TM) The first question Twilight fans ALWAYS have for any cast member is “Have you read the any of the books?”
EDI) Yes! The book is the source material. It’s where you’re gonna understand the world of the story and learn about character information that isn’t in the script. The book has the advantage of being 500 plus pages, so there is more information to draw from. If I didn’t read the book I’d be the laziest actor in the business
TM) Which book in the series is your favorite?
EDI) They are all great but there is nothing that can compare to your first experience. I read Twilight and pretended that I was just as in the dark as Bella in terms of not knowing what Edward really was, and there was such anticipation leading up to the moment when Stephanie stops teasing us, and admits that this is what kind of story it is. One with real life vampires
TM) What’s your favorite Twilight moment?
EDI) I LOVE the moment where Bella realizes that she is in love with Edward.
TM) What do you feel is the group dynamic between Laurent, Victoria and James in the books and how are you three planning on portraying that in the film? How do you, Cam and Rachelle get along?
EDI) As Laurent points out to Dr. Cullen, James is the most lethal, ruthless vampire he’s seen in his long lifetime. I think Laurent figures, why not align himself with the power? Instead of against it. He goes for the path of least resistance.
Victoria is James’ “girlfriend” but I have a feeling that she, being pretty ruthless herself, and damn sexy, has things going on with other “men”. So maybe there is a little love triangle going on there. Maybe….
And as far as Cam and Rachelle go…
GREAT people to collaborate with.
TM) Do you view Laurent as a “good guy” or a “bad guy”.
EDI) I don’t ever think its black or white. I think he is a vampire who has to continue living by sustaining himself but he hasn’t evolved in the way the Cullens have with their “vegetarianism”. So I would venture to say he’s more of a good guy plagued by the necessity to survive. Sometimes the human feed is innocent. But damn they’re delicious.
TM) Did you ever dream you’d be playing a vampire?
EDI) Uh, actually… Yes… Literally. In my dreams. Vampires are kinda sexy and man needs to be reminded of how sexy he is every now and then. LOL.
TM) There has been talk of dread locks and a French accent. Will you be donning either of these for the movie?
EDI) I wanna leave some surprises! But yes I will be rocking a “slightly french accent.”
TM) How did you get the role as Laurent? Did you seek it out, or just stumble upon the auditions? What was your audition process for Twilight like? What was your first impression of Laurent when you read for the character?
EDI) I haven’t told anybody this part of the story yet: My dear, dear friend Electra was talking about this book she LOVED that was being turned into a HUGE movie. Apparently some fans of her actor roommate made an homage video of HIM as Edward on the internet. She was very excited about the possibility of him getting the part. I remember thinking, “Wow, people go all out…” Fast forward to a few months later, I audition, and its not until I get the part when I connect the dots that I had a connection to the project from Electra’s story!
TM) How are you researching this role, or what are you doing to get into character?
EDI) Besides reading the books, I’m studying all things French. French cinema, French language, French food . I’ve also created quite an intricate and almost totally futile back story of one of the most impressive unknown figures in history. The renowned fencer, general, lover, and composer of 17th century France. Le Chevalier de St. Georges. Otherwise known as… Black Mozart.
TM) What makes this vampire story different from all the others out there. Why are these characters and this story so huge?
TM) What do you think of the Twilight fan base? Did you know it has so many “older” fans? (Did you realize what you were getting yourself into?
EDI) I had no clue what I was in for and I must say it is totally friggin rad. Who doesn’t want to get support from tons of wonderful fans on a project you’ve been blessed enough to get? I don’t care what age, as long as its love, I’m with it. Let me take this moment to say thank you Twilight Moms.
TM) What is one of your favorite lines (from any of the shows, or movies you have ever done)
EDI) I got to say some fun stuff in a deleted scene in Gone Baby Gone. It’s probably to explicit to write here, so I’ll spare you the editing. But I did enjoy saying, “She’s gone baby, gone.”
TM) Do you have any hobbies you enjoy when you are not acting?
EDI) I’ve been doing a boot camp class per Rachelle’s recommendation. And I must say, I don’t feel entirely manly doing it. But it does whip one into shape. I enjoy working out, getting out the stress that this industry will sometimes impose. Not to mention life in general. I also LOVE watching movies. I read a lot. (wish there were more hours in the day) and I write. And I sing in the shower. And eat ice cream. And dance. And breathe. Air is good.
TM) Have you ever been obsessed with anything before, what was it and how did you obsess about it?
EDI) I’m still obsessed with acting. I’d rather do it than anything else. It’s my deep passion. What I believe I was born to do. I wake up in the morning and create a character, put him/her in a scenario all before I eat my Kashi cereal. Insane. Yeah. That’s little old me.
TM) Have you met Stephenie Meyer? Did you get any extra info or insight on your character?
EDI) Unfortunately I flew back to LA the day she came to set. I was bummed. But I know we will meet soon if not at the premiere.
TM) Are you excited to see what this movie could do for your career?
EDI) Absolutely. The thing I’m looking forward to is introducing myself to the Twilight fan base. I know what a powerful force the fans are and if they follow my work, that can make a huge impact on my career.
TM) What “drew” you to the movie? Was it the story,
the director, are you at all fascinated with Vampires?
EDI) I have become fascinated with vampires since booking this film. And I liked THIS vampire story because it was more about the romance and the personal element. Vampirism is a backdrop. But totally believable because the story has heart.
TM) How do you approach each new role, what do you do to prepare?
EDI) Different roles require different preparation. But generally speaking, I look for source material. Create backstory. Create physical life. And submerge myself in the world of the story for as along as it takes to feel authentic.
TM) How old were you when you knew you wanted to be an actor? And what was it that inspired you to pursue acting?
EDI) I was 21 when I declared it as my major in school and my life’s calling. However my parents showed me evidence that the decision was made by a pre-school teacher when I was 4. Guess I was animated? It literally took 17 years to actually “act” for the first time.
TM) In your Bio. it says you enjoy playing roles that are very different from yourself. How are you different from some of the roles you’ve played including Laurent? Are there ever times when you do try to bring some of yourself into the role?
EDI) I always try and bring myself to every role. Because there is some PART of me that is like every role I have ever played. Otherwise I couldn’t have played it. We are all if we chose to believe this, capable of everything. Good and bad. It’s those of us that chose to embrace this that can access it.
But I in my normal life, am the jovial, class clown. If you haven’t already noticed…
TM) In what ways are you finding this movie different than any other film you’ve made? I would think, since this story is so unique it might be different on set.
EDI) I have to put on contacts everyday. And wear them for 14 hours. And the tunnel vision begins. Other than that, the similarities on set are the same: crew, equipment, trailers, craft service, etc. And each set is unique because there are completely different people and different stories and subject matter being filmed.
TM) On House, your character is Mormon. How has this role changed or influenced your views and knowledge about Mormons as a people? Especially now that you are in a movie based on a book written by an author of the Mormon faith?
EDI) It’s endearing that this book was written by a Mormon. Its dangerous yet classy. There are no swear words, or messy sex scenes, it’s for a wide audience but the relationships, (rather THE relationship – Bella and Edward) is so honest that the story appeals to everyone who dares to be moved emotionally.
Playing a Mormon on TV basically required a intensive boot camp in Mormon education. I learned a lot about the faith. Mormonism is a faith that gets a lot of flack partly because its one of the youngest religions. So people hear the word and have a fixed idea that isn’t always entirely positive. I learned something that Harold Bloom the American professor and prominent literary and cultural critic said about the faith. “All religion western and eastern is founded upon miracle. It makes little sense to present arguments against Joseph Smith and early Mormonism. That would extend equal well to what we are told about the origins of what will eventually be Judaism, the origins of Christianity, the origins of Islam. All religion depends on upon revelation. All revelation is supernatural. If you wish to be a hard rock empiricist than you should not entertain any religious doctrine whatsoever.” Admittedly, these ideas made me lose the connotation I had previously associated with Mormonism.
TM) I notice that you also do quite a bit of stage acting, what would be your dream role to portray on stage? Do you prefer Film or Stage acting?
EDI) Plays: Iago from Shakespeare’s Othello. And Big Daddy from Tennessee William’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
Films? There’s a lot. Here’s a few… I’d love to do a Jimmy Cliff story. He was a bad (not bad as in bad but bad as in good) reggae musician in Jamaica. A story about the Mau Mau revolution in 1960′s Kenya. The Jerry Rice story. I’d love to play my father in film about his story. He came to the states with $50, a suitcase and a dream. He now has 5 degrees from Berkeley and is a Dean. A story centered around Stokley Carmichael the “Honorary Prime Minister of the Black Panther Party”. Throw in a little co-recipient of the Nobel peace prize Kofi Annan story. Round it off with some cool action hero type stuff, maybe some super smart detective stuff cap it with a silly Judd Apatow comedy, and that about makes for a really nice dream come true.
But I like BOTH Film and Theater. Though my focus for the next few years will be film. Ok fine. I’ll pepper it with a little theater. Thems my roots man. Thems my roots. I can’t forsake the stage.
TM) If you could act alongside anyone, living or dead, who would that be and why.
EDI) Young Brando. Because he was genius. Jeffrey Wright, because he IS a genius. Anthony Hopkins he’s a genius. Joan Allen genius. Daniel Day Lewis, idontevenhavetosayit. There are many more genius actors but my hands are getting tired
TM) What has been your favorite thing so far that has happened while filming Twilight?
EDI) Creeping people out with the eyes.
TM) What is the greatest challenge in portraying Laurent? What are some of his traits that stuck out to you?
EDI) The accent was the most difficult thing. Traits? I imagine an immortal, well learned, well traveled, physically POWERFUL, trained preditor, but GENTLE. That is creepy. A creepy combination.
TM) How is it working with the rest of the cast of Twilight? Is there a prankster among the cast?
Will you play Laurent again should book 2, New Moon, be filmed?
EDI) I’m the prankster. I find joy in it. There is nothing like the slow realization in a persons voice or face when they discover they’ve been had. But I prank harmlessly.
Laurent in New Moon? I don’t see why I wouldn’t.
TM) Have you worked with any other members of the cast in other projects?
EDI) No. But hopefully I will get to work on other projects with all of them. Great cast.
TM) Tell us a little about your role in the movie with Kevin Bacon.
EDI) Actually that movie is available now on DVD. It’s a revenge thriller really quite well done for the genre. I am not a revenge thriller type, but it surprised me. It’s about a mild mannered husband and father (Kevin Bacon) who chooses to take on danger to protect his family. I play the best mate of the leader of the “bad guys”. A motley crew of outlaws.
TM) Which do you prefer…..Movie or TV roles?
EDI) Movies are my passion and dream come true. But TV is great for different reasons. I’m learning to love and respect TV more. And there are a lot of great programs available now. I’m a LOST junkie.
TM) We are hoping to get the entire cast and Stephenie on the Ellen show and fill the audience with fans when it gets closer to the release, do you think you could put a word in with the publicist to help us in that?
EDI) That’s a great idea! I’ll run it past him. I make no promises, though! LOL!
TM) And last but not least, perhaps the most controversial Twilight question of all…
Should Edward change Bella into a vampire? *wink*
EDI) I say, frickyeah! Life is short man. Sometimes people are given circumstances in life that are often too difficult to change. There is so much pain and suffering in the world. Take a chance if you have the opportunity. Live forever. Do something good with your power. Bella is good. She could use her powers for good. Plus that’s the romantic thing to do. Bella and Edward could capture their love forever young. Why not! He’s been waiting for someone like her for DECADES. And she loves him. Why not!