Maggie Grace and Mia Maestro recently spoke with Phoenix Movie Examiner about their roles as Denali coven members Irina and Carmen in “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2.”
In “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 2,” which opens Friday, Nov. 15 in theaters throughout the Valley, the Cullens gather other vampire clans in order to protect Edward (Robert Pattinson) and Bella’s (Kristen Stewart) newborn child from a false allegation that puts the family in front of the Volturi.
Phoenix Movie Examiner: For those who are not Twi-hards, how would you describe your characters?
Mia Maestro: Carmen is part of the Denali clan. I am a sister to Maggie’s character Irina. We live in Alaska and are cousins to the Cullens. We are a vegetarian clan, which means that we do not drink human blood.
Maggie Grace: I think the word on the street is that Irina is a villain but I would just like to point out that she is tragically misunderstood. It is all a misunderstanding. But it was a lot of fun to play her and I met some great friends on this movie as well. It was quite a journey for everybody. It took about 6 months. We shot “Breaking Dawn” parts 1 and 2 together so we got to know each other pretty well. We have an amazing vampire coven. We have had reunions and planning another one for next week. Sometimes we include a werewolf.
PME: You both are relatively new to “The Twilight Saga.” What was it like walking onto a set where many of your co-stars had already shot several movies together?
MM: There were so many new vampires. There were like 40 of them so it was not like we were the only new kids on the block.
MG: That awkward lunchroom “Where do I put down my tray?” moment? That never happened. It was like summer camp. It was a lot of fun. They had been working together for 6 years but it was a very welcoming group. I think that they were also happy to have new energy. We shot scenes in Baton Rouge and in Squamish, British Colombia. They are both beautiful places but somewhat remote.
PME: This is obviously the final installment in the franchise – at least for now. What was the emotional environment like during the recent screening for the cast and crew?
MM: It was quite moving for a lot of people because it is the last one. Our director Bill Condon did such a beautiful job celebrating everyone that was involved in the films and just giving the series a wonderful ending – that we cannot talk about because it is a surprise. But I am sure that the fans are going to love it.
PME: What have you both learned about yourselves as a result of the experience working on this film?
MM: I learned that I can be a really good cross country skier. That is what I did in my spare time in British Colombia.
MG: I am going to be really cheesy and schmaltzy but I learned that Mia Maestro and I are great friends. It has been such a joy to do this press tour with her.
PME: Maggie, I know that you did your fair share of butt-kicking in “Taken 2,” which was released earlier this fall, but with the announcement that a third installment is in the works, where would you like to see the story go? Could it be that Liam Neeson’s character gets kidnapped this time around and it is you who has to rescue him?
MG: I should connect you with Luc Besson. I think that is a great idea! I love your perception! That is such a fantastic idea!
PME: And, Mia, you have some exciting news, too, right?
MM: I have an EP coming out with two new songs and a song from the “Breaking Dawn – Part 1” soundtrack. We just shot the most beautiful video and that is going to be on the EP as well. I cannot wait for it. I am really excited to have new songs out in the world and also to have this video, which is a very dear and personal project to me.
MG: It is so beautiful. I just got a chance to see some of it and it is just stunning.
PME: Finally, Maggie, if Damon Lindelof and J.J. Abrams were to say, “We have to go back to the island” for a “Lost” movie or reunion of some sort, would you be interested?
MG: Basically, what you are asking me is, would I be amicable to going to Oahu, Hawaii to shoot with some of my best friends from what is commensurate to my college years? That is a yes. That is a no-brainer. But I do not know if Damon Lindelof and J.J. Abrams are really considering such a thing.