Hit Fix Interview with ‘Breaking Dawn’ Director Bill Condon

Posted: 28 Oct 2011 06:11 PM PDT

Hit Fix has a great interview with Breaking Dawn director Bill Condon. Bill talks about everything Breaking Dawn from working on the film, with the actors and with Carter Burwell on the score.

So, something that would give any director pause would be the fact you’re the fourth director these actors have worked with. In TV, where directors come and go, you always hear the actor saying, ‘Eh, the director just tells me where to stand. I know the character.’ How open were the actors to actually taking more direction than you’d expect?

Well, I don’t know about more, but certainly exploring with me and they were incredibly open. Y’know, I keep calling this ‘Twilight grows up,’ but in a way it is. All of the characters take tremendous steps in this story and that’s part of what turned me on to the material, to collaborate with Kristen Stewart as she goes from being the Bella we know in the first three movies to being a bride, being someone who finally has sex, gets pregnant, gets sick, gives birth, dies, become a vampire, becomes a warrior? Just think of that journey. I guess for none of them it was just playing the same old thing. Jacob becomes a man in this movie. He moves away from being the third leg in a triangle and breaks free of that and his background and his family and his pack and becomes his own person. So, that was a journey all the actors were eager and open to collaborate on.

Was there any actor who surprised you?

I think people will be surprised by everybody. In general, Kristen has such a huge journey to take and to watch her become this fierce, protective, powerful mother figure? I think that will surprise people. Taylor surprised me with his commitment and the dark places he goes to in this movie. And Rob, I think there is some sense that he has relaxed into this part and finally willing to show more of himself. His own charm, wit and grace are in evidence in this movie. It surprised me in how relaxed he seemed in something he’s fought a little against before.

You mention you think of this as ‘Twilight grows up’ because of the events that take place in the film. Is there anything you did with the vampires or werewolves that reflects this as well? Are they more sinister or fearful?

I think certainly that really comes into play in the second movie. These movies so far have mostly dealt with these vegetarians who don’t attack humans except for some of the newborns in the last movie and some of the people in the first couple, but here it’s a collection from around the world of vampires with specific gifts. So, I think yes, there was a sense of maybe seeing a darker side of them. And I also think we spend a lot more time in the final movie with Arro and his more overtly sinister group of Volturi.

I think you know this, I was on the set of ‘New Moon’ when they shot those first scenes with Michael Sheen and the Volturi and it seemed at the time that it was the funniest thing to him. To be playing this character. Is he just having a ball when you work with him?

Yes, he is. That whole group. It’s interesting, because you spend chunks of time with just Rob, Kristen and Taylor and then the Cullens. And there is a moment when it’s Volturi time and it just brought a completely different vibe. It’s British camp at its best. I don’t mean camp in a bad way, I mean just people who are having a blast and being very clever all the time.

One of the other things that’s interesting for fans of your work and fans of the first movie is this is the first time you’ve worked with Carter Burwell since ‘Kinsey,’ right?

Yes, that’s right.

I know that the last two scores have gone in radically different directions than the first movie, but what did you want to do with the score for these two movies?

First of all, I was just so thrilled that Carter wanted to do it again, but Carter is someone who is just so original that for him it’s not about repeating or getting back to the sound of ‘Twilight.’ That was a specific sound for a teenage story and I think you’ll find it’s more romantic and more lush. However, I always think of this fourth movie as a bookend to the first and it did give us a chance to play around with Bella’s Lullaby, the theme he had developed for the first movie and bring it full circle, because obviously things are coming full circle for Bella. In general, the one of the things that is consistent in all the different approaches that Carter is taking — and he’s taking his cue from what he sees — but it happened over and over again. It’s thrilling. It happened to me when I heard sketches and when we were in London recording the score, he is an actor’s best friend. I saw it happen with ‘Gods and Monsters’ and ‘Kinsey’ and I saw it happen here. [He can] get so deeply inside a character and it just fills out a performance and bring what sort of happening underneath to the surface. I think he’s a hidden weapon. I think actors should request him in their contract. He’s extraordinary in that.

Hardcore fans will recognize Bella’s Lullaby I’m guessing?

Yes, it definitely plays a part.
is there a theme that’s repetitive through the movie?

If I say there are three, I probably mean five. There is a Renesme theme that really comes to fruition to movie two that is quite prominent in movie one. There is a Bella/Edward love them that plays a lot throughout the first half of the movie. There is Jacob’s theme and there is a theme that suggests the love of everyone around Bella at the wedding, especially her parents and that’s really lovely. I probably am missing one, but those are the big themes.

Read all of Bill’s interview at HitFix!

I love that about bringing Bella’s Lullaby to full circle! Great interview!

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