Eclipse raises an army -- of young actors

    On June 30, thousands of Twilight fans will fill movie theaters nationwide for the third installment of the series, Eclipse. As always, teen girls will ogle Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner, but this time will be a little different. Although Eclipse will still center heavily on the lives of Edward (Pattinson) and Bella (Kristen Stewart), it also features teenage werewolves and newborn vampires, both of which require an even younger cast.

    Tyson Houseman, a 20-year-old from Edmonton, Alberta, landed the role of werewolf Quil Ateara after he saw an ad for an open casting call for a major motion picture. Before the audition, which was his first outside of high school performances, Houseman said, “I had heard of the series, but I didn’t really know how big of a phenomenon it was.”

    Now, Houseman says he’s really interested in the series, and his favorite book is Eclipse. “Twilight introduces the story, introduces the characters. New Moon sort of introduces more of the problems and the struggles and what’s going on and it builds up,” he said. “[Eclipse] is really really intense because that build up just keeps on going and going and going until the end.” Of course, the extra action packed into third film doesn’t hurt.

    BooBoo Stewart, a 16-year-old from Los Angeles who plays werewolf Seth Clearwater, agrees that Eclipse is the best of the trilogy, because it adds to the previous films. He added, “[Director David Slade] was just so awesome on the set and I think he has a great vision for the film.”

    Jumping into the role of a werewolf — or in the case of 15-year-old Jodelle Ferland, newborn vampire Bree Tanner — could be a bit of a struggle. “I read the book and got to know them [...] to make sure I knew everything I possibly could about Twilight vampires and newborn vampires and what it feels like so that I would be able to play it properly,” said Ferland, a native of British Columbia.

    For Houseman, seeing the CGI version of his wolf-self helped to get into character. “I was just like ‘yeah, that thing, that’s inside me and it can pop out at any second,’” he said. “It was like this big secret.”

    He says the “wolf pack” actors were all very close on set, which helped him in his acting. Ferland also noted the kindness of everyone on set as something that helped her, but the role was worth it in itself. “Being a vampire was pretty awesome,” she said. “Especially the red eyes. Unfortunately no fangs, but the red eyes were really cool.”

    Although they’re actors, they all still have to worry about schoolwork. Ferland and Stewart are both high school students, which can make their jobs more difficult. “When I’m on set, every time I have a 20 minute break, I have to go see how much I can fit in,” Ferland said.

    Houseman finished high school a couple of years ago and is still considering college, but has no solid plans. “I know acting is a big part of it,” he said. “I just don’t know when I’ll be going or when I’ll even have the time to be going. Probably within the next few years. I’m still young. I’ve got time.” Although all of the actors have side interests and plans beyond education — Stewart, for example, wants to pursue music — for now, acting is enough.

    As an actor and as a teenager, Ferland is extremely excited about the new movie. “There’s just a little bit more of everything in Eclipse,” she said. “The werewolves and the vampires are together fighting the newborns. And I guess the biggest thing is the action, there’s a lot more of that.”


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