Bill Condon On That 'Twilight' Twist And The Shocking Character Fates Of 'Breaking Dawn - Part 2'
Readers of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight books know what happens at the end of Breaking Dawn... or do they? Movieline sat down with director Bill Condon for an all-out, no-holds-barred, spoilery chat about the shocking changes at the end of Breaking Dawn Part II that had fans gasping in theaters around the globe over the weekend — including how the filmmakers decided who lived and who died, and why if you blinked you may have missed the most earth-shattering character fates of them all.
Spoilers abound from this point on!
Now that you've all had a chance to see Breaking Dawn in theaters, it's time to dive into the bounty of spoilery riches that Bill Condon left us with when he spoke with Movieline about all things Twilight. Such as:
— Deciding who lived and who died in Breaking Dawn's horrific, head-rolling, jaw-tearing bloodbath of a (dream) battle sequence.
— Walking the fine line between Uncle Jacob being just protective enough of Renesmee and being totally creepy.
— Which character's battlefield speech was left on the cutting room floor — and which scenes will we see on the DVD?
— How much real world political commentary can viewers read into Aro's weapons of mass destruction-seeking, warmongering ways? (Also — if Condon used the "smaller" take of Aro's gleefully campy cackle, what in the world did it sound like when Sheen cranked it all the way to 11?)
— And, most shocking of all: Did you realize that Edward and Bella were meant to die?
You had just finished the last of the effects prior to release, working on the Renesmee CG. Hers stand out because it’s a kind of CG effect we haven’t seen before — applying Mackenzie Foy’s face to her character from birth to adulthood. How challenging was it to achieve the desired effect?
Bill Condon: You’re building on stuff that was done on The Social Network and Benjamin Button, but it had challenges beyond what they had. She is a special creature — she’s not entirely human — so that helps us, a little bit.
It is a bit uncanny, that CG baby face.
Condon: Yes, I agree.
We briefly see a flash forward to the grown Renesmee, living happily ever after with Jacob once she reaches her full maturity a few years down the road — when Jacob finally gets to date Renesmee.
Condon: Finally, yes! On La Push.
What was the trick to figuring out how to include that happy romantic ending for Jacob and Renesmee without it being creepy?
Condon: Well the thing is, obviously it was controversial the minute it was written. But as a filmmaker you have a great ally in Taylor Lautner, and Taylor was concerned about it. But Taylor is a pure soul. He is able to look at her with love and it doesn’t have another component to it, and I think another actor couldn’t have done that. I think there’s something so essentially sweet about him that it’s a generous love.
The humor element throughout the entire film helps relieve the pressure and the far-fetched nature of much of the mythology — what spurred you folks to add in more levity for the finale?
Condon: Any time you can add humor it’s great, because it makes something more real. You take Billy Burke; he had to play a scene which is so incredibly hard I called him “The Miracle Worker,” in which a father has to accept that his daughter has become a vampire, but he also has to accept that she can’t tell him anything about it. He can’t ask questions, but he’s a cop. Billy went through a hundred changes through that scene, and you see it all on his face – and he’s funny the whole time he’s doing it. That deadpan, “Are you kidding me?” look really gets you through some of this strange stuff.