The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009) and Breaking Dawn parts 1 and 2 (2011-2012)—“Aro”
MS: That’s a character I just find really, really fascinating. I’m a big fan of vampire movies generally, and that sort of tradition of characters. So being able to have my own take on a character, and being someone who taps into all the things that really frightened me when I was a kid, like Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and The Blue Meanies in Yellow Submarine, and [Laurence] Olivier’s Richard III on film. All these characters really stayed with me and disturbed me in some way, and yet sort of thrilled me. That’s what I always tend to draw on when I play that character. And also, the level of excitement and passion that the audience has. My own daughter is a big fan of the Twilight stories, the books. So that’s the other thing—it’s the first time I’ve done something my daughter actually actively had an interest in.
AVC: Have you gotten caught up by the fan mania that’s hit some of the people involved in the series? Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart have had fairly complicated lives since they started doing those movies.
MS: I guess they have, yeah. I don’t get any of that, probably because the audience for those films, I don’t think on the whole, know other things I’ve done, and certainly wouldn’t recognize me if they saw me walking down the street. So I get away with all that.
AVC: Is it ever strange going back and forth between playing serious, buttoned-down, real-life people and playing outsized fantasy roles in Twilight or Tron: Legacy?
MS: No, that’s why I got into acting in the first place. It’s the variety and the challenge of doing different things and playing different characters. It’s all one big dressing-up box.
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