When Elizabeth Reaser dropped by EW HQ last month, she was just happy to be wearing blush — portraying a vampire mom in three movies as part of the Twilight franchise would cause anyone to develop an appreciation for looking alive.
But while dead was always part of the deal — she was playing a vampire after all — what came more unexpectedly was Reaser’s turn as an action star in Eclipse, opening June 30 (as if we needed to remind you…). “It’s definitely an action movie, which I never anticipated being in, and I didn’t even really realize it until they said, ‘Ok, you’re going to fight training five days a week, and then you’re going to a personal trainer for two hours after that every day,'” Reaser said.
The actress, who plays Cullen matriarch Esme, had yet to see much footage from the final product at the time of our chat, but if her instincts translate well onscreen, she said she’s going to be one badass mom. “Esme’s the most loving character in the whole series, in my opinion, but — pardon my French — if you f— with one of Esme’s children, you are going down,” she said, laughing. “…That stuff can so quickly turn into Saturday Night Live if you’re not doing it well. Hopefully, we pulled it off.”
Read on for five of Reaser’s favorite moments filming Eclipse.
- “I enjoyed the stuff with Bree [Jodelle Ferland] and Dakota [Fanning]. Dakota is really scary in this movie [laughs]. She’s so unsettling because she has that angelic face, and she’s so terrifying. I mean, genuinely. It was impressive. Her character intimidated our characters so genuinely, which is great as an actor, to watch a 15-year-old come up and scare the s–t out of you. We were genuinely scared.”
- “There was an action scene I did with Peter [Facinelli] where we were in a battle. We fight together — because we’re a team and he’s so protective he wouldn’t let me fight by myself — it’s pretty intense. We both do some intensely violent things, which was pretty scary. And I didn’t enjoy that stuff. I realized I don’t like pretending to hit people because it kind of makes me feel bad, like what if I hit them [for real]? What if I get nervous? And so the director was like, ‘You’re not getting mad.’ He tried to piss me off and it worked. [Laughs] He started yelling things at me off-camera to genuinely make me mad. So then I got really mad and he was like, ‘Yea!’ It was a weird thing but a great tactic on his part.”
- “I like all the stuff in the house. They re-created the house we shot in back in Portland. I mean, they built the entire house. It was amazing. Every detail was exactly the same. So I really liked those scenes where we were all sitting around, trying to make decisions, and being a family. It’s what you want a family to be, and that’s part of what appeals to me about these books and characters. They’ve chosen their family and chosen to be together — none of us are actually related. So there’s something about all of us being together that’s so nice.”
- “Bryce [Dallas Howard] and Xavier [Samuel] have a scene on the bridge. I remember Nikki [Reed] and I were on set for a hair test, and we went down to set to check it out, and it was beautiful and sexy. I’m excited to see it.”
- “There was a really cool scene where we meet with the wolves. It’s a complicated thing we’re trying to do; we’re trying to team up with them to defeat the Newborns and save our way of life and save our family. So we collaborate with them, and it’s not easy. So we have this first meeting with them, and what’s funny about it is that they’re not wolves in real life. So they had these cardboard cutout wolves for us for our eye line — because you know they go in there and build the wolves later with CGI. So we were doing these really intense, serious scenes with these hilarious cardboard cutout wolves in the middle of this big forest. It was so surreal. I kind of wish we just shot it with those wolves. I think it would have been really interesting. [Laughs]”
So, PopWatchers, have you bought your tickets yet?