Ashley Greene on Breaking Dawn, Stephenie Meyer and Twilight's Accidental Domestic Abuse
Ashley Greene has been playing Alice, an unwaveringly supportive sisterly friend to Kristen Stewart's Bella, since the beginning of the Twilight series. In Breaking Dawn -- Part 1 the psychic Alice serves as wedding planner and all-around helpful vampire girl, but also faces a sudden inability to help Bella by seeing her future, or that of the child she's carrying. Greene talked about Bella's well-being, the nature of relationships and the film's intense birth scene.
In Breaking Dawn -- Part 1, Alice loses some of her power to help Bella. What was it like to switch gears in the role?
It's just a much darker place than I've ever had to go with Alice because she's losing her powers. I think it's kind of the least of her problems, I mean, it is frustrating, but she's more concerned, not that she can't see the future, just that she can't see her friend's future, or her sister's future. I think she's having this inner battle and this turmoil because she wants to be there for her sister, now that Bella's her sister, and wants to support her. She also knows that Bella obviously doesn't know what's good for her and she is seeing her sister deteriorate before her eyes, and it definitely was not what I was used to while playing Alice.
The relationship between Bella and Alice is catfight-free. Do you think their relationship sends a good message to girls?
Of course there is a lot of cattiness and a lot of competition. I feel like girls are so hard on each other. Even in Twilight it was one that I personally really liked, that Alice was so welcoming and really embraced Bella and welcomed her into the family while there were other people still judging and saying, "Who is this girl?" and that was always something I tried to do in high school. I remember people not being so pleasant to me when I was the new girl, and as a result of that I always tried to, you know, give people the benefit and welcome them in. Teenage years are hard enough already, because we don't really know who we are.
Especially if you're a human surrounded by vampires.
That doesn't help either. Yeah, she's got it much worse than us.
Bella's childbirth scene was sort of grisly. Do you think younger girls who are into the series will be turned off by the gory parts?
I think they all kind of know it's coming. The book was probably more graphic than what you see onscreen. We tried to kind of tone it down a bit, but of course the biggest goal was to keep everything as close as we could to the story while keeping it a PG-13 rating. But I'm sure there are some girls who are not going to like seeing some of the stuff.
One of the threads in Breaking Dawn is the accidental abuse of Bella by Edward after they get married. You're involved in a campaign against dating abuse, so what do you think of that aspect of the film?
I think that it's a bit different because she's the one choosing to allow what's happening to continue happening. I think Edward is the one who's saying, "We need to make this stop to protect you," and he really cares about her well-being more than she does, and that's how it should be. I think it sends a very good message, and if it were the opposite I would completely not condone it because I think it is very important that girls know that they're important and that they deserve to be treated with respect. Luckily, Edward is in no way, shape or form abusing her. I think he would kill himself before he would let anything happen to her, and she's the stubborn one going, "I want to keep this child." And he can't quite understand because I think until you are in that place you don't know how it feels to have a child inside you. It was I think a really difficult place for both Edward and Bella to be in.
Does Alice eventually become more involved in protecting Bella and Renesmee?
She is. Obviously, Rosalie is the most concerned about protecting Renesmee and Jacob, but Alice is always more concerned about Bella than Renesmee. There are already so many other people on top of this child that she pays more attention to Bella the whole time.
What was the transition like when Stephenie Meyer came on as a producer? Did you notice a change?
No, she's always been -- I said she's like Google. It's nice to have her there all the time because she would kind of come in and go out in the past films, and it was nice to have her there as a constant presence because she's the source on everything, and any questions you had, she's there. The goal the whole time is to make sure that we stay true to these characters and to the book, and she's obviously a huge driving force in that as well, so it was comforting to have her around.
Stay tuned for more with the Breaking Dawn cast this week and read more on Twilight here.
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