By Caitlin Berens, SELF magazine
One look at the Eclipse trailer and you can tell this film is the most action-packed yet. We spoke with John Stoneham, the movie's stunt coordinator, to hear more about fight scenes, imaginary wolves and Taylor Lautner's abs.
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"As far as the stunt work, they did a lot of it themselves," Stoneham says. Ashley Greene (Alice Cullen), Elizabeth Reaser (Esme Cullen) and Nikki Reed (Rosalie) each did a lot of their own moves in the movie's big fight scenes. According to Stoneham, Lautner (Jacob) was the most natural on the set: "He could almost be his own stunt double."
With Lautner being the shirtless wonder in New Moon, we had to ask: who's got the best six-pack on set? And Stoneham spills all: "I don't think they could really compare with Taylor [Lautner] around. Maybe Kellan [Lutz] would come close? But Taylor wins hands down." If only we could get more pictures!
But when he transforms for the battle scenes, Lautner sits on the sidelines while the other characters battle with imaginary wolves. "We hung the newborns [vampires] from wires and simulated flipping and throwing them around as if they were actually fighting with the wolves," Stoneham says. As one would imagine, the task was tricky and took several rehearsals.
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So who dove into the fight scenes? "Rob [Pattinson] got into it," Stoneham says. "Kristen [Stewart] didn't do too much, she's pretty much just a damsel in distress." Kellan Lutz (Emmet) also embraced the fight scenes, doing a lot of his own stunts. "We put him on the wire a bunch and flung him around," Stoneham says. "We had a couple doubles for him take some really hard hits." When it comes to the girls, Bryce Dallas Howard (Victoria) got into it the most.
"Basically, stunt doubles do everything, then we would have the cast do their own version as well," Stoneham says. "Whenever you're dealing with super strength, you have people being thrown and flying a long ways." The cast did the running and jumping through the forest, though it had to be sped up on the green screen, with the help of a treadmill and a pseudo-harness so they wouldn't fall.
The inspiration for the fight scenes came from a fusion of different fighting techniques. "David Slater, our director, didn't really want a martial art-sy kind of movie," Stoneham says, "but he did want them to have some slick moves." Watch out for Jackson Rathbone (Jasper) to see the blend Stoneham is talking about. "Everybody had to look like they were hitting or falling hard," he says.
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Though individual workouts and diets vary per actor, the cast of Eclipse did have to do plenty of running, stretching, strength training and cardio to master the action scenes of the third installation in the Twilight Saga. They had two weeks before filming to train for the fight scenes, as well as additional training on all of their off days, working with a trainer or perfecting their fight moves.
Are you going to see the action-packed film (and those abs!) today?
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Photo credit: IMDb