"Good to see you you’re not as pale as you were" I jokingly say to Kellan Lutz who plays Emmet Cullen in the new movie 'Twilight', based on the novel by Stephanie Meyer.
Lutz’s character is a vampire and part of a family of vampires that live in Washington. My joke referred to the fact that in the film Lutz is incredibly pale and that contractually anyone playing vampires in the movie had to stay out of the sun as much as possible.
"Well I actually just get back from New York so I’m like where’s the tan?" Lutz is someone who seems to like the outdoors and being active so was it a challenge to not go out in the sun?
"I'm from the Midwest so I love the cold and I don't care to go to the beach that much so it was really nice to be in the woods. I had never even heard of a tanning booth till I got to the west coast."
Lutz was not familiar with the Twilight books prior to him being cast as Emmet.
"I was in Africa working on a project and that audition came. Like most scripts I think they’re just scripts. There are very few that are adapted from a novel so yea I didn't know what it was. Got back to the US, read the script again, auditioned and got the part and still didn't know it was a book.
"Ashley Greene had the books and she said, 'So you read them right?' I thought she was kidding because she is always messing with me. She was serious so she brought them over and I read them."
Twilight became a huge hit especially with young women. Since Lutz was not familiar with the books when he was cast in the role, did he realize the impact the film would have on the fans?
"I use the computer, but I don't have myspace or facebook. I’m not knowledgeable about what sites I should or should not look at. I think it would be kind of depressing to read something. Everyone has their own bias views.
"I heard about something where Emmet is supposed to have curly hair and Kellan doesn’t have curly hair because he was shooting 'Generation Kill' so I don’t like him. I’m like, 'Really, just because I don’t have curly hair?' So I know a lot of actors read that stuff and it’s kind of destructive in a way so I’m glad I don’t really know what sites to read and to do that stuff," the actor said.
Lutz does feel incredibly grateful to have the opportunity he has had not only as an actor, but working on the film.
"It's fun. I really enjoy everything that 'Twilight' has brought forth especially going back to my hometown," he said. "My grandparents live in Iowa and I went back there recently. My grandma is like the most praised grandma in Iowa because her grandson is in 'Twilight'. I went there and I felt like I did four mini press junkets at my grandparent's farm because everyone would come over and want to hear about it. It’s really cool; there are very few actors who get this chance to make fans happy."
Since Lutz’s character is part of a strong family dynamic, did Lutz develop a close bond to the other actors he worked with?
"With Ashley [Greene who plays Alice Cullen] and Jackson [Rathbone who plays Jasper Hale] we've been friends for awhile before 'Twilight' came around. It’s really nice to have your friends and then working with them," Lutz told us. "Then meeting Kristen and meeting Rob who, he cracks me up, his whole persona is amazing.
"Working with Peter [Facinelli who plays the patriarch Dr. Carlisle Cullen] is kind of like a fatherly figure to me out here. He has been doing it for so long. He’s married and has kids and that’s the direction I want myself to go in in years to come. So it’s really great to have a lot of camaraderie. Everyone is so tight and a real person."
For Lutz the character of Emmet isn’t necessarily a big stretch. Lutz felt that the character of Emmet hit very close to home. In fact Lutz had the opportunity to read a chapter of the book that never got into the final copy of 'Twilight' called 'Emmet and the Bear'.
"When I read 'Emmet and the Bear', which is back-story that Stephanie didn’t include in the book it really just touched me. I really enjoyed his whole outlook of life," Lutz said. "He just goes long and enjoys every moment and that’s how I do it.”
In fact Lutz has a credo he lives by, "Try new things. You only live once."
So what new thing would Lutz try that he hasn't tried already?
"Race cars! I love going fast and I love extreme sports. I would love to fly jets, race a race car. Just go fast"
Up next for Lutz is a film called 'Warrior' where he plays a lacrosse player whose father dies in the military.
For now make sure to catch Kellan Lutz and the rest of the cast of 'Twilight' when the film hits theaters on November 21st.
And watch Mania.com for more interviews with the cast and crew of the film.