“How have I changed?” Nikki Reed asks me. “I’m curious.” Reed herself hasn’t changed in the year since we met to discuss the first Twilight movie. She is the same smart, outspoken, engaging girl she was when we met in September of 2008. But things around the actress, who plays Rosalie, sister of Edward Cullen (Robert Pattinson), in the hugely successful movie series, sure have changed. When we met in September of last year we met sans any handlers in a Hollywood coffee house. A year plus later and we meet at the Four Seasons where I am greeted in the check-in suite by a swarm of industry-ites and there is as much security floating around the hotel as if Obama was in the building.
Reed spoke with Venice about fame, dealing for the first time with paparazzi, making the most of her brief time on screen in New Moon, role models, and her dreams outside of Hollywood.
Venice: Talk about some of the opportunities that have opened up for you in the past year. Or have you even had time to enjoy them, you’ve been so busy.
Nikki Reed: It might take a couple of years before I can properly reflect on this whole thing. It’s been really crazy and everything is moving so fast that it’s hard to see it from an outside perspective. In terms of my approach to people, everything has changed. Like I went to New York and I had enough time to see Daniel Craig and Hugh Jackman in their play and then I also saw Sienna Miller’s play. Hugh Jackman has kids and we all sort of met at the Teen Choice Awards, and I’m not a household name, I don’t think that I am, but if you mention the name Twilight now there’s an instant connection between you and whoever the person is in the world because they know what it is. And so it’s given me an opportunity to meet really cool actors that I idolize. You can say you’re in Twilight and they sort of get that maybe you get their insane world for half a second. And the cool thing is a lot of these actors have kids that love Twilight much more than they love their parents’ work because their parents are just their parents. But some really famous woman sent a letter to Rob saying, “Hey, will you sign something for my children? I’ve sent you some script covers to sign.” It’s just really incredible.
There’s a different level of warmth for Rosalie in this one I think.
Yeah, in the little second I’m there.
I like the second scene where you’re the one person to vote ‘no.’
Yeah, we saw a really rough cut up in Vancouver right before we shot this last one just to get a feel for what the second one looked like. But we were over-stimulated seeing this movie for the first time, so I don’t even remember what I did in that scene. When the beginning came it was too fast and then I was so into the middle that when my scene came at the end I wasn’t ready again. So I don’t know what I did or didn’t do in those scenes. But thank you.
[Elizabeth Reaser, Nikki’s Twilight co-star and good friend comments] That was a great moment, I agree.
And it’s also weird to be so focused on what you look like physically. I’ve never worked on a film where I’m as concerned with things that seem so superficial. But how we look is really important, especially when you’re playing these characters that people really feel a connection with. They feel like they know them and not just because they’ve seen them on the big screen, but before that. So you want to make sure you look right and it’s really frustrating because sometimes it feels like it’s out of your control. And it’s never gonna be perfect and the word perfect seems to me like a very common word that’s used when describing us and that throws you off as well. It’s like, “What is perfect?” I don’t know.
But when you’re a fan of both literature and film you have to have that separation.
I’m not trying to insult them, but I don’t know if you can call 12-year-olds big readers and fans of literature. I’m sure some of them are, but for some of them this is probably their first real book or series that they’ve ever connected to I think. It’s great that they’re 12 and they’re reading like 800-page books, and three or four of them, it’s wonderful. But I don’t know if they’re capable of separating yet. I read Memoirs of a Geisha and then I saw the film and then after that I sort of decided I wasn’t going to do that again. Although I’ve read the Twilight series and I have seen the movie. [laughs]
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