Bill Condon On That 'Twilight' Twist And The Shocking Character Fates Of 'Breaking Dawn - Part 2'

Breaking Dawn Deaths Spoilers

Did you have input into who lived and died?
Condon: Of course!

How did you choose which beloved characters would lose their heads?
Condon: It was interesting, and things would change — you want to get the biggest surprise, and I thought after Carlisle, Jasper was the biggest surprise. And on the other side, everybody gets wiped out; the Cullens do pretty well compared to them. I also really wanted to show Jane paining an animal, because sometimes in movies animals, especially dogs, are so defenseless that to watch them undergo pain can actually be more emotional. Seeing Seth and Leah go, I thought, was powerful.

It was incredibly sad, if you recognized Seth and Leah as wolves. Do you have a favorite moment in Breaking Dawn Part II?
Condon: I have so many of them but I have to say Michael Sheen’s cackle when he sees Renesmee. Isn’t that cool? The first time he did that it was such a great surprise, I was like, “Oh god, I love you.”

With Michael Sheen, did you tell him to modulate his broadness — how big he went?
Condon: Yes — we did a version A and version B, and I would shoot the smaller and then the bigger version.

So Michael Sheen's Aro cackle in the movie, on a scale of 1 to 10, is…
Condon: That cackle that is in the movie is the smaller version. [Laughs] It’s true!

You’ve cited the old school Hammer horror films as a tonal reference for parts of Breaking Dawn – in what ways did you hope to capture that feeling?
Condon: When I read this, I always thought that these vampires that get collected from around the world are like the vampires I grew up with. Alistair, that whole crowd — that’s the British Hammer vampire. Obviously we’ve got the Draculas. There’s The Awakening in that whole Egyptian culture. So it felt to me even though Alec isn’t part of that, you’re in London in that scene in the alley — God, just go full-out Hammer with this. Even in the costumes and the way we shot it, Michael Sheen with the other guys behind him, it really to me has the feel of a Christopher Lee movie.

I love that, and I love the fact that you’ll now get a lot of Twilight fans Googling “Hammer horror.” Now, which scenes and moments didn’t make the final cut that you wish you could have squeezed in?
Condon: I know fans of the novel are going to be disappointed in this, but Garrett has a big speech on the field, during which the mist comes at him and Bella stops it. It was great to do, and Lee Pace was amazing, but we spent almost a half hour on that field and to spend another five minutes doing something that was a kind of repeat of what she’d already done with Jane’s pain… that was a shame, that was cut. And a couple of other scenes — we did a “Bella training to fight” scene, and that was fun. It’ll be on the DVD. But it just came at the wrong time. Again, it seemed a little redundant of her learning how to use her shield.

In the showdown between Aro and the Volturi and the Cullens and their witnesses one might read certain real world allusions to power-grabbing, war-mongering, fear-based propagandizing in modern politics. How much should people take away from these themes?
Condon: The part that resonated for me, being on the liberal side of things, was Aro’s tactics on that field: The fact that when all the facts were facing him and it was clear no crime had been committed, he just started to play on people’s fears. The idea of, We don’t know — she might be a threat, and therefore let us do something. That feels like a familiar political tactic that you see playing out right now. So that does resonate for me; the more complicated lifestyle issues, I don’t think so much.

Do you already have plans set for post-Twilight projects?
Condon: I can’t talk about it yet but they’re very close — an inch away. I’ve been thinking about this for so long, it’s exciting to think about something new. I definitely have a project set for the end of the year, which is I’m going to direct a revival of a show called Sideshow, about Siamese twins Daisy and Violet Hilton, who were in the movie Freaks. It’s a wonderful musical. We’ve done a lot of work to it, and it’s going to open at the La Jolla Center and then go to the Kennedy Center in D.C., and I hope a lot of Twi-hards come to it.


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  • can says:

    shame on this person for so completly altering an ending of a beloved story. just because you can rip someone elses work up, doesnt mean you should. One should wright their own book and see if it can even attempt to compete with the twighlight series before they should remove the happy ending. I suspect he can't wright and envys true tallent or he would not have killed off any of the main family. How increadably immature. I would encourage all people who hate to see this sort of book to movie butchering to bane all further movies that are made by Condon. In the future if I know he has any part of a movie, I will never watch it.
    An Artist

    • Charity says:

      It does have a happy ending -- the entire fight sequence in which everyone dies is a vision to prevent Aro from going ahead with the battle.

    • shelly says:

      have you watched the movie??? seriously?

    • Twilight4ever says:

      Shame on you for not getting the facts right. The battle is only a vision, no-one was killed off. It was a means to show what would happen if there were to be a fight between the Cullens and the Volturi. I believe the idea came from Stephenie Meyer and Melissa Rosenberg because it was too difficult to show why the Volturi backed down as it was written in the book. BD2 has a beautiful happy forever.
      It seems to me you haven't even seen BD2 or you would know this.

    • A fan says:

      And shame on you for butchering the English language. Learn how to spell before you expel a scathing critique of someone else's (who is TRULY an Artist) legitimate WORK.
      Someone who knows how to spell

    • Sandy says:

      He didn't. Stephanie Meyer rewrote it. If you read the book, it actually hints at it toward the end when Edward is saying that Alice gave Aro a way out. So Bill Condon did not deviate, Stephanie Meyer did.

    • Laurin says:

      I'll admit, when it was happening, i had my bag in my hand and i was getting up to leave because i knew that WASNT supposed to happen, but then it went back to the present and i was shocked but thrilled it happened. As a reader of the books, i couldnt believe what was happening, but in the end, looking back at it i was glad because i wasnt suprised for any of the movies and suddenly it was like WHAT THE F! and he twisted it without scincerely messing up the plot and the ending. The truly important parts are there and that's what matters.

  • john says:

    If this so called movie doesn't win a boatload of Razzies then there is no justice.

  • brandy says:

    it was an epic movie, so all u haters u know what u can do... the movie was off the hook.. loved it , every damn piece of it.. total twist u never expect..

  • delle1 says:

    What gets me is how anybody can diss a movie that someone has written as *fantasy*,it's a persons own right to portray how they want their story to be,if you don't like it just say you don't then move on,you aren't the writer,you don't know the writers thoughts...And that is why I don't listen or care about the critics,I'd rather just read a review to get knowledge of the storyline,oh and one more thing,for a story that has generated so much dislike from certain areas of the establishment(critics),its made a hell of alot of money and thousands of fans....
    And to the first poster,An Artist,I don't think you've even seen the movie or you'd know it was Alice's vision and Stephanie Meyer and Melissa Rosenberg wrote this into the movie,they wanted to show why Aro never went ahead with the onslaught...

  • Margie says:

    It was so clever and a love letter to fans. The acting was excellent. Who cares about what the haters think? They can sit aroud and look at walls and feel superior whicle I enjoy an awesome movie and have a blast. 😀

  • kira says:

    You guys are dumb the "fight"did happen u could not tell because the story was told in bellas view on edward alice and aro saw the fight because it was alices vsion dumb peopel it says it in the book were aro takes alice hand to see what she was saying now go and read the book over and you'll see

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  • Hanna says:

    Dear can,
    No...shame on you because you dont relize the absoulutly amazing talent that all these actors have put forth to make an amazing love story that has flourished into something breathtaking....twilight.And if you cant handle the pure awesomeness and the beauty of twilight, then you definitly shouldnt be insulting the person who made it or who directed it.No shame on you!

    P.s. You spelled SO many things wrong in your comment ( you even spelled twilight wrong.) That shows that you dont know what your talking about!!

    Love Hanna!!!!

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  • Serenity says:

    Morto serene in print matter, merit per selettiva in rank. “La terra era made rotund hence non avremmo see excessively further along la strada.” di Karen Blixen.