Ashley Greene: Interview with 'New Moon's' Alice Cullen

Nothing like a role in Twilight to break you into show business. That’s the case for Ashley Greene, who had spent most of her time in Hollywood as a hostess in an L.A. restaurant prior to her fame-making role as Alice Cullen. The Floridian native just finishing touring the country in support of New Moon and she’ll start filming the horror film Apparition in Berlin in February. We chatted with Greene days before New Moon started breaking records.

Are the reactions to Twilight the same all around the country?

I was impressed in Chicago, actually. Chicago was really, really intense and loud and I think it was one of the bigger responses that we had. But there’s always a lot of people, a lot of passion, a lot of screaming, a lot of crying. So really it’s all measured in terms of how deep the screaming goes.

Was it much different than last year?

I guess it’s more intense. I’m much more comfortable with this whole thing. I didn’t really know what to expect at all when I first got into it. It was my first gig, and so it was a little crazy and I was really nervous. And so now you know the fans are there because they love you and they support you.

What was your most memorable fan encounter?

I’ve had a couple people make me scrapbooks, and that’s kind of an incredible thing because I’m in a midst of this whirlwind right now so there are a lot of things that I miss because we’re in this Twilight bubble and it’s just go go go. So probably a year after this is all done, we can sit back and look at the scope of it. So it’s nice for them to put a collection of my career and what I’ve been going through together. That’s really special.

Why do you think fans are so obsessed?

I think with vampires, you can’t really go wrong. For generations, vampires have been a hit because they’re unobtainable, mysterious, sensual, dangerous, kind of sexy. Then Stephanie Meyer added a Romeo-and-Juliet love story to this fantasy world. Edward happens to be a vampire but he’s very much that gentleman who opens doors and says everything a girl wants to hear and he’s basically the epitome of perfection. And then you have Bella, this normal, everyday girl, which a lot of us are, and she steals this vampire’s heart. So everyone wants their Edward and everyone wants to be Bella.

How has playing Alice Cullen changed your career?

I didn’t really have a career! So that’s how it changed. But now I’m doing what I want and I know I’m going to continue to work. This is it; this is the rest of my life. I can walk into rooms and talk to directors and producers that I couldn’t get into their doors before. And I can actually sit down and speak to them like a human being and not be terrified of them. That, and of course, the fact that people care what kind of coffee I drink and who I’m dating and where I’m going. Nobody knew my name before and nobody cared and then all of a sudden in a course of a year, everything has changed.

And what is the downside?

The only downside is when people stop realizing you are human and you’re not perfect. But it’s part of the territory and I wouldn’t trade it.

What was your first reaction to New Moon?

The tone, the color schemes, and the warmth of it is beautiful. I think [director] Chris Weitz did a really fantastic job. And then after seeing Taylor [Lautner], I was really impressed. I mean, he’s a 17-year-old kid and he committed and gained 30 pounds and transformed into a completely different person than he was in the first one. He carried this film, and I think that’s a hard thing to do, especially when you’re up against this character Edward. It’s a lot to live up to, and I think he did it justice and he did a fantastic job.

What was your favorite scene to film?

Going to Italy and being part of the Volturi scene was great. Dakota Fanning is fantastic. I was watching her movies before I was even acting. And I got to work with Michael Sheen and he’s an incredible, phenomenal actor and it was great to be able to learn from him and watch him do the scene and watch how it translates to the screen.

He gives that scene a lot of gravitas.

It was so easy for him. He controls the scene. I haven’t worked with an actor of that caliber yet who can do something like that. It was really cool to see.

Who’s your closest friend in the cast?

Kellan Lutz. We’ve been friends for about five years, before this whole Twilight thing even happened. We had the same agent starting out so we’ve basically been friends since we both moved to L.A. We’re together 12 hours a day, every day for like three months at a time.

Is there a role out there you’d really like to play?

I would have loved to do Alice in Wonderland. Being a Bond girl would always be fun. We had a lot of action in Eclipse and I’d definitely like to continue down the action road. I want to do a romantic period piece, but those are really hard to get made because they’re very expensive and there’s not a huge demographic. And far, far down the road, probably when I’m in my 30s, I would love to play a North Country/Erin Brockovich type of a role like Charlize [Theron] and Julia Roberts did because they’re inspirational and they’re about very strong women that changed basically the course of history. That would be a really fun role to play, they really affect people. That’s one of the bigger benefits of acting, that you get to affect people.

If you could pick the director to helm Breaking Dawn, who would it be?

I just went to MoMA [NYC’s Museum of Modern Art] and they were honoring Tim Burton, and I saw a whole compilation of his films and artwork and I just think he’s an extraordinary artist. I think it’d be really cool to have his spin on it, because it’s a very odd book, there’s some very weird moments. He would actually put a really weird and cool twist on it. And if we could do it the right way, it’d be great to have two films. You definitely want to get all the important parts in there and you know how hardcore and passionate the fans are about it, so one might be difficult and there would be something left out. So if we could do it right, it’d be great to have two films.

Photo Credit: Jordan Strauss/Getty Images

Comments (63 total) Add your comment
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  • Snarf

    “far, far down the road, probably when I’m in my 30s..” Yeah those 7 years seem like an eternity when your in your early 20’s.

  • fernanda

    plz dont make da mistake of making breaking dawn in two movies…plz…plz

  • michelle

    I Ithink tim burton would be awesome and johnny drop could be elezar

  • Andy

    hey it’s Alice Cullen not “Ashley Cullen”

    • me

      They will figure it out eventually – I think….

      • Or not

        I wouldn’t count on it. They have “Robert Pattison” in a headline once for a couple of days. I think all the copy editors have been fired or pulled off duty so they can go full-barrel on covering Twilight. Otherwise they might miss Pattinson’s next toilet run.

    • me

      Besides with all the articles they post here on Twilight you would THINK they would get at least the name right.

      • ANNYONG!

        I think they’re just on autopilot because they realize that they’re now dealing with TwiTards, who will look for any minutia of information at this point.

  • Rhonda

    No, Breaking Dawn does not need to be two movies. The book was longer than it needed to be; a lot can be cut for the movie.

    • Stacie

      yes, this is true, I just want it to be split so that I can elect to see the first and not the second. I really don’t want to see the second half of that book on screen… unless there is a fight.

      • @Stacie

        That’s the thing. If they change it to include a fight, the purists will have a fit. If they don’t change it and leave it as the anticlimactic hot mess that it is, everyone else will be horrified. There’s really no way to win there.

    • cat

      There’s alot of people who like it the way it is, it would be nice to see it the way it is, because there already are so many movies that all have that huge “action climax scene” at the end, and I really liked how Stephenie felt there shouldn’t be one. It’s the way the storie’s supposed to be! Besides I think it will be cool enough when they show all the Volturi and Bella and her shield blocking the strikes. And all the other vampire powers, (Zafrina, Benjamin) will also have some cool scenes incase anybody happens to get bored. There are way too much things that need to be in the movie that are in the book. No way it will be as good a movie if it’s only one. And yah, I love Tim Burton and his work, but I don’t think he exactly fits with Twilight, if in some strange world, he would do his own visual version separate, that would be pretty cool to see his take, but I think for the complete movies it should be more, or should I say less “cool” and artistic haha.

      • cat


  • Jen

    I actually LIKE Twilight, but even I know that:
    1. Tim Burton wouldn’t be caught dead making a Twilight film.
    2. The only reason Breaking Dawn would ever be made into two films is out of unadulterated GREED and “because Harry Potter did it.” With that many fans hating it, they’re lucky it’s getting made at all. There’s nothing in it that warrants two full-length films. Absolutely nothing.

    • cat

      And it’s not greed, trust me, I know when they are making things for just the money, Twilight makeup anyone?(ridiculous). But Breaking Dawn NEEDS to be in two movies, there’s just to much and it would feel too fast in just one.

      • Virginia

        Man, I hope they split it in two! I wish they would have added more content to New Moon and if they rush thrgouh Breaking Dawn i will be sorely disappointed to say the least!

    • Ruby


  • Lori

    I love Ashley, I feel she really nailed the role of Alice Cullen quite well. I cannot wait to see her in Eclipse.

    I completely agree that Breaking Dawn should be two films. Yes, they are following in the footsteps of Deathly Hallows, but the fans love the book and they could easily break it into two parts, just like the book did. The haters can keep complaining, but they seem to keep reading all these articles!

    • @Lori

      Except that a lot of the fans DON’T “love the book.” Am I the only one who remembers the “return it, don’t burn it” campaign and how horrified everyone was when the leaked “fake” turned out to be the real deal, and it sucked? A lot of fans do like BD, but a lot of us thought it was garbage. As someone who really liked the first three books, particularly Eclipse, I thought BD was one of the worst things I’d ever read.
      And a vampire C-section and “imprinting” might play well (or at least not horribly) on the page, but actually seeing it is something completely different.
      And no matter why they split it (read: greed and publicity), it’s still going to come off, to the average person, as Twilight wanting to copy what they did with HP. Even Meyer didn’t say anything about it being two movies until after WB announced that Hallows had been split. The difference is, Hallows, unlike BD, actually has enough substance to necessitate two films.

      • Lori

        I think you have some good points. Breaking Dawn is my least favorite book in the series. I loved many parts of the book, but picturing how they will put some parts into a movie makes me nervous. I don’t want to go into details in case anyone has not read Breaking Dawn yet. I think you are 100% right on things not playing well. However, I was much happier with the New Moon movie when compared to Twilight. I am sure if they did split it up they would make it good. Either way, I want to see a 4th movie.

      • Emilee

        OK people there needs to be one other oerson who did NOT like NEW MOON and thought it was a tolal failur or whatever i mean if the other director that did TWILIGHT would of stepped up and did the movie when they wanted her to then the movie would of been alot better. but no, that cris guy had to do it for her!

    • Emilie

      Ashley is probably my favorite pick for the cast of Twlight, she just plays Alice so well. Tim Burton would be awesome as a director for BD, but I realize that he wouldn’t be caught dead directing it. Also I hope they don’t break it up into two parts as BD was my least favorite book of the series and very anticlimatic, I definitely wanted to see more action than what developed in the book.

  • Kalie

    I don’t want to give anything away, but there’s a lot going on in BD (more than in any of the other books in the series) and I could see them very easily dividing it into 2 movies. When I read the book, it was obvious where the 1st one could end (since they seem to love ending the movies on cliff hangers), and where the 2nd one would pick up. There’s a reason BD is divided into Books I, II and III. Stephenie Meyer herself said that BD would probably have to be made into two films.

  • Bonnie

    Breaking Dawn needs to be broken into 2 movies. There is always stuff from books that can be omitted in a movie but in this case you need to tell the story properly or what’s the point in telling it at all? Way too much happens in BD to be cut down to a 2-hour movie, whether or not you like the story and where it went, it would almost be a slap in the face to the fans of the books to leave the good stuff out. Yes that does include “imprinting” and the vampire c-section, because what happens during that vampire c-section is one of the most pivotal parts of the story!

    • Stacie

      ok, I somewhat agree. Staying true to the book is very important but how do you think that will come across on screen to the people who haven’t read the book. I think it’s just to bloody and creepy and it destroys my favorite character. I really hope, if it is turned into a movie, that the director cleans it up a little. Imprinting on a baby is creepy and i would cry to see Jacob destroyed in front of millions world wide.

      • Kathy

        dont you understand wat imprinting is??! how is it creepy? you cant control it!:D

        y cant they just make the movie runtime longer? maybe two movies wil be a lot, but cant they make it like, 2 hours and…idk,..40 min? i mean 2012 was a fricken looong film and the only thing they showed was amazing effects and people dieing in various natural disasters. Breaking Dawn was my favorite. and ido believe it has a lot of crtical information. just make it in a long movie!! im pretty sure twilight fans wouldn’t mind sitting in the forks world a little longer :) <3 besides i want to get into jacobs head!! love how he narrarats!!

      • Reza

        You could certainly see your slkils within the paintings you write. The arena hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. Always go after your heart. The only way most people recognize their limits is by trespassing on them. by Tom Morris.

  • meg

    Um it’s “Alice Cullen” not Ashley Cullen someone should edit that..

  • MaryElizabeth686

    i like Tim Burton, i think he would be great to directed breaking dawn. i like his movie how he puts more feelings in a movie then required. I like how he’s directing a old walt disney story Alice and Wonderland. how the trailer looks so far, I think its going to be wonderful and great to watch. How hes putting more magic and a little more dark and misterious in the movie. You Know What Im 17 and i say You have my vote Tim Burton to directed Breaking Dawn. I want to see the magic in that movie.

  • Angie

    With the exception of a scene or two, I’d like to forget BD ever happened. I can’t imagine it coming across well on screen, either. I kinda wish they’d do Eclipse and be done with it, but I’m sure they’ll try and find a way to milk the franchise for every last dime, even if it leaves people scratching their heads and wanting their money back.

    • kelsey

      i do have to say that BD isnt my fav. but i do love alot of parts. i think if they do put it on screen. maybe just maybe it will come out better then the book. sometimes movies r better then books. so just think of it that way. plus it should be split into 2. if its crammed into 1 it wont be good. i can tell u that much

      • Stacie

        I think there is one plot twist that has to be left out completely to keep the integrity of the franchise. This twist turns my favorite character of all time into a pedophile! If they leave that out and actually put some fight into it, then i would consider letting BD back into my heart. I’ve locked it out because I hate it. BUT, if they can make the movie more realistic and change a thing here or there, I might watch it. I think it’s very important to stay close to the book but BD might just be to strange to make a likable movie out of.

      • @Stacie

        Agreed, Stacie. I think a lot of people have the mindset of, “I don’t get Twilight, but a lot of people do and it’s harmless, so live and let live.”
        But film critics and average joe moviegoers are NOT going to easily forgive or forget a vampire C-section and the imprinting. I know it’s supposed to be pure and beautiful and whatnot (gag me sick), but tell that to outsiders. All it would take is one early review or a negative word of mouth for BD to become “that pedophile movie,” and for Twilight to cease being “harmless” and start being creepy as hell, and not in a good way.
        I think it’s also kind of telling that NO ONE has seriously been fielded so far to direct. Weitz has thrown speculation off on Slade, probably because he wants nothing to do with it but doesn’t want to outright say so. This film could easily be godawful. I do think it’d serve Summit right if they split it out of greed (why else would they?) and the first part was so horrible that the second half bombed and Summit was stuck with it.
        And how the hell are they going to convincingly pull off the demon hellspawn when Summit is so cheap with the effects budget?
        I’ll just say that were are far more scenarios where BD is downright unwatchable than there are where it’s actually a serviceable (not even “good,” just barely watchable) film. If I were Summit, I’d rather cram it into one movie and try to make a quick dime, instead of spread it out and risk getting stuck with a bomb of a second half.

  • kelly

    I love Asheley Greene she is perfect in this role.

  • Marie

    Tim Burton? Ugh, no! Sorry Ashley. I love Tim Burton but he is all wrong for Breaking Dawn. I’d much rather see Chris Weitz come back.

  • Marie

    PS, I would love Breaking Dawn to be made into two movies. There is a lot of story there but I wouldn’t want one film to solely concentrate on Jacob’s character as it does in the book. That would be boring and I would just skip it.

    • Stacie

      your obviously team Edward and I would appreciate it if you would give the team Jacob’s of this world some camera time. Yes they should go into Jacob’s character more because his character is fabulous and it most definitely wouldn’t be boring! Taylor is more likable and so is Jacob and people outside the Twilight fandom should be able to see Jacob for who he is. If you don’t want to go farther into Jacobs character, then your not a real fan because that’s how it is in the book! Lets stay true to the BOOKS, shall we…

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