Jacob because we've got a new favorite member of the New Moon wolf pack. Depicted by newcomer Alex Meraz, Paul is the most headstrong of the werewolf clan. We don't want to let the bobcat out of the bag, so let's say he's got a major 'tude-and the bod to match. However, there's more to Meraz than bulging biceps and a taste for vampire carnage. AP caught up with the Arizona native during his final days of filming the vampire saga's third installment, Eclipse, to talk about his love of painting, dancing, and Right Said Fred.
Before your undying interest in killing vampires, we read that were an accomplished painter. Do tell.
I went to an art school in Arizona called New School for the Arts, and I was basically drawing nude models at the age of 13. Initially, I wanted to be a professional painter, and eventually, I got a scholarship to the San Francisco Art Institute. However, I ended up not taking that route because I realized that art was something I could always do. There were other things I wanted to do with my body that I could only do for a certain amount of time-like dancing.
When did you discover you passion for dance?
My first discipline, as far as dance goes, was break dancing. I hung out with a lot of street kids in Arizona and got into the whole hop-hop scene. One of my brothers was a DJ, so he take me out to clubs. At that point I was 5 or 6 and a lot of those places were 21 or older, but I’d watch all these kids dance and I was hooked.
Sounds like it was pretty natural that you evolved into an actor.
I did drama in high school, and my teacher thought I had a lot of potential, but to me, acting was crappy musicals - I didn’t want to do that. It wasn’t until I moved to San Francisco that I met my metor, [actor] Raoul Trujillo, who saw me dance, thought I’d so well in film and got me my first acting gig.
Which creative outlet makes you feel vulnerable: painting, dancing, or acting?
I’d have to say acting. With painting, you’re showing more of a subconscious level of your work. The gratification is immediate. Dance is the same way. It’s real, and its organic, but I feel like you can hide behind your body. With acting, you can’t. You have to be very honest. You have to try and translate emotions that everyone has gone through.
Where were you when you got the call that were going to be part of the Twilight saga?
I was in the kitchen, about to make some food. Then I got the call and was really surprised. I initially went out for another role, so I was heartbroken at first because I didn’t get that role. But then they told me I got the role of Paul, which I hadn’t even auditioned for. At that point, I was relieved I got something.
Tell me a little about you character for the five people who haven’t read New Moon.
My character Paul is the most volatile of the wolf-pack, who are created to protect the reservation from vampires
In all of the pictures we’ve seen you in, it doesn’t seem like you’re ever wearing a shirt. Do you have something against shirts? Or, more importantly, do you own any?
[Laughs] Well, It goes with the project. As part of the wolf-pack, we run a temperature of 108 degrees. We run really hot, which is why we’re always in shorts. It’s to keep us cooler.
So, you’re literally to hot for your shirt.
Yup! [Right Said Fred’s “Too Sexy”] should be out theme song.
The Universal language:
To get in the mood to kick some vampire butt, Meraz called on the pro-metal stylings of Tool, specifically 2001’s Lateralus and the bands most recent album 10,000 Days. “There’s a scene in New Moon where I’m about to [attempt to] kill Kristen Stewart's character,” remembers Meraz, “and [before I started filming,] I had my headphones on and started jumping up and down. The director, Chris Weitz, was like, ‘Whoa, I’ve never seen someone so amped up using music before.’”
Thank you TwilightExchange