TORONTO — There will be at least two more Twilight films after Eclipse hits theatres this week. But the vampire saga’s supporting stars say they’re already looking ahead to life beyond the undead.
Ashley Greene, who plays the petite blood-sucker Alice, says it’s thanks to her breakout role in the franchise that she has several other films slated for release in the next two years.
“We do realize that we need to take the ball and run with it right now,” Greene says in a recent stop in Toronto, looking drastically different from her onscreen persona with long, blond-streaked hair in stark contrast to Alice’s short, black, pixie ’do.
“The Twilight saga has kind of given us this instant fame and no one’s really seen what we can do yet, apart from playing Alice or whichever character we’re playing in the saga . . . . Twilight’s certainly given us an advantage in that we’re able to walk into rooms that we couldn’t before.”
“There’s a lot of things coming up on the horizon.”
Stars Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson have already capitalized with alternate projects in their off-time. Stewart adopted the sexually aggressive, rock ’n’ roll swagger of Joan Jett for the biopic, “The Runaways” earlier this year, while Pattinson stuck closer to his brooding Twilight persona in the family drama Remember Me.
For Greene, future releases include a sprawling ensemble comedy from the Weinstein Company called Butter, alongside Jennifer Garner, Hugh Jackman, Alicia Silverstone and Rob Corddry.
The 23-year-old’s first starring role comes in a thriller called The Apparition, in which a couple is haunted by a supernatural presence in the wake of a college experiment. Then there’s Skateland, a coming-of-age drama set in the ’80s that debuted at Sundance earlier this year.
“A lot of us came from working at restaurants and kind of working here-and-there,” says Greene, a former model who used to work at L.A.’s Belmont Cafe.
“Now that there’s this opportunity you’ve got to jump at it because this industry’s very fickle. You never know how long it’s going to last.”
Kellan Lutz, who plays the hunky vampire Emmett, says he’s bent on becoming an action star, especially after tackling the over-the-top physical stunts of Eclipse, which climaxes with a high-flying battle between vampires and werewolves.
The 25-year-old has been working non-stop since finding fame in the Twilight series, scoring parts in the Nightmare on Elm Street reboot earlier this year, as well as the upcoming Mandy Moore romantic comedy, Love, Wedding, Marriage, the Samuel L. Jackson thriller, The Killing Game and the drama Warrior, also starring Greene.
He says he’s most excited about the fantasy feature, Immortals, in which he plays the Greek god Poseidon alongside Mickey Rourke, John Hurt and Freida Pinto.
“To work with Tarsem (Singh, whose previous directing credits include The Cell), that’s always been a goal of mine because I’ve been obsessed with his movies,” says Lutz, also the new face of Calvin Klein underwear.
“And then I love Greek mythology so I really wanted to play a role like that and I’m a Pisces and I love to swim and Poseidon’s like my favourite god in Greek mythology so it’s really cool when all of the stars align.”
Amid all of this, the budding stars have two more Twilight films in the pipe, now Stephenie Meyer’s fourth Twilight book, Breaking Dawn, is being split into two separate screenplays.
Greene says she hasn’t had any word yet on a production schedule for the final films.
“I’m sure they’re kind of figuring out where they want to split it, I think that’s probably a hard decision to make.”