Exclusive interview with a vampire: Ashley Greene looks past her “Twilight” days
Best known for playing Alice Cullen in the supernaturally popular saga, which is nearing its end, she is moving forward with other acting roles and as the face of DKNY and mark cosmetics.
LOS ANGELES — Ashley Greene picked an odd time to cut back her java intake.
“I’m trying not to drink coffee right now, which it was probably the worst decision as far as timing goes, during a press tour … but I always end up drinking so much, and it’s just not good. And then I don’t feel good,” said “The Twilight Star” as she relaxed on a pale, plush couch during a recent one-on-one interview at the Four Seasons Hotel. “But really thinking about it, though, it’s like what time is a good time?”
The fashionista of the “Twilight” franchise didn’t sound like she needed caffeine as she energetically chatted about “Breaking Dawn — Part 1,” the fourth and penultimate film in the paranormally popular series, as well as her future, non-vampire roles, including an upcoming thriller directed by an Oklahoma filmmaker.
In “The Twilight Saga,” Greene, 24, plays perky Alice Cullen, a vampire who can see the future of humans and other immortals. A fashion enthusiast who loves to throw lavish parties, Alice is thrilled when her adopted brother Edward (Robert Pattinson) weds his human fiancée Bella Swan (Kristen Stewart) in “Breaking Dawn — Part 1.”
“She’s planning this wedding and she has full control of everything, and everything’s a fairy tale. … Her brother is finally happy, and she gets this sister that she has wanted Bella to be since she met her. It was fun going to set every day, you know, because you just have to be extremely happy. A little ball of joy,” said Greene, who looked chic in a pair of dark jeans, a flowing, low-cut red blouse and towering beige heels.
The happily ever after reaches to an abrupt end when Bella becomes pregnant on the honeymoon. The impending birth not only threatens Bella’s life — an emergency vampire conversion will be her only hope for survival — it also endangers the Cullen clan’s pact with the local werewolves of the Quileute Tribe, including Bella’s best pal, Jacob Black (Taylor Lautner).
“In this one you get to see both extremes: Her having this fairy tale and then her world kind of crashing down, and seeing her conflicted and seeing this inner turmoil that I don’t think you’ve seen Alice go through before,” said Greene, adding her character is torn between wanting to support Bella’s decision to have the super-strong baby and fearing for her sister-in-law’s safety.
“That was something that wasn’t necessarily the most fun playing, but I was thankful to have that because I think I’ve been really lucky as far as being able to develop this character over the saga. … That’s an exciting thing as an actor.”
Director Bill Condon and screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg divided Meyer’s hefty fourth and final novel into two halves, and both movies were shot at the same time. In “Breaking Dawn — Part 2,” due in theaters next November, circumstances force Alice to leave the Cullen coven on a quest.
“I was like, ‘Am I gonna have a job?’” Greene said. “I think we do try and stick as close as possible to the books, but I think there are a few things that you do maybe alter a bit for cinema and for characters. I know what we filmed, but you never know what makes the cut. So I’m not exactly sure how much Alice is in the second movie, but I will tell you I did have fun filming it. I was there. I am present, definitely.”
Much like her character, the actress has become known as the fashionista of “Twilight” family. Although she didn’t get to plan a wedding, she did collaborate on the feather-adorned lavender dress Alice wears to the nuptials.
Last year, Greene became the face of Avon’s mark line of cosmetics, and last month she was named the new ambassador for fashion designer Donna Karan’s DKNY and DKNY Jeans.
“It’s a really very organic fit … because mark is all about empowerment for women. They actually have an empowerment program and (are) very just female-driven and strong, and I feel like Donna Karan kind of embodies that whole thing. They’re very complementary of one another, so that’s kind of exciting for me to be able to move forward with both of them.”
Greene also is moving ahead with her post-“Twilight” acting career, starting Dec. 4 with a three-episode arc on ABC’s 1960s-set aviation drama “Pan Am.” She will star in the comedic films “Butter” with Jennifer Garner and Hugh Jackman and “LOL” with Miley Cyrus and Demi Moore, and she recently signed on for “Olivia Twisted,” an ultramodern female version of “Oliver Twist.”
“I think ‘Twilight’ has given us a really good jumping off point, and one of the things I’m most thankful for — other than the fan base that we’ve developed — is that it gave me the ability to say no and to really sit back and wait for something that was inspiring to me and that was different and that I was passionate about,” she said.
“I think that’s one of most tragic things is when you have to take a (role). You know, it’s hard to say no to a job if you can’t pay your rent, and sometimes that kind of tarnishes someone’s career a little bit.”
Among the projects she found inspiring: “The Apparition,” the feature film debut from Tulsa writer-director Todd Lincoln, who created the hit deadCenter Film Festival documentary “Biker Fox.”
“It was really fun working with him, and … you could just tell that this was his baby and he was so passionate about it. And Todd actually fought for me on that movie. I met with him, and he was kind of one of the driving forces that got me that role, so (I’m) very thankful for that,” she said.
In Lincoln’s thriller, she and Sebastian Stan play a couple terrorized by a supernatural force that feeds on their fears.
“He really wanted to make it a heightened film. He didn’t want it to be a horror movie, and I think he did a really beautiful job … so it was really cool for me to be a part of. I’m proud of it. I’m excited,” she said.
“There’s nothing I’ve done post-‘Twilight’ that I think has been extremely comfortable. Everything I start off I’m like ‘Oh my God, I hope I can pull this off.’ And then I end up having fun. But I think that’s kind of the thrill of it all is that you can constantly learn and grow in this industry, and I feel like every experience is part of your craft. So it’s been interesting.”