We had the pleasure of sitting down with Daniel Cudmore (who plays Felix in The Twilight Saga films) while he was in Atlanta recently for a Twilight event. He chatted with us about what it was like on the set, what we can expect with Eclipse, and what it was like to get Robert Pattinson the smack down in New Moon.
Did you just get to Atlanta today?
Daniel Cudmore: I got in last night.
Have you had time to do anything here?
Daniel Cudmore: No! No…actually I went to Turner Field today, and they were gracious enough to extend a softball for, sort of, alumni, and some musicians and actors. So we got to run around and play a little softball on this smallish field. Smaller. And yeah, it was fun. Felt like a fish out of water there.
So let’s get into the Twilight questions! When you went in to audition for the role of Felix, was what you went in for or were you looking at other parts?
Daniel Cudmore: No! It’s funny, because I went in to audition — in New Moon, I went in for the character who flirts with Bella outside the bar on the motorcycle. And just went in and had fun with it; I’d just found out I didn’t get a role in a movie, or in a TV series pilot that I was really, really hoping to get between me and another guy. So, I was kind of bummed, but I was like, “You know what, this is that sort of life.” And this kind of came up out of nowhere, and I auditioned for it, and then ended up getting a call-back to come back for Felix, but not knowing it. I thought it was still for the same guy, so I had to prepare. I worked over the weekend, like, “How am I going to change this?” ‘Cause this was a small audition. How am I going to change this to really make an impact? And then I get to the audition and they’re like, “Oh, yeah. So this vampire’s like—” and I was like, “What? Really? It’s a total—OK. Oh, these are new sides? Oh fun; OK thanks for three pages right away.” ‘Cause I had, like, five minutes to just do it and something worked. I guess just the spontaneity of it; it just happened.
We asked some fans on Twitter to submit questions for you. One of them was: if you could have any other part in the series, which role would you chose?
Daniel Cudmore: Bella.
Daniel Cudmore: Yup. Totally. I want to be in that love triangle. I don’t know, everyone kind of…I think I really like the werewolves. I think they’re a lot of fun. Mostly I think it’s because — I mean, the characters that are written are all kind of goofy and fun kind of guys, and then all the guys who were cast are like really, really cool, down-to-earth, fun dudes. I think I would like to join in there, but I think I’m a little too pale to be part of the wolf pack. I’d be like, the one albino wolf.
That’s what makeup is for!
Daniel Cudmore: That’s right! I could just get painted up.
The fight scene with Robert was pretty intense in New Moon, how was the fans’ reaction to that scene? A lot of them seem pretty defensive of Robert.
Daniel Cudmore: Right! And I think in that aspect, I had done my job. You know? That was what I was thinking. I’m like, you know, if I am hated by Rob fans, then I’ve done a good job with the fight scene. And that’s what I got out of it. But it was a lot of fun; it was really cool to work on that with Rob ’cause he was so game for it, and I was so game I wanted to do everything I could of my own because I know how, sometimes, with those type fight scenes, you’re trying to integrate the stunt double and he has to hide his face sometimes. It just doesn’t work as well. And, so, luckily, JJ Makaro, who was the stunt coordinator, just came up with a great fight scene and we just worked it and I think it just worked really well.
How long that take to film?
Daniel Cudmore: It took…It’s hard to say, because there was a lot of other dialogue and other scenes going on in that same area, so we did that over five days. But, still, a fair amount of time. ‘Cause a lot of—some shots just weren’t working, we had to reset them. We had to reset and change around some of the action. So, it’s funny how when you watch a fight scene it’s so quick, and you don’t really realize how much work goes into it. But, you know, five days of shooting, five days of rehearsal, plus countless hours of the whole stunt team changing and trying stuff when the actors weren’t even there. So, it’s wild how much work goes into the small amount of action you see on screen.
What has been your favorite moment, either from Eclipse or New Moon, on set?
Daniel Cudmore: I think it was the first scene. That was when I first stepped into the world, when it was the elevator scene. That was just awkward and fun and funny. And I was hoping he was going to put some cheesy elevator music in it too, in New Moon. Because that’s always kind of fun, the first day on set. Everyone’s nervous; no one wants to overstep boundaries. Doesn’t know everyone. It’s kind of like that first day of school. And you’re like the new kid in school, and you don’t know which group to go with, and you don’t know how you’re going to be accepted, but, yet, you still gotta do your work. So, yeah, the first one was a lot of fun.
Did you get to hang out with any of the cast members during shooting?
Daniel Cudmore: Yeah, a little bit. They were fairly busy. My role and the Volturis’ role aren’t as large in this one. We have a presence, but we weren’t working as many days. So we would come in and hang out a little bit. A little bit off-set, but not as much as the core group that were all living in the same area. It was like a college for them. Because they were, like, in the same building, and they were all doorways away from each other, you know? Just in and out.
Can you tell us anything about Breaking Dawn? Do you know anything?
Daniel Cudmore: I know nothing! I am not high enough on the totem pole to know anything about Breaking Dawn. I chatted with the producers at the premiere and they were just telling how excited they are. And how they’re going right in to work on it now. But I don’t know when filming is set; I don’t know when the first day is…I really don’t have any insider info. I wish I could give it to you, but I got nothing. And even if I did, I think I’d get snipered by someone if I started giving away stuff.
Is there any part of that movie that you’re looking forward to? Any part of the story?
Daniel Cudmore: Well, I mean, I like the end of it. I like near the end where my character gets to play around a little bit. I’m kind of interested—I’ve been talking about this, but the birthing scene. I’m like, how are they going to do that? That’s…and how are you going to show that with a PG-13 moniker behind it…I don’t know! So it’s an interesting task ahead of Bill Condon to be—there’s a lot of stuff. And those are the final two. The final book, the final two. You really got to bring your A game for it. So we’ll see; I have no idea.
How much did you know about Felix before you went in for your first day of filming? Did you read the books?
Daniel Cudmore: Before my first day of filming, once I’d learned that I got the role, I wanted to read all the books first to find out what was going on and why the fans had attached themselves so strongly to these books. And what a great job Stephanie had done, I mean, it’s evident in the book. Then I watched , Twilight, the first one, just to have a feel of what sort of film-wise they were going, what direction they were going for. Obviously, it was a different director with Catherine and whether it was Chris, but I wanted to do as much research as possible; I needed to find out as much about this character and what I was going to bring to it and why he is the way he is. You know, building a back-story and all that fun stuff.
Talking about the feel of it, is the feel of Eclipse drastically different than the other two?
Daniel Cudmore: I don’t think it’s drastically different, but it is, again, another artist’s interpretation. David Slade just has that grasp on moods and can transfer that into his films. And the book is about revenge and lying and double crossing. So there’s a little more of an anger feeling to it, a darker edge to it. And that is transferred over, and he’s done a brilliant job with this one. I think it’s really, really good.
You’ve done some of the Twilight fan conventions. Have you had any memorable moments from any of those?
Daniel Cudmore: Oh, man. I’ve had like — You know it’s funny. A lot of the times you get separation issues. People can’t really separate you from the actor, from the character. They kind of think you are that person all the time. It always just boggles my mind when people are like, “Oh my God, you’re so nice, and you’re funny and not angry all the time!” And I’m like, “Yeah. I’m an actor. That’s kind of what I do,” you know? It boggles my mind, but it’s funny. And it’s a lot of fun, and it’s cool to meet the people who essentially pay your bills. They’re the ones who spend the money on the movies and all the memorabilia and all the swag and all the stuff like that. And they’re there supporting and they’re a great, great group of people. So it’s a lot of fun to just go and hang out. And they’re very cool about it. They’re like, “Thank you so much for coming all this way.” And it’s like, “No problem. Thank you very much for buying a ticket and checking out the movie.” It’s a give-give kind of thing.
Do you have any favorite television shows?
Daniel Cudmore: I love 30 Rock; I think Tina Fey is a genius. I think she’s unbelievable. What else have I seen lately that I’ve…I just haven’t had any time to watch any TV. Obviously, like, Discovery Channel and Animal Planet, and things like that. I’m always glued to them. Sports channels…but TV shows? I want to get into True Blood to see what it’s all about. Every time I seem to turn on True Blood, I’m halfway through it and there’s somebody’s butt, or somebody’s having a kid, or two guys are making out or someone’s eating someone else. It’s like Twilight vamped up, and just over the top, rated R. I want to check that out. I can’t think of anything else that I — ‘Cause I literally haven’t had time to get into a series. I love Entourage. Entourage is like, a man’s soap opera. You know what I mean? You just kind of watch it and laugh and it’s always entertaining. I can’t wait for the next season of that.
What is next for you? Do you have any other projects other than the Twilight stuff?
Daniel Cudmore: Right now, it’s basically just trying to find that next project. It’s just auditioning like crazy. I’m waiting to hear on a pile of auditions that I’ve had in the past little bit. And it’s one of those things where you just keep pushing forward until something comes up, because you never know. You could’ve auditioned for something weeks ago, and then all the sudden your name is thrust back into that and they call you up, like, “We need you here.” So, I haven’t signed on anything. And, you know, there’s possibilities, but you don’t really say you’re working until you’ve signed the contract, you’re on set. So, right now…nothing right now. Cross fingers; we’ll see. Some good one’s coming up.
Do you feel like you’re getting a bit more attention?
Daniel Cudmore: Oh absolutely. Yeah! Hugely. Everyone in the series, no matter how big or small your role is, is getting more attention. And that is the great thing for actors in these series is that now your name is attached to these directors, producers, and casting directors are like, “Yeah, we’ll bring them in.” So when that door was kind of just creaked open, now it’s just open and you can walk right in there and prove yourself. Now is also the, almost in the way, almost the most challenging for an actor; this is when you really have to bring your A game. Because now your name is attached, and you are coming in. But you can’t come in and audition for things and be half-assed. You’ve got to bring it every single time; you can’t have a bad day. So that’s a bit nerve-wracking, but at the same time, it’s a fun challenge.
Interview By: Emma Loggins
Eclipse Official Site: http://www.twilightthemovie.com/
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