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Latest 'Twilight' movie features new faces along with the familiar ones

The stars of "The Twilight Saga: Eclipse" traveled around the world to promote the newest film, attend premieres and meet fans of the vampire series.

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By John Anderson
Tuesday, June 29, 2010

At a fan convention this month in Los Angeles, newly issued vampire Xavier Samuel got a taste of "Twilight" mania: "I got to hang out with 2,000 people, answer a few questions, mostly about whether I'd have my shirt off in any scenes." Such is the so-called life of the undead, at least in the world of "Twilight," which involves passion, drama and the feverish howling of teenage girls.

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"I don't know how you prepare for something like that," Samuel said. Prepare he must. With the regularity of a full moon, another "Twilight" movie is upon us.

"Twilight: Eclipse" is the third in the series inspired by the Stephenie Meyer novels and one that addresses such titanic questions as immortality and high school graduation. While Kristen Stewart, Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner return as, respectively, Bella Swan, Edward Cullen and Jacob Black, they are joined by a virtual legion of previously unseen characters.

In addition to Bryce Dallas Howard, who replaced Rachelle Lefevre as the vampiress Victoria, there's Jodelle Ferland, a native of Vancouver (where the film was shot), who plays Bree, one of the pawns in Victoria's scheme of revenge.

"Everybody made me feel very welcome," Ferland said. Actually, she giggled. "I also had my 15th birthday on set, so that was really awesome."

And there's Samuel, 26, as Riley, a member of Victoria's Newborn Army of bloodsuckers, whose strength is greatest during their early days of un-life.

"He's a complex character," said Samuel, who is Australian, "because he's still got human blood pumping through his veins, and because he's had his humanity snatched from him, and that stirs a lot of feelings of jealousy and rage."

Riley is being manipulated by Victoria to seek revenge on Bella and Edward, "so he's essentially kind of a puppet, which makes him a tragic figure. It's kind of a Lady Macbeth relationship with Victoria; he's wrapped around her little finger. But director David Slade and I have really talked about the complexities of the character, and about not delving into any cliches and stereotypes."

How will the tale conclude? It won't, not until next year's fourth installment, "Breaking Dawn." Melissa Rosenberg, who has scripted all four movies, said, "I think we're shooting in October."

-- McClatchy Newspapers



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