There were people camping out for the notoriously crowded Hall H line up to two days before the Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part 1 panel kicked off the events in that hallowed space. I hope they had a sense of humor because at least 500 seats remained open throughout the event, and late-comers’ wait time was non-existent.
Regardless, the fans were out in full force, screaming at just about everything that moved on the stage. Director Bill Condon set a tone for the discussion (that wouldn’t last long), talking about the joy of joining a story already in progress. “It’s all third act. I started out in horror movies, and in the second act [of Breaking Dawn] it turns into a really cool horror movie.”
All talk of horror ended when Kristen Stewart was asked about the wedding scene.
According to the actress, she’d been preparing to get fictionally married through all of the other films, and they shot that scene last (meaning she got her honeymoon before the nuptials). Stewart described the shooting experience as being a lot like a real wedding – she was secluded with her dress in a back room getting ready, surrounded by several guards. So, pretty much like all brides.
As for the honeymoon, the shooting experience in Brazil was a happy challenge which featured beautiful scenery and hurricane force winds. “We were playing board games instead of making love,” said Robert Pattinson of the experience, likening it a honeymoon in Britain and not doing their tourism board any favors.
Fortunately, we got to see two scenes from the movie, one of which showed Edward and Bella crossing the threshold into the bedroom. Those aforementioned screaming fans made themselves known five times during the clip: when we first see the bed, when Edward started into Bella’s eyes, when he untucked his shirt, when she pulled out some revealing lingerie, and when he was standing naked in the moonlight surrounded by water. As tittilating or gag-worthy any of that might sound, the clip was a strong display of Condon’s skills as a director. He mentioned during the panel that this movie was going to be focused on tension and release, and both Pattinson and Stewart seemed far more relaxed acting here than they ever have before in the series. It was a sweet, funny, slightly awkward look at a young bride on the night of her honeymoon and Condon crafted it to be grounded and sincere. Even out of context of the rest of the movies, he’s managed to pull genuine performances out of otherwise stiff actors.
After Bella drops her towel and heads out to the water to join her husband, it leads (naturally) to a scene which we didn’t get to see because it’s probably the most anticipated for fans (and for morbidly curious people like me).
“We did try to go as hardcore as we could,” Stewart said of the vampire-hybrid birthing scene. “It’s not your typical birthing scene…she’s literally choking on blood that she’s been drinking…she’s able to fight harder than any other human would because of that little part inside her.”
She then described the sequence as a journey from the painful hell of facing an excruciating death to the sheer, unbridled Heaven of holding your baby in your arms.
Then, the next audience member complemented Pattinson on his back muscles. Welcome to the Twilight panel.
All in all, it was a surprising, illuminating session that was enough to melt cynicism away. There was earnest talk about the filmmaking and emotive process, but perhaps the most direct symbol of the entire panel was Taylor Lautner describing the role of Jacob as he’s evolved. “You get to see the character in a new way.”
Let’s hope that goes for the entire franchise. From the discussion today, it seems like it might.