Thursday, May 20, 2010

Total Eclipse of the Heart: Twilight's Nikki Reed

Nikki Reed is not afraid of being unconventional. After all, she broke into the business as a 14-year-old screenwriter-turned actress when she wrote and starred in the coming-of-age drama Thirteen. Since then, Reed has continued to impress critics through sexually-charged and equally controversial roles in films like Lords of Dogtown and Mini’s First Time. Never one to be typecast, however, Reed’s latest work involves a little less skin and a little more teeth. Reed plays Rosalie Hale, a beautiful but tragically cursed vampire in the much-loved film saga Twilight. With the film’s next installment Eclipse set for release June 30, we caught up with the star at the W Hollywood to get an inside peek into the film and her life behind the scenes.

Shorts by DL 1961; Shirt by BCBG; Sports bra by Riller and Fount; Ring by Skinny Flower;

Necklace by Swarovski; Long necklace by Robindira Unsworth; Bracelets by Guy and Eva

SNMag: What can you tell us about the new movie, Eclipse?

Nikki Reed: It’s full of action, as you can see from the trailers. You really get a glimpse at what it was like for us before we were vampires and how we made the journey. It’s a lot more visually intense.

SNMag: How did you prepare for the filming?

NR: We were in stunt, personal and fight training all the time. I felt like a professional athlete. I felt like all I did was train. They had to make sure our bodies were in good physical shape because we did a lot of our own stunts. There were weeks when I would work Monday through Saturday.

SNMag: What was the coolest stunt you got to do yourself?

NR: Running on steep 30 foot treadmills with harnesses on and jumping while running at 10.0 on the treadmill and ducking through branches and being on the back of tow trucks, being pulled at 100 miles an hour.

Bandeau Bra by Nation; Blouse by Gold Hawk; Necklace by Robindira Unsworth;

Bracelet by One of A Land; Earrings by Sonya Renee; Shorts and shoes by BCBG

SNMag: We get to learn a bit more about Rosalie’s back story in Eclipse. What is like playing a character that is said to be so incredibly beautiful?

NR: It opened up all these questions about what beauty is. It really stressed me out for a long time. It made me more aware of my insecurity. I eventually had to just be ok with what it is — that is that everyone’s beautiful and we’re all beautiful in a different way. There’s no single person on the planet, not Monica Bellucci or Adriana Lima, that is universally the most beautiful person.

SNMag: What initially drew you to the character of Rosalie?

NR: I liked how honest she was. I liked how she was unwilling to stray from what she believed in and she would fight and speak her mind regardless of how controversial it was.

SNMag: Did you have any idea how crazy the fan following for Twilight would be like when you signed on?

NR: No, not at all. We had no idea. When we signed onto the series, it was a passionate and exclusive group. The hype combined with making the movie made this an explosion. It was bizarre. There’s definitely no formula for it.

Jumper by Gabriela Cadena; Earrings by Robindira Unsworth

Ring by Swarovski; Shoes by Rene Caovilla

SNMag: What has been your craziest fan encounter?

NR: It doesn’t get as crazy for me, but I think that I am careful about which situations I put myself in. I don’t go out a lot and I don’t expose myself to it. There have been moments during shooting where there’s a group of 50 people that have been waiting for 10 hours and you end up feeling as a human being that it’s so undeserved. It just feels like, “Really? You’re waiting for me? That can’t be.” I almost want to see the fans so I can say, “You see, I’m not special at all.”

SNMag: What do you think about the Rob Pattinson craze?

NR: I get it. Rob is a totally fascinating, amazing, wonderful guy. I get why all these girls are so in love with him. He’s super intelligent, mysterious, musical and intellectual. I get it.

SNMag: Do you get along well with all the other cast? Is there anyone you especially get along with?

NR: It depends on where we’re at in our lives. We all get along really well but on this last movie, it just so happened that Elizabeth [Reaser] and I were living literally two steps away from each other. When you came out of my door and took a hard left you were in her room. When I quit smoking that changed who I hung out with in our cast because I got really active and into working out and Elizabeth and Kellan [Lutz] are really active. There was a time when I wanted to sit and smoke cigarettes and play guitar and sing.

Dress by French Connection; Necklace by Sonya Renee;
Necklace by Michelle Roy Designs; Bracelet by One of a Land; Shoes by Raphael Young

SNMag: How do you guys spend your free time when you’re shooting?

NR: We get creative and make silly mini movies and do awesome stuff like that. Other times we just lay around and watch television. There are a lot of music nights because Xavier [Samuel], Rob and Jackson [Rathbone] are very musical. We eat a lot of Thai food. There’s a Thai food place close by. We hang out with each other because we’re very isolated.

SNMag: Is it grueling to shoot these movies back to back?

NR: We can’t really age so we have to knock them out. It’s nice to have a job. I don’t think any actor necessarily complains about having their next job lined up.

SNMag: What is the coolest experience to come out of being associated with a franchise like Twilight?

NR: It’s cool being seen in a different light. I look so different and the entire world sees that I can do that; that I can play someone different and make it believable…hopefully.

SNMag: You broke into acting in a pretty unconventional way. How did you decide to write the screenplay for Thirteen at such a young age?

NR: It was a very unconventional situation. There was no plan. I wasn’t a crazy teenager that was like, “I want to be a screenwriter.” I just do a lot of writing for myself, and I was a precocious child and liked to express my feelings all the time. I was writing about my family and my life and what was going on. Catherine Hardwicke, who dated my father when I was a kid, said, “What if we write this movie?” And we got it made.

SNMag: Do you write screen-plays now?

NR: I’ve continued to write. It’s just one of those things where there’s no formula for making a successful franchise. There’s also no formula for making a different type of phenomenon like Thirteen because the timing was right and the stars were aligned. At one time or another that movie was shocking and eye opening but now with reality TV shows it’s different. I have

written a number of screenplays and I continue to explore that avenue. With everything that’s been going on, I haven’t been as focused as I’d like to in my late teenage years and early 20s.

SNMag: Do you feel that your tumultuous upbringing helped you cope in crazy Hollywood?

NR: No, not really. I get people and I know what’s going on. I’m not afraid to say what I feel. I think that’s helped me in my career, but it’s also hurt me a lot. People don’t know how to receive that. I’m a young woman who is articulate and speaks her mind. It’s who I am. I was never silenced by either of my parents.

SNMag: When you’re not working, what is your favorite way to spend a Saturday night?

NR: I like to cook. I’m not the best cook in the world, but it makes me happy and I’m good at following recipes. I travel a lot. I’ve spent the last few years in Australia, Africa, Switzerland. I’m going to go to Brazil soon.

By Jillian Gordon
Photos by Bobby Quillard
Styling by April Steiner of Exclusive Artists Management
Hair by Ian James of The Wall Group
Makeup by Jake Bailey of Tenfold Talent
Location: The W Hotel, Hollywood


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