Celebuzz: What was it like being cast in such a huge franchise like Twilight?
TH: It’s so funny, because I always say I’m just this little fish in this big, happy pond. Everyone from Rob, Kristen, to Stephenie Meyer– they were all so kind. As soon as Peter Facinelli walked on set, he welcomed us. It’s just been a blessing to be in fantasyland and to be an adult that can just play make-believe.
CB: Were you a fan of the books and the series before you got cast for the role?
TH: Yes, I was! I am such a science fiction, fantasy girl. I have a t-shirt called “Sci-Fi Fantasy Girl.” So just anything like vampires, werewolves or fairies, I love it! And then when you put vampires and werewolves together, I was so there.
CB: How was the audition process?
TH: There weren’t any black girls or Afro-Latina girls in the franchise, so my friends and I all were like, ‘We want this!’ I went out for it and then I had a second callback and hadn’t heard anything. It actually happened when I was visiting my grandparents out on the East Coast, and then I was in a mall screaming, and people were looking at me. So then I was humiliated, but in a good way.
CB: Tell us about your role in the movie.
TH: I play the role of Senna, the oldest vampire. I come from the frame of reference where Zafrina, my vampire sister, has hooked me up again in some kind of situation and I’m here now. And all of the sudden, I want to help and defend these people [Cullens]. I’m very excited, because Senna loves to fight. She loves to kick butt and take names. I don’t want to give too much away, but Senna is ready to go.
CB: Mackenzie Foy plays Bella and Edward’s child, Renesmee. What was the dynamic like with her on set?
TH: She is so genuine. Mackenzie is a real live little girl. Every time she was on set, we all doted around her. She has that kind of sweet spirit, and I can see how she booked it because it just comes through.
CB: The film’s director, Bill Condon, said it brought out a very paternal and motherly part of Rob and Kristen on set —aside from their swearing! Would you agree?
TH: Yes, Mackenzie had a swear dish, so each swear was per dollar. Some people said, “I’ll give you 20 dollars now before we even start working.” So, she whooped us all into shape with our dirty mouths.
CB: What was it like working with stars like Robert and Kristen?
TH: It was good because they were both really down to earth. It’s very scary to go off on a set with huge names. I mean, when you are number one on IMDB, it’s a little intimidating. But they were just cool, and Kristen was like a tomboy and was so down to earth. Rob was the same way. He actually has this almost self-deprecating, ‘Oh, did I just say that?’ And I understand why he did that because it made everyone else feel so comfortable. So thank you, Robert!
CB: Were there any on-set pranks or jokes?
TH: We actually surprised Bill Condon, our director, with a little song and dance, and it was out of the blue which was pretty awesome. He had no idea it was going on but just to see his face, because he is such a jokester, was great. I know some people are like, ‘It [on set] can’t be all that fun.’ But it really was fun.
CB: What was it like filming the last scene of the series? Were there any tears on set?
TH: Yes, especially when we went back to re-shoot. It was really like, ‘This is over now.’ That was really rough. You feel like a void when it’s all done. No matter how much is in the movie or not in the movie, we spent a lot of time together. Everyone from all the behind-the-scenes people and wardrobe, etc. make a set happen. I’ll be honest: we all got a little misty — even Rob and Kristen.
CB: Do you think you are prepared for the crazy Twilight fandom when the movie comes out?
TH: Of course not! I don’t think anyone can be prepared for any of this. It’s pandemonium. The fans are so sweet and they are so focused, and they know what they want and they like it. You do a movie like this, and you get fans that it takes other movies years to get. We couldn’t be more blessed.
CB: What was your favorite thing about playing Senna?
She’s strong and quiet. I just think that with a strong, quiet person, she is thoughtful, too. I like playing people that are like that. There are a lot of maternal things going on with these girls [Senna and Zafrina] that Bella and Edward would want their help and have them around. Playing that role of Senna is just an honor. It’s an honor to be a part of this, and I have no complaints at all.
CB: You are also an accomplished actress outside of the Twilight film. Tell us about the HBO short filmCherry Waves, which was honored at the American Black Film Festival.
TH: I play Angie, a complex character who is a street fighter. I like to play characters that are very different and go against the grain, and it’s an honor to play Angie.