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A Cast of Thousands
The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 brings back the major cast from the earlier films and introduces the extraordinary child Renesmee, plus 30 new vampire characters hailing from of around the world. The beloved actors portraying Bella, Edward, and Jacob, as well as their families, the Volturi, and the wolves all find resolutions to their complex stories. Bella, Edward, & Jacob... and now, Renesmee

Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson, and Taylor Lautner return to their iconic starring roles to bring Bella Swan, Edward Cullen, and Jacob Black firmly into adulthood. Young actress Mackenzie Foy was just 10-years-old when she filmed her role as Renesmee Cullen, the young creature who magically changes all of their lives.

"When people finally see both parts, they'll be amazed at what an achievement Kristen Stewart's performance is," says Condon. "Where she starts as Bella and where she ends up is really something to watch. Plus the fact that she was able to juggle shooting so out of order: one day be doing the end of act three of Part 2 as a newborn vampire, and then the next afternoon be in the beginning of Part 1 as a human, experiencing an extreme pregnancy. I went into this project excited by the prospect of that experience, and came out really thrilled by having had it."

Robert Pattinson says the new film explores the vampire world beyond the romance of Bella and Edward, "The story spans the globe and encompasses many different characters, showing the variety of powers and abilities vampires can have. But the film is also about the fulfillment of Bella's character, first seeing her as a vampire is going to be a powerful moment."

"When I was writing the book, it felt like Bella was coming into her own," adds Meyer. "She hasn't fit in very well as a human. She was clumsy, not at ease with her body. She has always felt like she wasn't in the right place. When she becomes a vampire, she's more comfortable with herself and that was a fun thing to write. There was that moment where she really feels like she was born for this, she was meant to be this person, and she has realized her potential. That was really cool because so much of what Edward is worried about throughout all these books is Bella becoming a vampire and hating it and as a result, becoming so unhappy. So to have Bella come out of the transformation and feel 'Finally, I'm here. This is what I should have been,' is really great for both Bella and Edward, and for the relationship. It's really good to finally have that equality between them."

"In the book, the hunt was my favorite. I loved how alive she became," comments Stewart. "The idea was really clearly stated in the book that, as a vampire, Bella is different and she is special... you could feel it instantly. Everything's easy for her. Now she's excelling." Stewart enjoyed the increased physical nature of the role, "It's been really awesome to conceptually play that I am the strongest person in the room," laughs Stewart. "That had an effect on how I stand next to these big huge guys, who are clearly stronger than me. I got to do wire work and kick people. It feels good to get physical, because I've always literally stood behind people."

Condon adds, "Kristen has been dying to do this! She's totally into the action and the physicality of the part. That was all really exciting for her. She was always able to relate to Bella Swan and brings so much of herself to the part. Kristen can look at the previous movies and understand the moments that she loves. But in this, there's something so different about this character, vampire Bella, that I think intrigued Kristen. But we worked to still bring as much of her to it as possible, but I feel it's more remote. For example, when she has that arm wrestling scene with Emmett, after she wins and breaks the rock, she says 'did you see that?' It's pure Kristen and I Ieft the moment in the movie just to make sure that this character was not so different from the part that Kristen created in the other movies."

Stewart was only 17-years-old when she was cast in Twilight to bring to life the awkward, shy, and clumsy Bella Swan, who would, by this fifth film, have evolved into a fiercely protective mother and powerful vampire. "I started this whole thing when I was really young and in the first movie, I am so very human... full of idiosyncrasies with clear insecurities. I stutter a lot in Twilight, which is something that I liked. It was really good for the series because, when Bella becomes a vampire in the final film, I am completely still and in control. I approach movement and talking in a scene completely differently because Bella's mind now works so fast."

Both the attitude and the physical look of Bella evolved. "Kristen has attacked the final two films with relish," comments Godfrey. "She has been pumped to finally play Bella as a vampire - so on fire and that's been a blast to see. Kristen has really been enthusiastic in every regard, not only working with her hair and makeup people to create something that she was really confident in, but she's created a different mode of carrying herself and of speaking. It's been fun for her because she's not Bella anymore, she's this new Bella."

The audience's first view of vampire Bella is memorable with her perfect pale skin, crimson red eyes, and striking blue dress. "Her transformation into a vampire is a whole other look for her," agrees costume designer Michael Wilkinson. "Just charting all those different stages for her is just thrilling as a costume designer. Kristen is the very heart and soul and anchor of these movies. What she brings is really breathtaking and such strong, solid, heartfelt work. So to go through this whole journey of transformation with such an intelligent and inspiring actress, was really an incredibly satisfying experience."

Bella and Edward now have a home of their own - a cottage hideaway in the woods - where they can live as man and wife with the privacy to explore each other as equally matched vampires. The most passionate scene of The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 2 has a decidedly different tone from the most intimate in The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn - Part 1 because both participants are now immortal. "Bill completely understood the two different scenes," states Meyer. "The first one had newness, discovery, and a lack of certainty. Now, the second one has total confidence."

She adds, "In Part 1, the romance is a very awkward situation because this is two people who have never been together that way before, plus they have some really scary boundaries. Human Bella could actually get hurt badly, which is not the dream. It's not the ideal. That was its own thorny problem to work through, but I always want problems when writing, solving them is what's fun. Now in Part 2, to have the counterpoint be something that's so effortless and perfect, that was really nice."

"I've been really, really excited about developing Bella's vamp thing," states Stewart. "Not just the look, I like her powers the best. She's definitely my favorite vampire. Bella doesn't even realize she has these really enormous talents... but I would want these gifts. Even though she makes fun of it, her super self-control is actually probably the coolest power in the series. Also she can project her shield, like a membrane. Bella can protect anyone who steps within that, and any other vampy power has no effect on her whatsoever, which is why Edward cannot read her mind. It all starts to click why it's been so difficult, why they've been drawn together, and why she's been such a mystery to him... all of that makes sense now."

"We come to realize, Bella's power is not only the reason that Edward has never been able to read her mind, but also why Aro couldn't see her memories and Jane's pain couldn't affect her," explains Godfrey. "The reason is that she's naturally a shield. She is protected from other people's powers and this movie becomes about the realization of that power, which is strengthened once she becomes a vampire. They realize that if she can train herself to push that protection around all of them, they might have a fighting chance once the Volturi arrive."

Meyer was pleased with what all the cast and filmmakers accomplished over the course of four years and five films. "I'm excited because Kristen did great with this human Bella, who was stumbling through life... she brought to it this awkwardness, and now in the last film, it's gone. She is now so self-possessed. Kristen has always been really good with physical things... she looks so fierce when she's getting into it and that's fantastic. It's like watching her come into her own too. So that path, that journey for her is so much like Bella's. Kristen's been able to take this character to a place where the character is so strong."

"Initially Bella worries about how she's going to behave as a vampire, is she going to go crazy. Especially because she's stronger than all the Cullen's put together at the beginning. You find out very rapidly that she's very much in control of herself and finds it even easier than anybody else when they've been turned into a vampire. It's a very happy beginning," comments Pattinson.

The hurdle of that happy beginning is Bella accepting what has happened with Jacob... and Renesmee. She's blindsided by what makes their whole twisted love story make sense. "When we leave Part 1, Jacob imprinting on Renesmee has occurred, but it hasn't yet been resolved. We come into Part 2 and after Bella's first great hunt where she didn't kill anybody, she comes back home, sees Renesmee, and there's Jacob hovering. All of a sudden, Bella realizes what's happened. Like any mother would be she is as furious, as Edward had been at first. Eventually she acknowledges what imprinting's about, because it is clear that Jacob can't harm a bone in Renesmee's body. Jacob makes Bella understand that their connection was always leading to this and it becomes real closure on the relationship with Bella and Jacob. We're left with a sense of real family now and that everything makes sense."

Pattinson adds, "Obviously it causes a lot of problems in the Cullen household considering Jacob's imprinted before Bella has even seen her own kid. Edward can read Jacob's mind and knows Jacob is forced to imprint by his genes. So Edward has a quicker understanding of it than Bella does."

"She literally tosses me around the whole yard, which was pretty fun to film," admits Lautner. "Bella has lost it completely and Jacob really can't do anything about it and he's not going to fight back. He understands, so he's going to take it. It's really intense, but it's also pretty comedic because you got Bella flinging Jacob, screaming at him, and getting in his face. He's trying to explain it to her, but she's not getting it right now. Kristen and I definitely had a good time."

"Taylor Lautner has got a great sense of comedy," comments Condon. "Imprinting is maybe the most controversial idea of this novel, especially for people who aren't fans of the world and aren't sympathetic. In the moment where he's confronted, I really loved the way that Kristen plays it completely seriously, she carries the weight of a mother protecting her child, and Taylor plays the moment comedically, and then gets to a serious place. He makes the emotional argument that lands. The argument that this was the reason for everything we've been going through, this whole thing is because Jacob was destined for Renesmee. He gives Bella a moment to think, and to remember that they all do live in this magical world, where other rules apply."

Not being able to quit while he's ahead, Jacob also nicknames Renesmee. "In the mist of this very intense scene Jacob decides to break out calling her Nessie, and Bella doesn't take that too well either. She freaks out and lunges at Jacob's throat," laughs Lautner. "Bella does not appreciate the nickname. This imprinting is nothing like they imagined. It's very serious. It's what was supposed to happen and it's the reason everything has gone the way it has and they learn to accept it. Jacob becomes part of the family."

Jacob spends most of the movie within sight of Renesmee, as her protector. "What isn't special about Renesmee? To the best of their knowledge at that point, she is one of a kind - an odd mix of human and vampire, who's quite lovely," describes Meyer.

"Baby Renesmee grows very, very quickly. By the time she is 4 months-old, she looks like a 4-year-old," explains Rosenberg. "The trick with Renesmee is to convey her intelligence and you want her to be a presence, and Stephenie pointed this out a lot. Clouds are hanging over. One is that Renesmee's growing too quickly and there's a huge question as to how quickly is she going to grow, and hence how long is her life. But then a much bigger cloud sweeps over, which is the Volturi. They have been wanting to get rid of the Cullen's and have now found their excuse."

"The accelerated pace of her intellect is fascinating. She has such a sweet personality, a loving and kind person from the very beginning. She cares about her parents. She cares about the trouble that she's put people into. Renesmee's darling and everyone responds to her," says Meyer. "One of the odd laws of nature is that when you take care of someone else, when you protect them, you love them. It's not the other way around. When you sacrifice for someone, that's how real love is built."

"All of them are very, very much in love with this little child that they never expected. They know they are never going to have this again," adds Meyer. "This is this once in a lifetime opportunity for all of them and once in a lifetime means something when you live for thousands of years. Renesmee's potentially dying, would be something almost impossible to live with. So there are two sides to this, this amazing gift and then the terror of what it might mean. Renesmee becomes very important to them."

Like her mother and father, Renesmee is gifted. "She does have a special ability: she can communicate through touch. No one can ignore what she has to say because everyone knows what she's thinking, which is kind of the reverse of Edward's ability to read almost every mind. This becomes a really helpful thing for them when they're explaining Renesmee to all of these vampires who come in automatically distrusting the situation. When she explains it to them, they have to believe," explains Meyer. "If she touches you, you can see her thoughts and it's impossible to doubt her because you're in it. You can see that it's the truth, so she makes a very convincing witness."

"She's the most beautiful child in the world. Renesmee is a really, really special little kid," agrees Stewart. "She has her own way of communicating. It's awesome to see a mother communicate with her infant child more so than we would be able to in real life. I'm sure every mother feels that they're speaking to their children, but Bella and Renesmee really are speaking to each other in this mythical way. I can't wait to see how that looks visually."

"Renesmee is the biggest challenge on this project," states Condon. "Not only from a technical point of view, but I think Renesmee was probably the character that the fans were most intrigued by in this movie. With Twilight you're always dealing with such an intense fan base, and you're in touch with some of them and aware of what they're most interested in. They were generous in accepting the fact that we had to make this big shift in terms of how quickly the character ages."

"The major challenge was how are we going to do this? Are we going to use different actresses? Are we going to go all CG?" asks Godfrey. "We decided to start with what Renesmee ends up looking like, taking whatever child actress we find and digitally change her to make her look even more other worldly. We were incredibly blessed to get an audition from Mackenzie Foy."

"When we started casting it was clear that this role demanded some performance ability," adds Meyer. "In the first round, Mackenzie tried out and from that first moment I thought, please let Bill like her, she's so perfect. Then Bill was having the same thought, please let Stephenie like her, she's wonderful and can act. Finding a child who could pull off saying goodbye to her mother thinking her whole family's going to die, was a really big deal. That's a lot to ask of a 10-yearold."

"As soon as we saw Mackenzie, that was it," remembers Condon. "There was something, first about the way she looked, plus her self-possession, and she's so pretty, and she's a good actress... we're not going to do better than that."

"Mackenzie's audition actually happened fairly early on and was great. However, we still kept looking as I think we were still looking for someone a little bit younger," recalls Meyer. "But Bill and I both were absolutely in agreement from the first time we saw the tapes. This little angelically faced child with perfect delivery is the one."

"My first audition was really cool," remembers Mackenzie Foy. "I was a little bit nervous but mostly excited. When I read the script, what I liked about Renesmee was she was a very sweet girl and she loved her family so much. Then I went in there and I just did what my heart told me to do."

"The first time I met Bill Condon, we talked about what we like about Renesmee and what kind of girl she was... about how she's smart, intelligent, and brave. When I first got told that I was playing Renesmee, I was totally doing the happy dance. Working with Bill Condon is just like an honor... when I grow up and I become a movie director, I want to be like him," admits Foy.

"Everyone had the same reaction to Mackenzie, not only does she look like a perfect marriage of what Rob and Kristen would create, but she has a natural otherworldly quality to her. She's stunning, but she also has this quality of looking like she has the soul of someone who is 100-years-old. She has this wisdom in her eyes that we thought we were going to have to digitally create," adds Godfrey.

The role would be Foy's first time on a movie set. Filmmakers used a series of stand-ins of various sizes and ages and executed a sophisticated face replacement that utilized Mackenzie's acting on the bodies of other younger actresses. "Mackenzie's been so great in her performance in the scenes where she's playing her size, that we want to try to use that performance as much as possible when she's playing younger versions of herself," says Godfrey.

"Renesmee has got to wind up in Mackenzie's age range after a certain point in the movie, so we worked backwards, tracking how to get her from here to there, across the several months in which the film takes place," explains Condon. "We got into these very specific charts of what she would look like at progressing ages. We cast girls from baby size to 5- or 6-years old, who would basically play the body of Renesmee and then we would put in Mackenzie's adjusted face and performance."

Foy adds, "To play this role, you have to have a lot of CGI stuff done. My mom and me helped pick out old videos and pictures of me as a baby and a little girl. I have to go in and act out all the parts because they need my face, and then they changed my body around. When I get my face scanned, I have to stay really still. Sometimes, I just sit there and I keep my head really still and I don't make different emotions, other times they have me say lines and do the emotions. It's actually really, really fun to try and act and keep your head in one place. It's like a challenge."

"Mackenzie did her facial performance in what looks like a big scary dentist chair," explains Condon. "She plays every moment in the same angles that we shot and then we take her face and bring it down to the appropriate age, and then merge it with whatever girl had been on the set. It was a big intense visual effects process that we spent of most of 2012 executing."

The imagination of a child is a benefit when doing visual effects. "I actually found all of that super, super fun," she reveals. "It's not every day you can get out of bed, get dressed, go to a set, and see all of a movie world. It's really cool and it will never, ever be exhausting to do anything like that. It's true. I like doing green screen and effects stuff."

Meyer adds, "We're going to watch this little girl grow up. It's going to look amazing. I'm very excited to see the final product. We were so lucky with Mackenzie. She was a gift because not only was she perfect, she also is a great actress with an amazing work ethic. This girl loves it. She loves acting. She wants to be there all night. She's so upbeat all the time and a 100 percent professional. She has a nut allergy, so we had to lock down the nuts on set to protect her. When she left in Baton Rouge, she had a ton of nuts left all over the craft services table with a note to the crew saying thank you. She's so thoughtful and sweet on every level, a joy to have on set. Stumbling into Mackenzie Foy was such luck."

During production, Foy was of a similar age to Stewart when the actress shot the film Panic Room with Jodie Foster, another former child actor. Condon says, "Kristen, she'd been there. This was really a little bit about showing somebody the ropes. They would spend hours hanging out together. When we were ready to shoot, the toughest people to drag out of a conversation were Kristen and Mackenzie. They really got to be very close."

The actors fell easily into playing a close family. Stewart comments, "We are so lucky to have Mackenzie. When you work with good actors, everything just becomes more real and natural for you and you create a more complete environment. Mackenzie is so smart and she loves doing this. She probably knows more about what's going on at and what the next shot is than most other actors on set. She's amazingly cool and I'm very proud to have her be playing my daughter."

"Kristen is nice," says Foy. "Acting in the scenes, she gives me pointers, let me do this or that, and she helps me so much. Also, working with Rob Pattinson is just so fun because he's silly, he's goofy, and he's really, really nice. Sometimes he also gives me some pointers and then sometimes he's just off giggling."

"Mackenzie's great," confirms Pattinson. "She's very self-possessed for a really young girl, she's really smart, she's really talented. She's had to do very difficult things. She's playing the face on the body many other young girls of varying sizes, which is very, very difficult to do for any actor, let alone a young girl who's doing her first movie. She's very funny. She's taught us a lot of things about life and how to be polite to people. She's very professional and likes to have her swear bucks. She's already made a lot of money off me and Kristen."

"Some of the scenes with them in Part 2 were so beautiful," comments Meyer. "Taylor and little Mackenzie- what a cool friend vibe they had. They were buddies. Mackenzie just loved him and he thought she was the funniest, cutest kid ever. They really got along, it was a really natural vibe you could feel between them."

"Taylor is a funny, loving person. Everyday he would play games with me, like trying to catch my hand. He'd jerk it away fast - up high, down low, too slow. We did that a lot, and we also played a staring contest. We did a lot of different games together and then I would have to go to school," says Foy.

"I wish that we could have had a camera just on Taylor and Mackenzie off screen," says Meyer. "He thought she was the coolest thing in the world, and she just adored him. They had this great brother-sister vibe that was so much fun to watch. Mackenzie impacted people in the oddest ways. Kristen felt so maternal towards her. Rob had this great rapport with her. She brought out the emotions in reality that we were also seeing on the screen."

Lautner loved playing big brother on the set. "I don't even know where to begin with Mackenzie. She is the cutest little girl in the world, so funny and so talented," gushed Lautner. "She's also so smart... basically everybody loves Mackenzie. We had a lot of fun hanging out with her and she did such an amazing job playing this pivotal character. It's a very intense movie and the action is back. All the characters are in a different light than you've ever seen before. Everything just starts to make sense in Breaking Dawn - Part 2. Jacob is finally over Bella... my goodness, it's a miracle."

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