Actress Marlane Barnes plays the character of Maggie, a member of the Irish Coven in the The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2, arriving in theaters on November 16th, 2012. She attended the Red Carpet premiere in Los Angeles for The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1. We caught up with her recently for this interview.
Were you familiar with the Twilight series before you got the part? How was it for you, as an actor, to come into the last movie of the Twilight series?
I actually was not! I’m always the last person to know about things in pop culture. But, before I auditioned, I read synopses on fan sites and watched the first two movies to get to know the world. When I was actually cast, I was floored. I mean, it’s such a huge franchise and the fan base is so involved that I did worry at first that I wouldn’t be what everyone was hoping for! But, then you just have to trust the production team and yourself and do your best.
What was it like working with the director, Bill Condon on Breaking Dawn?
Bill is a very sweet, intelligent, and considerate man. He was great to work with, because I really felt like he was invested in everyone’s experience and input on the film. He created a collaborative environment on set, which was great considering how many of us were new to the franchise. I also loved the direction that he took Part One, so I am very excited to see Part Two!
What can you tell us about the Irish coven vampires, especially your character Maggie?
The Irish coven has seen and experienced a lot. Literature speaks to the Irish as a people who have a huge history of enduring and suffering oppression. They are also big on family, so I chose that Maggie had once come from a big family. Even though she doesn’t remember a lot of it, she has a lasting impression that it is something worth fighting for. So, I felt very strongly that she would be committed to helping the Cullen’s stay together and be very suspicious of any peace offering from the Volturi. I also felt that she was newer to being a vampire than Siobahn and Liam. They had seen and been through even more as a pair. The Irish coven is definitely a brave and resolute group – they do what they came to do and then they make their exit!
Your blog has some fun information on your design work – is that another direction you see your career going toward?
I see design as more of a hobby for me right now, because it’s something I do to relax and I wouldn’t want it to feel like work. Plus, beyond my own little home-improvement projects, it’s hard to find time to commit to another art form regularly enough to do it justice. But now that you ask though, I have had a little dream of fixing up and reselling some of the great Craftsman style houses in east LA – with the help of a professional of course.
Did you start your social media account as part of the Breaking Dawn promotion or have you been doing social media for a while? Do you like social media as a tool to reach your audience?
I actually got my name on Twitter a few years ago, before Summit released the info I had never really used it much. Now, it’s such an easy and personal way to connect with everyone- I have really embraced it. But, I am still learning about what makes a good tweet!
Did you enjoy the Red Carpet experience for Breaking Dawn Part 1?
I did! Because it was my first red carpet, I was anxious about everything coming together. I was amazed at the number of choices I had to make. Once I was there, I felt an instant connection with the fans and especially the interviewers who were from fan sites. A couple of them were even from the very first fan sites I had looked at to learn about the series, like Twilight Lexicon. I got to have my own little “Oh hey, you guys are great!” moment.
I have an independent feature shooting this summer called “Stuff It”. It’s a horror-comedy about a boy named Wally who begins to taxidermy an entire town, because he thinks his dead father wants him to. I play his fiancée, Mattie, who has big dreams of her own and has no idea what is going on! I am actually also working on a young adult supernatural historical fiction book of my own, based on a play I wrote in graduate school. It’s about a girl in 5th century Ireland. The fact that I was cast as an Irish vampire after having already spent a lot of time learning about the culture was pretty amazing! Not to mention that my boyfriend’s family is from Eniskillen, Ireland. I think Ireland and I are not finished yet!
Did you have a chance to work with Rob Pattinson during filming? What were your impressions of him?
We all spent a lot of time around one another for this shoot. Both onset and off I really got the impression that he is a very sweet, earnest guy who has a lot of interests. He also wants everyone to have a good time! He and Kristen both made it a point to go to the crew wrap party in Baton Rouge, for all the locals who wouldn’t be moving on to Vancouver. I think that says a lot about their team spirit and gratitude for all the work that goes on behind the scenes. I was really glad to have met both of them.
We saw some of your tweets about saving shelter animals. Can you tell us a bit more about that?
When I realized the plight of companion animals in most county shelters, I had to help. Some of them live in terrible and lonely conditions where even puppies and kittens are killed, after the state mandated holding period of only three days. I got involved with an animal rescue organization called The Lange Foundation here in LA. I am now fostering a dog named India for Big Dawgs Little Kitties Rescue out of San Diego. She will be up for private adoption soon! For those who would like to learn more about these important issues, you can go to www.nathanwinograd.com.
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